Anti-poverty politics in Toronto and Mexico City
Geoforum , Volume 41 - Issue 2 p. 209- 217
In recent years, governments at different scales in both North and South have been experimenting with alternative methods of alleviating poverty, and redesigning social welfare regimes. While these changes are not entirely congruent across regimes in North and South, there are interesting points of overlap and intersection. The article lays out three broad alternatives to “roll-back” neoliberalism: intrusive liberalism; inclusive liberalism, and a renewed version of social citizenship. It then lays out how these alternatives have played out in anti-poverty politics in Toronto and Mexico City, two sites where creative strategies contesting neoliberalism have been pursued. While both cities occupy a critical place within their respective political economies, they are not usually compared because of their very different positions in the North American division of labour. Yet, as we argue, they face similar challenges in the form of poverty reduction strategies at the national scale that are based on neoliberal principles that do little to meet the needs of their inhabitants. In response, both cities have provided a site for mobilising resources behind alternative anti-poverty policies, inspired by the principles of social citizenship.