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A War on Global Poverty

The Lost Promise of Redistribution and the Rise of Microcredit

Joanne Meyerowitz

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


A history of US involvement in late twentieth-century campaigns against global poverty and how they came to focus on women

A War on Global Poverty provides a fresh account of US involvement in campaigns to end global poverty in the 1970s and 1980s. From the decline of modernization programs to the rise of microcredit, Joanne Meyerowitz looks beyond familiar histories of development and explains why antipoverty programs increasingly focused on women as the deserving poor.

When the United States joined the war on global poverty, economists, policymakers, and activists asked how to change a world in which millions lived in need. Moved to the left by socialists, social democrats, and religious humanists, they rejected the notion that economic growth would trickle down to the poor, and they proposed programs to redress inequities between and within nations. In an emerging “women in development” movement, they positioned women as economic actors who could help lift families and nations out of destitution. In the more conservative 1980s, the war on global poverty turned decisively toward market-based projects in the private sector. Development experts and antipoverty advocates recast women as entrepreneurs and imagined microcredit—with its tiny loans—as a grassroots solution. Meyerowitz shows that at the very moment when the overextension of credit left poorer nations bankrupt, loans to impoverished women came to replace more ambitious proposals that aimed at redistribution.

Based on a wealth of sources, A War on Global Poverty looks at a critical transformation in antipoverty efforts in the late twentieth century and points to its legacies today.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



Gender and development, Legislation, Small business, Employment, Peace Corps, United Nations Development Programme, International Women's Year, Institution, North–South divide, Third World, Wealth, Capitalism, Funding, New International Economic Order, Developed country, Gunnar Myrdal, Empowerment, Self-sufficiency, Private sector, Ester Boserup, Politics, Informal sector, Trickle-down economics, Robert McNamara, Princeton University Press, Tax, United States foreign aid, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Development plan, Group of 77, War on Poverty, Redistribution of income and wealth, Development economics, Institute for Policy Studies, Non-governmental organization, Entrepreneurship, Rural development, Feminist movement, Publicity, Amendment, Latin America, Economy, Poverty, Neocolonialism, Institute of Development Studies, Think tank, C. Fred Bergsten, Debt, Tanzania, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Ela Bhatt, Mahbub ul Haq, UNICEF, Marshall Plan, Muhammad Yunus, World Bank Group, Hans Singer, Economic development, International organization, Pamphlet, Economic interventionism, Development aid, Ford Foundation, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, United Nations Environment Programme, Beneficiary, Aid, Developing country, Economist, Women in development, Welfare, World economy, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Activism, Government agency, Grameen Bank, Marxism, Foreign policy, International development, Yunus Centre, Economic growth, Microfinance, Foreign Assistance Act, Debt crisis, Income, International taxation, International Monetary Fund, Investor, Supporter, National security, The New York Times, Orlando Patterson, International Labour Organization, Poverty reduction, Economics, Unemployment, Microcredit, World Bank, United States Agency for International Development, Woman