The polyscopic landscape of povert research. "State of the art" in International Poverty Research. An overview and 6 in-depth studies.
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- Department of Sociology 
In August 2004 the Research Council of Norway announced tenders for a “State-of-the-art”report within international poverty research, with special focus on institutions and rights. TheResearch Council wanted the report to give an overview over what is the present state ofknowledge in the field, indicate where the frontiers of research are, identify what the mostpressing needs for new knowledge are, and suggest how Norwegian expertise can contributeto poverty research in the South. The size of the report is limited to 100 pages.The Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) was successful with itstender. The contract (Project No. 168080/S30) with the Research Council was signed by bothparties during the second half of October 2004, and the contract period was set to 4 months.The final report was to be delivered 1.05.2005 at the latest.The project description provided by CROP for the tender competition takes as itsstarting point that, within the framework of such a report, it is at present not possible to givemore than a limited overview of the frontiers of international poverty research. Povertyresearch comprises a vast area of different scientific disciplines and interdisciplinaryapproaches, within clearly opposing paradigms. No common platform has been establishedfor the scientific evaluation of the field in general, and the validity of presented researchresults is often difficult to judge as some of the research is mixed with political interestsand/or particular moral values.In this situation CROPs proposal was to use its own knowledge base to1) give an overview of where a selection of major approaches to poverty research arepresently located in the field of international science and present some of thecurrent paradigmatic approaches, and2) single out five topics for in-depth case studies to present frontiers of researchwithin different areas of international poverty research and define new questions tobe explored, and3) use this material to say something about what are the most pressing needs for newknowledge in international poverty research and how this may be reflected infuture studies in the South.The project is designed to meet the requirements of the Research Council which is tofocus on institutions and rights and contribute to knowledge development of specialimportance for poverty reduction and national welfare strategies in the South.CROP hereby presents the Report from the project. It has been developed in close cooperationwith scholars in the South and other members of the CROP international network ofpoverty researchers, see Appendix B. Very special thanks go to the main collaborators whohave taken charge of the case studies. The results of their work appear in chapters IV-IX.CROP, however, bears the sole responsibility for the contents of the Report.