Praise for From Poverty to Power

“Invaluable for anyone who wants to understand both the shocking injustices of the way the world is run and the means by which they can be put right.”
George Monbiot

Praise for the Second Edition

This second edition, in addition to being thoroughly updated, provides equally penetrating analyses of more recent events, like the global financial crisis, the food crisis, and the Arab Spring. Well worth a read – or a re-read.

Ha-Joon Chang, Reader, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

With its emphasis on the role of active citizenship and the need for effective states, From Poverty to Power provides a discerning and prophetic analysis of the political and economic turbulence of recent years.

Professor Caroline Moser, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester

The book is a must read for anyone who is concerned about ending poverty, reducing inequality and promoting environmental sustainability simultaneously in the world.

Justin Lin, Former Chief Economist, World Bank; now professor at China Center for Economic Research, Peking University

Duncan Green's focus on the importance of active citizens interacting with effective states for transforming the power relations that trap poor people in poverty has an enduring relevance.

Naila Kabeer, Professor of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London

This second edition is a must read for those wanting data, analysis and positive guidelines about how to react to the cuts and financial setbacks in the West or build on the new opportunities opened by the Arab Spring in the South.

Sir Richard Jolly, Honorary Professor, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex

Duncan Green combines academic expertise, a flair for storytelling and an activist’s sense of urgency in this essential guide to both what is wrong with the world and how to put it right.

Claire Melamed, Head of Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme, Overseas Development Institute

From Poverty to Power has played an important role in reshaping modern attitudes to development, with poor people as protagonists, never objects or victims.

Jonathan Glennie, Overseas Development Institute

Duncan Green uses numerous case studies to demonstrate this book is not merely an academic textbook but a manual for real, practical and lasting social change.

Andrew Dodgshon, Tribune

A tour de force…At once shocking, realistic and radical, this book takes us further on the road to understanding the challenges of development and what needs to be done.

Robert Chambers, Institute of Development Studies

Oxfam’s great strength is that it channels the moral outrage that global poverty evokes into effective action based on solid research.

Dani Rodrik, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

This book does justice to raising the spectre of inequalities...between the world’s richest and poorest people and countries.

Bineta Diop, Executive Director, Femmes Africa Solidarité

From Poverty to Power is available to buy now from Practical Action Publishing as a book and eBook.

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Praise for the First Edition

This book invites serious debate about the causes of injustice and inequality, across and within countries. You need not agree with every emphasis or argument, or even every proposed solution, to appreciate the welcome combination of moral outrage and intelligent presentation – and the analytic emphasis on the relevance of power and politics to the development story.

Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development

A tour de force… From Poverty to Power should have many readers, especially policy-makers in governments and aid agencies, concerned citizens, academics, activists, and students and teachers. As a text for development courses, a source of reference, and a treasury of ideas and striking examples of successes, it should inform and inspire all who are committed to policy and practice for a better world.” 

Robert Chambers, Institute of Development Studies, author of Whose reality counts?: putting the last first

From Poverty to Power offers a panoramic and sophisticated view on how the world changes and how we can change it, based on a unique blend of solid academic understanding, serious activist experience, and political acumen. It deserves be a standard reference for social activists and policy-makers as well as a required reading for students in economics, politics, sociology, and development studies. 

Ha-Joon Chang, Department of Economics, University of Cambridge

From Poverty to Power shines a spotlight on the root cause of so many of the world's problems - the disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. It should be required reading for governments, development officials, and all those with an interest in the key challenges facing our civilisation. 

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Australian Democrats Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs

Femmes Africa Solidarité would like to thank Oxfam for this brilliant initiative to document the structural causes and effects of poverty in the world. This book is a must have for all those interested in the provision of human security as opposed to military security. This book does justice to raising the spectre of inequalities in the world between the world's richest and poorest people and countries. It contributes to a better understanding of what to do to reduce global poverty. 

Bineta Diop, Executive Director, Femmes Africa Solidarité

From Poverty to Power demonstrates a simple but profound truth: that the only form of human development worthy of the name is that which can successfully tackle the scourge of poverty.  Freedom from poverty is not only a basic human right but also a public good and an essential component of the virtuous nexus between empowered citizens and accountable and effective states.  I dare anyone to argue otherwise. 

Professor Robyn Eckersley, Head of Political Science, University of Melbourne

Tells us what we must do in the limited time we have to prevent a human and ecological tragedy that will affect, in one way or another, each and every one of us. 

Larry Elliott, Economics Editor, The Guardian

From Poverty to Power has masterfully put in one place the tools we have all been waiting for: a strong analysis of how the forces of globalization and power are affecting the world's poor, inspirational examples of how effective states and enlightened citizens are shaping a more sustainable society in parts of the world, and a roadmap showing the rest of us to get on the path to a better world.  This is not Green telling us what to do, its him showing us what the best of us are doing and letting us know they lead by example, and we can join. 

Kevin P. Gallagher, Boston University and editor of Putting Development First: The Importance of Policy Space in the WTO and IFIs

From Poverty to Power is an illuminating survey of global poverty today.  As Green says, the old ways of low intensity democracy, trickle down economics, dirty growth, and inept global government have been found wanting.  This book is a very useful contribution to the quest for the new tools and concepts we will need to navigate the 21st century.

Bob Geldof, musician and political activist

From Poverty to Power reaches the parts of the global poverty agenda which most other analyses fail to reach –combining politics, markets and vulnerability, incorporating income distribution and grass roots action, drawing on Oxfam experience, and showing what citizens and states need to do. If you want to understand the challenge in a book which combines experience, intelligence and hope, this is it. 

