Dominelli L (2019) Reconceptualising poverty in Europe: Exclusion, marginality and absolute poverty reframed through participatory relational space. In: Gaisbauer HP, Schweiger G & Sedmak C (eds.) Absolute poverty in Europe: interdisciplinary perspectives on a hidden phenomenon. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 17-38. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvf3w3zg.6
Poverty is a significant global issue. An affluent European Union (EU) has been unable to eliminate poverty despite having some of the richest countries in the world with welfare states providing institutional solidarity to support those on no or low incomes. Why is this so? I consider this question by arguing that contemporary poverty has become individualised and restricted conceptually to domestic relational space, that is, an individual managing to meet daily needs and routines on a limited income while disengaging from governance structures or public relational space where the decisions affecting the policies that govern what happens in both relational spaces are made. Exercising agency by asserting control over one’s life constitutes political or participatory relational space and occurs in both domestic and public relational spaces. Responsibility for addressing societal levels of poverty rests with the nation-state that is increasingly restricting its concerns to activating its nationals to rise out of poverty through paid work and restricting the human rights claims of non-nationals including the right to migrate.
Poverty; Government policy; Services for poor