Breadline Europe: The Measurement of Poverty

Breadline Europe: The Measurement of Poverty

Breadline Europe: The Measurement of Poverty

Breadline Europe: The Measurement of Poverty

Synopsis

The governments of 117 countries agreed at the World Summit on Social Development to prepare annual national anti-poverty plans. Two measures in particular were recommended for absolute and overall poverty. This book examines poverty in Europe within this agreed international framework.

Excerpt

This book has a single purpose: to provide the best scientific and international basis for the analysis and reduction of poverty. If considered to be even partly successful, it will have immense practical value. Since 1990, the World Bank and most of the other international agencies, like an increasing number of governments, including that of the uk, have emphatically committed themselves to the eradication of poverty . But the basis of all their work badly needs overhaul and concerted verification.

In serving this purpose the book has a special feature. It demonstrates that there is far more important research into the problem of poverty going on in many countries of Europe than the international agencies and national governments admit or even realise. Knowledge of the striking advances that have been made deserves to be spread among other countries, within as well as outside Europe. This is particularly true of the countries of Eastern Europe, including the westernmost territories of the former Soviet Union.

The origins of this book lie in collaborative European professional action in the mid-1990s. Initially, more than 70 leading social scientists from 14 European countries put their signatures to a public statement calling for immediate steps to be taken to improve the accepted meanings, measurement and explanation of poverty and pave the way for more effective policies (the introductory statement by the European Social Scientists – ‘An international approach to the measurement and explanation of poverty: statement by European Social Scientists’ – can be found at the end of this chapter). When welcoming their statement at its launch in the European Parliament, the Chairman of the ec Committee on Social Affairs acknowledged that the problem was growing . More . . .

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