Why does poverty persist in a world of plenty? A critical analysis.The book questions the current status of the development agenda and examines why development has eluded large groups of people living in poverty. It argues that there is a general unwillingness to understand, and focus adequate attention on, the factors that explain the continued production of poverty and inequality. Development has also become increasingly buzzword-driven, although little effort is made to operationalise such terms for actual implementation on the ground. The book further highlights how development interventions have become largely synonymous with «crises» and why there is a need to refocus our attention on the less sensational, and often invisible, processes that perpetuate poverty.
Based on a critical analysis of local, national and global efforts to promote social, economic and political development, the book focuses on a selected set of interrelated issues that form an integral part of the current development discourse: corruption, democracy, human rights, climate change and foreign aid. These are discussed on the basis of empirical evidence from South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
«A serious and important reconsideration of the quest for development and an end to poverty. For Banik, the terrible truth of poverty is its quotidian banality and persistence, its roots in inequality, and its ability to harness all manner of good intentions and fancy imports to its reproduction, from democracy and human rights to the struggle against corruption or environmental degradation. Banik urges us to begin again, armed with a deeper knowledge of the social forces which must be harnessed for economic justice to be achieved and sustained.»
Professor David Kennedy, Harvard Law School
«Banik's analysis throughout the book is informed by a deep knowledge of development theories and approaches and extensive research in Asia and Africa. This is an important and valuable work and is an excellent addition to development literature. The publication serves as a powerful base of knowledge with which to further examine the challenges of poverty and development.»
Professor Muna Ndulo, Cornell University