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Austerity and poverty.

Spicker, Paul


Paul Spicker


Bent Greve


The ambiguities of the terms 'austerity' and 'poverty' make it difficult to tie down any firm or clear relationship between the two. The idea of 'austerity' is variously used to refer to economic deflation, the reduction of public debt, the retrenchment of public services, or a change in the balance of public and private provision. 'Poverty' is used at different times refers to deprivation, inequality and social exclusion. Underlying the two fields of discourse, there is an irresistible sense that they must be connected: if the economy is shrinking, or if people are getting less support from the public sphere, then people who have little must be worse off still. However, conflicting interpretations, political spin and the inadequacies of the informational base make it hard to prove that austerity is at the root of these problems, or to offer any firm proof that poverty and austerity are intimately linked.


SPICKER, P. 2021. Austerity and poverty. In Greve, B. (ed.) Handbook of austerity, populism and the welfare state. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing [online], chapter 10, pages 130-141. Available from:

Online Publication Date May 11, 2021
Publication Date May 11, 2021
Deposit Date May 27, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 27, 2022
Publisher Edward Elgar Publishing
Pages 130-141
Book Title Handbook of austerity, populism and the welfare state
Chapter Number Chapter 10
ISBN 9781789906738
Keywords Ambiguities; Relationship; Poverty; Austerity; Economic deflation; Public dept; Public services;
Public URL


SPICKER 2021 Austerity and poverty (978 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a draft chapter. The final version is available in Handbook of Austerity, Populism and the Welfare State edited by Bent Greve, published in 2021, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.

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