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Our Vision

The Poverty Research Network aims to bring together different scholars working on the theme of poverty and social justice. Its members are concerned with the politics of poverty at both the global and the local level, and interrogating some of the paradigms of globalization. The network provides a forum for inter-disciplinary and global discussions on different approaches to poverty research and connections to current issues. This includes investigating the cultural and historical contexts of attitudes towards poverty, wealth, and charity around the world, and contemporary global debates on inequality and humanitarian strategies.

Poverty has had global dimensions and has driven movement on a global scale, but the identities, meanings, and politics of poverty have rarely been explored. This history of poverty offers a way to reflect critically upon the politics and identity categories of existing global histories. The project does not aim to universalise the identity of poverty but to explore the experiences and cultures associated with poverty, as well as its politics and, in doing so, to offer an alternative approach to global history.

While part of the Centre for Global History, this project is inter-disciplinary, and we aim to connect different approaches to poverty research and the different roles it has played in global discourses. We will address questions such as: what differences to the terms poverty, inequality, and austerity denote? How have these terms been used in different political debates? How do different cultures perceive poverty or think about charity? What ideas about society are reflected by welfare policies? How does the history of charity and perceptions of poverty influence contemporary humanitarianism?

This project is developing in dialogue both with the Centre for Global History and the GRP on International Development.