Redefining Poverty

School of International Affairs Lecture Series
Mar 24, 2016
11:15 AM to 12:30 PM
012 Katz

Dr. Lakshman Yapa, Penn State

Yapa Lakshman, professor in the Penn State Geography Department at the College of Earth and Mineral Science, will present on policy challenges in Policy as part of the Penn State School of International Affairs’ spring colloquium: Current Policy Challenges.

Lakshman’s current research project, Rethinking Urban Poverty in the United States, is an academic program that combines teaching, research, and service learning in West Philadelphia. He moves away from conventional economic and welfare approaches of poverty by defining it as a substantive question related to access—to transport, housing, nutrition, health-care, and so on. Lakshman’s research combines theories of economic development, postmodern discourse theory, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Despite the massive efforts at economic development, statistical evidence shows a troubling persistence of poverty and increasing inequality of income (both within and between nations). Reminiscent of a Kuhnian "crisis in the paradigm", development economists (and their principal Marxist critics) are not able to offer us a satisfactory explanation of the failure of development.

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