Poverty, disadvantage, and social exclusion

Most of my work has been concerned with inequality of power and resources, along lines of class, gender, ‘race’ and sexuality. Local economic policies (field 2 above) are strongly, though not exclusively, focused on poor areas, and my work in this field has been correspondingly concerned with poverty. My major work on the subject is Spaces of Social Exclusion (2006), co-authored with Aram Eisenschitz. This considers both the causes of poverty, disadvantage and exclusion in the rich countries and strategies for, or directed at, the poor. It is the only extant book on poverty, to my knowledge, which sets out to give a systematic geographical analysis (rather than description). It is also the only one which considers the whole range of political strategies towards poverty from right to left, rather than pushing only a centre-left strategy. Analytically, its originality lies in –

  • emphasising the key role of space in both constructing poverty, in states’ policies towards it, and in combating it from below;
  • considering all spatial scales from the body to the globe;
  • poverty and disadvantage are understood not as attributes of a particular social group but rather as a condensation of oppressive processes experienced by the majority of the population.