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From Poverty to Power

by Luna Allison | May 11, 2010

The fight against poverty is the great struggle of our times. Oxfam’s most important book in a decade makes sense of its causes and argues how it can be overcome. From Poverty to Power is essential reading for anyone involved in change processes around the world.

Buy a copy of the book in Canada (Renouf Books)

Download a six page summary of the book (pdf document)

Read a profile of author Duncan Green

Background papers

To download a copy of the full report, click on the filelink at the bottom of this page.

Visit the website to learn more about the book and its author, and to join in the debate.


In telling us what can be achieved by ordinary people through organised action, this book generates hope even as it enhances understanding of what is involved in the removal of poverty. The world does need hope as well as the know-how, and we have reason to be grateful for what we get from this important study of a rich collection of collaborative social action.
– Amartya Sen

Oxfam’s great strength is that it channels the moral outrage that global poverty evokes into effective action based on solid research. Green’s new book is a comprehensive look at development in this tradition. Read it so you can understand why development requires not just effective governments, but also active citizens; not just good policies, but also good politics, not just local action, but global cooperation as well.
– Dani Rodrik, Professor of International Political Economy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Tells us what we must do in the limited time we have to prevent a human and ecological tragedy that will affect, in one way or another, each and every one of us.
– Larry Elliott, Economics Editor, The Guardian

Oxfam has a high reputation for books which combine careful and objective analysis with deep empathy for the poorest people on the planet. This one is no exception. Duncan Green’s focus on global inequality brings into the open a moral challenge and a practical issue which is all too often ignored. He tells us that the world needs both active citizens and effective states a simple phrase but one which requires significant change in both rich and poor countries. This is a readable and relevant text.
– Simon Maxwell, Director, Overseas Development Institute

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