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Managing poverty, managing dissent: homeless politics and collective action in London

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This paper explores the relationship between strategies to manage poverty and the mobilisation of collective action. Focusing on the period 1979–93, the paper describes how the British Conservative government employed a combination of supportive and punitive interventions to manage homelessness in London. In the process, the paper finds, the government also effectively managed the mobilisation of collective dissent by containing the disruptive effects of visible homelessness while channelling opposition into conventional routes of political power. The paper integrates recent research on poverty management with insights from social movement theory, and explores the implications of these findings for contemporary homeless politics.
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Keywords: COLLECTIVE ACTION; HOMELESSNESS; LONDON; POVERTY MANAGEMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 July 2014

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