1    Introduction

Nicky Pouw and Isa Baud

1.1   PURPOSE AND SCOPE

Why is it necessary to write a book on the priorities of the poor and the role of local governance? Poor people in developing countries have been the subject of many studies before and the problem of poverty and how governments respond to it has been debated from every disciplinary angle back and forth. What more has this volume to add? Moreover, why isn't people's poverty regarded reason enough to justify the book, but do we explicitly focus on the priorities of the poor in relation to the role of local governance? In this book we will argue that there is considerably more to learn beyond the ‘voices of the poor’ (Narayan 2000), by zooming in on the inter-play between characterizing ...

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