The Poverty Wars: Reconnecting Research with Reality

In this short, passionate and very readable book, Peter Saunders - one of Australia's leading social policy researchers - expresses his core viewpoint that, although poverty is deeply rooted in the experience of people's lives, it all too often is reduced to a set of statistics. But, without evidence of the experiences of the poor, statistics alone cannot shed light on the underlying causes and indicate what kinds of responses are needed. Saunders' vision is of a society free from 'the national disgrace' of poverty, as identified by the Poverty Commission over three decades ago. The Poverty Wars sets out the ideas and arguments for such a national re-examination and reorientation by examining existing theories and evidence on poverty and other forms of disadvantage. Saunders develops a set of accessible ideas designed to change the way we think about poverty and to encourage a revitalised commitment to its eradication. He claims that the goal of ending poverty lies well within our reach, arguing that we can eliminate financial poverty by 2020 using the funds generated by economic growth. The fact that we don't do so is a matter of choice, not affordability - as the experience of other countries demonstrates. In challenging this idea, this book focuses on how looking at poverty differently can help to make a world without poverty a practical reality.