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 studies on leadership for transformational change in Africa

Thursday 31st May 2018

A new series of studies asks what factors support or hinder leadership for transformational change in Africa. They are published in collaboration with the UONGOZI Institute.

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New article on politically informed work for climate change mitigation in China and India

Monday 21st May 2018

In Development Policy Review, Tom Harrison and Genia Kostka draw on their DLP research project to explore 'Bureaucratic manoeuvres and the local politics of climate change mitigation in China and India'.

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