The case for cross-disciplinary social science research on poverty, inequality and well-being

  • Hulme D
  • Toye J
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Arguments for cross-disciplinary research in development studies have been applied recently to work on poverty, inequality and well-being. However, much research on these issues remains fragmented and, in particular, the intellectual barrier between economics and the other social science subjects continues to be powerful. In this paper, we review the prospects for crossdisciplinary research (both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary); and, examine the ways in which forms of being ‘disciplined’, and the linkages between disciplines and professions, constrains such research. We also introduce the papers in this collection and explain their relationship to the quest for cross-disciplinary research on poverty issues. Our conclusion is that cross-discipline working should be promoted and that both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches can benefit research on poverty and well-being, provided that their specific merits and demerits are evaluated in relation to the research task in hand.

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  • David Hulme

  • John Toye

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