Economic Democracy Through Pro-poor Growth

The sharpening poverty contradictions and their links to a larger governance reality is the theme of this book. Enhanced understanding of the security and human rights situation in South Asia has also led to identification of alternative possibilities for innovative policy at both the micro and macro levels. Action research, which provides the material basis for formulating sustainable policy, differentiates this work from conventional development thinking and action. This material basis is provided by learning from the survival struggles of the poor themselves and new social movements in South Asia, and not from a priori theorizing and received wisdom from distant contexts. The book identifies critical elements in a more holistic interdisciplinary and analytical methodology. Another methodological innovation reflected in this work is the dialogical method and social praxis which permits various stakeholders to bring about transformative social change through collective reflection, unlearning social mobilization processes as well as an accumulation process by the poor. The cases illustrate how the process mediates the main contradictions as well as creates conditions where growth, human development and equity need not necessarily be trade offs. This work stresses that the poor are not the problem and can be a part of the solution when rigorous social mobilization takes place and they are conscientised, building their own organizations as a new efficient countervailing power. These critical elements have been knit together into a transitional pro poor growth oriented strategy, deepening political and economic democracy at the base of South Asian societies.

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