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Range of Outcomes

  • In highly socially stratified societies like the state of Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, collective action and belonging to networks has a significant and negative impact on own mobility. In both states, poor people know each other and join and bond together to take action. But this mostly remains a coping strategy, not resulting in mobility, as they remain excluded from the more prosperous. This is because deep social divisions dampen collective action that cuts or bridges across social groups. In other words, it dampens bridging social capital.
  • The United Kingdom
has witnessed violent and bitter ethno-political conflict for many years. Its population is divided into two major sects of Christianity:-
  • 53 per cent are Protestants
  • 44 per cent are Roman Catholics

The Catholics were represented by Nationalist parties who demanded that Northern Ireland be unified with the Republic of Ireland. The Protestants were represented by Unionists who wanted to remain with the UK, which is predominantly protestant. In 1998, that the UK government and the Nationalists reached a peace treaty.

United Kingdom

  • In Yugoslavia, the story did not have a happy end. Political competition along religious and ethnic lines led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia into six independent countries.

Disintegration of Yugoslavia

In Bangladesh as well, known for its strong NGO movement, the relationship between MOP and propensity toward collective action and belonging to networks is negatively significant. This is due to the fact that NGOs usually go to poor communities and work with poor people, using mobilization as strategy to build their confidence and organisation. This pays off over time but not immediately. It is important not to decide that collective action and organisations are unimportant. Only if their organisations grow or other interventions change the local power dynamics, does the pay off from mobilizing the poor become evident in higher incomes.


Economic opportunity is mediated by social relations and consolidated through political relations. Policy makers must factor this so that economic policies have the desired effects and move large numbers of people out of poverty. In most socially unequal societies, this means that the socially dominant are also wealthier and control politics. Hence attempts to reach the poor have to be filtered through this lens of social and political power and control. Social inequality weakens over time through collective action and organisation, but this is a long term and slow process.

People from one community tend to prefer some party more than others. In many countries there are parties that focus only on one community. Yet all this does not lead to disintegration of the country.

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