The webinar gives a synopsis of the central arguments of Andrew Fischer’s latest book, Poverty as Ideology, focusing on three themes. The first is that the very conception of poverty is inherently political, involving choices about norms and standards that cannot be determined empirically, even though they must be empirically informed. The second is that the emphasis of absolute measures, whether money-metric or multidimensional, as currently endorsed in the SDGs, carries a policy bias towards targeting and segregationist social provisioning, versus more universalistic or cross-class solidaristic forms of provisioning. Third, these absolute measures also impart a tendency to underestimate the reproduction of poverty over time, given their abstraction of the relativity associated with modern poverty, particularly in relation to modern processes of structural transformation.
About the Speaker
Andrew Fischer is an associate professor of social policy and development studies at the ISS and the scientific director of CERES, The Dutch Research School for International Development.
The webinar is part of the John D. Gerhart Center's webinar series: The Aftermath of COVID-19: The New Social Impact Ecosystem, with the aim of discussing concepts that are currently not mainstream and may, or perhaps should, become mainstream in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.