Richard Jolly, Research Associate, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton

Tackling poverty means confronting injustice. In this book, Oxfam demonstrates that the debate about poverty must move beyond a narrow focus on economic growth and technological advances. Real and lasting change will only come when poverty is seen as a violation of human rights - on a massive scale - and when those affected are able to challenge states and others in power to put the realisation of rights at the core of their policies. This pathbreaking book illustrates numerous ways they can do so, and it will be of immense help to human rights organizations like Amnesty International in our campaigns to draw greater attention to the rights of the poor. 

Irene Khan, Secretary General, Amnesty International

Oxfam has a high reputation for books which combine careful and objective analysis with deep empathy for the poorest people on the planet. This one is no exception. Duncan Green’s focus on global inequality brings into the open a moral challenge and a practical issue which is all too often ignored. He tells us that the world needs both active citizens and effective states – a simple phrase but one which requires significant change in both rich and poor countries. This is a readable and relevant text. 

Simon Maxwell, Director, Overseas Development Institute

From Poverty to Power captures in alarming detail the state of poverty and inequality between and within countries and the challenges faced by the poor and the vulnerable.  It inspires hope and further advocacy by bringing to light success stories in the fight against poverty engineered by activism and ‘people’s power’ in Asia, South America and Africa.  This in no small way reinforces our belief that the scourge of poverty and inequality can be defeated if citizens speak out and leaders engage fully with citizens in decision-making processes and on issues affecting them. This is expressly documented in this book as Oxfam argues that a combination of a vibrant citizenry and a strong state can lead to a reduction in poverty and levels of inequality.  Written in an enlightening manner, From Poverty to Power is an invaluable resource for policy makers, international agencies, governments, campaigners and citizens around the world. 

Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation  

Poverty has had such a long  - and not too illustrious a career - as to make most concerned observers to register a sense of dejà vu at every mention of the word. The overview offered in From Poverty to Power succeeds, however, in keeping the reader engaged as much for the accessible style adopted by Duncan Green as for the many challenges posed by his analysis. His success in placing power and politics at the centre of poverty and exclusion makes this book a compulsory text not just for students of development but also policy makers and activists interested to understand how their work might succeed  - finally - in making a decisive difference for the tens of millions of people who continue to live in abject poverty across the world. 

Adebayo Olukoshi, Executive Secretary, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)

From Poverty to Power is a thoughtful book that urges us to address poverty eradication from the starting point of inequality. Duncan Green joins a growing chorus of researchers, academics and activists who believe that in defining poverty it is essential to go well beyond income poverty to incorporate powerlessness and exclusion. Basing much of his analysis on the experiences of Oxfam International in dozens of countries around the world over many years, Green presents a cogent proposal to tackle poverty and inequality in the three domains of politics, markets and vulnerability. Green notes that ‘effective’ states must be accountable to all citizens and able to guarantee their rights. He argues persuasively that policy-makers and development institutions must tackle redistribution of power and assets - not just opportunities – to eradicate the world’s remaining poverty.

Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland

Oxfam's great strength is that it channels the moral outrage that global poverty evokes into effective action based on solid research. Green's new book is a comprehensive look at development in this tradition. Read it so you can understand why development requires not just effective governments, but also active citizens; not just good policies, but also good politics, not just local action, but global cooperation as well. 

Dani Rodrik, Professor of International Political Economy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

In telling us what can be achieved by ordinary people through organized action, this book generates hope even as it enhances understanding of what is involved in the removal of poverty. The world does need hope as well as the know-how, and we have reason to be grateful for what we get from this important study of a rich collection of collaborative social action. 

Amartya Sen, economist and Nobel Prize winner 

Drawing on extensive on-the-ground experience from Oxfam and other development professionals around the world - as well as much personal reflection – From Poverty to Power argues cogently for a new perspective: one that recognises and commits to a development agenda that harnesses the contributions of poor people, accountable governments, and the private sector towards improvements for both societies and their environments.

Louise Sylvan, Deputy Chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

This book is a powerful corrective to the received wisdom that characterises too much of the thinking behind policy debates on economic growth, the role of markets, and globalisation. Drawing on Oxfam’s unparalleled experience as a development agency working with the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, it demonstrates a simple, but widely ignored fact: namely, that inequality matters. As Duncan Green shows, the vast discrepancy in opportunities for health, education, decent employment and a life free of poverty, are rooted in, and perpetuated by, disparities in power. For anyone who cares about social justice, the state of the our world, or their responsibility to create a better one, this book is a must read. 

Kevin Watkins, Senior research fellow Global economic Governance Programmes, Oxford University and former Director UN Human Development Report

"While the book’s core argument is not new (at least in academia and increasingly with donors), its unique contribution lies in its holistic treatment of it and the synthesis of a huge amount of (quantitative and qualitative) data in one place, including a bibliography of almost thirty pages... In short, this book is a valuable addition to debates on issues in development, though occasionally its broad scope comes at the expense of more nuanced and in-depth understanding and analysis."

Development and Change Journal, Institute for Social Studies, The Hague

Duncan Green has written an enlightening materpiece.  He articluates the issues of poverty, environment, development and inequality in a simple yet understandable way, citing appropriate examples... I strongly recommend it to the poor, the downtrodden and the disadvantaged, because they need it the most. Yet it is also necessary for people in positions of leadership and authority, who must indeed find time to sit at the feet of Duncan Green.

Wonder Machingura, New Agenda: South Africa Journal of Social and Economic Policy, Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA), CapeTown

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