From Poverty to Power: How active citizens and effective states can change the world

Publication date

23 Jun 2008



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The twenty-first century will be defined by the fight against the scourges of poverty, inequality, and the threat of environmental collapse as the fight against slavery or for universal suffrage defined earlier eras. From Poverty to Power argues that it requires a radical redistribution of power, opportunities, and assets to break the cycle of poverty and inequality and to give poor people power over their own destinies The forces driving this transformation are active citizens and effective states. Why active citizenship? Because people living in poverty must have a voice in deciding their own destiny, fighting for rights and justice in their own society, and holding states and the private sector to account. Why effective states? Because history shows that no country has prospered without a state structure than can actively manage the development process. There is now an added urgency beyond the moral case for tackling poverty and inequality: we need to build a secure, fair, and sustainable world before climate change makes it impossible. This book argues that leaders, organisations, and individuals need to act together, while there is still time.