New IDS Bulletin examines links between power, poverty and inequality

This new IDS BulletinPower, Poverty and Inequality’ edited by Marjoke Oosterom and Patta Scott-Villiers, brings together the latest analysis on understanding power and inequality and their links to poverty.

Ten years ago, IDS published an inaugural IDS Bulletin on power and change. This collection of articles were influential in developing ways to analyse socio-political situations using a power lens which helped people and organisations working in development improve effective policy and action. In particular, the issue clarified the use of the powercube, a tool for investigating the different faces of power (visible, hidden and invisible power), its levels (local, national, global) and spaces of operation (closed, invited and claimed).

The new IDS Bulletin, ‘Power, Poverty and Inequality’, argues that tackling invisible power is of vital for understanding the links between poverty, inequality and power. It is this form of power that is in operation, alongside hidden and visible power, in the quiescence that development agencies encounter when dealing with people living on low and precarious incomes in many parts of the world.

Contributors discuss the ways in which economic and political modes of inequality interact with social inequalities such as gender, race or sexuality to create yet more inequality, confronting policymakers with a challenge.

Such complex social inequalities become "normal" – but the contributions in this new IDS Bulletin offer ways of untangling complexity using approaches to analysis which take account of multiple dynamics in unequal relations.