Executive Summary 33 - What Do Indian Middle Class Attitudes to Poverty Tell Us About the Politics of Poverty Reduction?

What makes the middle classes oppose or support initiatives intended to lift people out of poverty, and how can the development community secure their interest in and approval of such policies? The assumption among donors, development practitioners and researchers is often that the middle class are either not interested in helping the poor, or are motivated by self-interest when they oppose poverty alleviation initiatives because they fear that their own position will become more precarious. This paper examines the attitudes of middle class Indians to poverty, and its findings reveal the complexity of their perceptions and beliefs. It shows that self-interest is not the only driver of middle class disapproval of assistance for the poor. It concludes that a political approach to policy design needs to be less institution-focused and to take public opinion into account.

About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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News

New article: A typology of interaction between politicians and bureaucrats

Tuesday 14th March 2017

DLP Research Fellow Niheer Dasandi has co-authored a new article on how bureaucrats and politicians interact, and how this affects reform efforts. It appears in 'Public Administration and Development'.

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Power and systems, and their role in developmental change: Guest seminar with Duncan Green

Tuesday 21st February 2017

Seeing power and complex social systems clearly is the first step towards supporting positive developmental change, says Oxfam Strategic Director and DLP research partner Duncan Green. He discussed the themes of his latest book at a recent International Development Department guest seminar at the University of Birmingham.

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