• Publication Date: October 30, 2017
  • EAN: 9781760021450
  • 304 pages; 6" x 8⅝"

Thinking about Poverty


Product Description

Thinking about Poverty provides a critical understanding of poverty in the global context: how global structures affect people in Australia and the way policy-makers respond. In the midst of waning public interest, the book fills an important gap in the current public discourse on poverty and covers:

the extent of poverty and unprecedented wealth and income inequality across the world, including Australia;

why neoliberalism remains at the heart of mainstream global discourse and continues to shape public policy;

how a deregulated and speculative global economy creates massive private and public debt, undermining the real economy, employment and wage growth;

why neoliberalism still influences national governments to implement further privatisation, deregulation and other neoliberal policies which implement corporate tax cuts, and re-distribution of wealth and income upwards, while at the same time reducing welfare provisions that exacerbate poverty, social disadvantage and inequality;

the pivotal role and importance of the welfare state to alleviate some of the excesses of neoliberal capitalism;

individualised and structural theories that try to explain the existence of poverty;

mainstream and alternative poverty definitions which are not based solely on economic measurements; and

the impact of public policy on various groups, including Aboriginal people, the unemployed, the mentally ill, older Australians, people with disabilities, women and families.

Thinking about Poverty argues that the quality of any society must be judged by its values and norms; that without a just and decent moral code, humanity is unlikely to be able to survive the social, economic and political challenges ahead. Having large numbers living in deprived conditions, while a few live in extraordinary luxury is clearly not just – nor is it morally defensible. The book therefore concludes that political leaders are liable to lose the legitimacy to govern if they continue the current course of governing for a chosen few rather than for the overall common good.

Not just a critique, Thinking about Poverty puts forward a range of policy strategies and alternative economic thinking. With contributions from academics and practitioners, the book makes a contemporary and accessible contribution to discourse about poverty in Australia.

Contributors: Robert Bland, Andreas Cebulla, Benno Engels, Sue Green, Paul Harris, Ilan Katz, Helen Kimberley, Sonia Martin, Ruth Phillips, Eric Porter, David Rose, Klaus Serr, Karen Soldatic, Ben Spies-Butcher, Frank Stilwell and David Sykes.

Foreword by Fiona Gardner
List of Boxes, Figures and Tables
About the Contributors

Klaus Serr

Poverty, Wealth and the Structures of Global Capitalism
Klaus Serr

Looking at Inequality from a Political Economic Perspective
Frank Stilwell

The Welfare State and Neoliberalism in Australia: An Historical Overview
Benno Engels and Sonia Martin

Un(der)employment, Poverty and the Future of Work after the Global Financial Crisis
Andreas Cebulla and Ilan Katz

Theories of Poverty: Power, Ideology and Disadvantage in Australia
Eric Porter

Understanding Poverty: Conceptualising Human Needs
Klaus Serr

Australia’s Broken Housing System: Homelessness and Poverty amidst Affluence
Ben Spies-Butcher

Poverty and Disadvantage Among Children and Families
Paul Harris

Women’s Poverty: Risks and Experiences of Poverty for Australian Women
Ruth Phillips

Living a Life of Value: Constraints Experienced by Older Australians
Helen Kimberley

The Impoverishment of a People: The Aboriginal Experience in Australia
Sue Green

Living with Mental Illness: Poverty and Psychosis
Robert Bland

Poverty and People with a Disability
Karen Soldatic and David Sykes

Poverty, Crime and Offenders
David Rose



Review of previous edition:

This edited collection of papers explores global poverty and inequality, then focuses on aspects of Australian poverty. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on the global context, looking in particular at neo-liberal policies and women in poverty. Subsequent chapters focus on individual and structural explanations of poverty; the way in which poverty is conceptualised and measured; Australian poverty in a historical context; poverty and Aboriginal people; the impact of government policies on vulnerable groups in Australia; mental health and poverty; poverty and crime; the welfare of people with a disability; and the provision of emergency relief in Australia. This book would make thought-provoking reading for students and others concerned with poverty in Australia. – Family Matters (Australian Institute of Family Studies), 2007 No 77

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