Grounding the political theory of global injustice in the actions of poor-led movements: a comment on Poverty, Solidarity, and Poor-Led Social Movements, Monique Deveaux, Oxford University Press, 2021

Ethics and Global Politics 16 (2):28-37 (2023)
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In Poverty, Solidarity, and Poor-Led Social Movements, Monique Deveaux builds a political theory of poverty as relational and responsibility for injustice as solidaristic. Identifying the ways that poor-led movements have politically theorized and acted, Deveaux develops a theory of relational poverty that entails politicizing poverty which requires local-level organizing, consciousness-raising, resisting injustice and developing and demanding alternatives, and engaging in public debate and discourse. She goes on to argue that the praxis of poor-led movements reveals normative commitments to mutuality, deference and deep listening, and risk taking. These enable movements of people in poverty to take on the injustice of poverty together across difference, privilege, and other obstacles to transformative (solidaristic) politics. Deveaux provides a mode for doing grounded normative theory (GNT) by relying on secondary literature. GNT is a methodology for doing political theory that destabilizes the epistemological authority of the political theory of the academy by treating lived experience – words and actions – as providing relevant text for analysis. The methodology is particularly important for theories related to justice. Deveaux demonstrates how this can be done with secondary sources thus enabling comprehensive engagement without avoiding burdening social movement actors with interviews or other modes of accommodating researchers.



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