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Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology

Managing Editor: Luisa Steur, University of Amsterdam

Deputy Managing Editor: Alina-Sandra Cucu, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

Editor-at-large: Don Kalb, Central European University and Utrecht University

Editoral Collective: 
Charlotte Bruckerman, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle
Zoltán Glück, City University of New York (CUNY)
Dimitra Kofti, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle
Christopher Krupa, University of Toronto
Manissa M. Maharawal, City University of New York (CUNY)
Elisabeth Schober, University of Oslo
Steve Stiffler, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Joe Trapido, Birkbeck College, London
Theodorra Vetta, University of Barcelona
Oane Visser, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague

Volume 2016, 3 issues per volume (spring, summer, winter)

Subjects: Anthropology

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Development research: convergent or divergent approaches and understandings of poverty? An introduction

John R. Campbell and Jeremy Holland


Is it possible or indeed desirable to combine qualitative, participatory and quantitative research methods and approaches to better understand poverty? This special section of Focaal seeks to explore a number of contentious, inter-related issues that arise from multimethod research that is driven by growing international policy concerns to reduce global poverty. We seek to initiate an interdisciplinary dialog about the limits of methodological integration by examining existing research practice to better understand the strengths and limitations of combining methods which derive from different epistemological premises. We ask how methods might be combined to better address issues of causality, and whether the concept of triangulation offers a possible way forward. In examining existing research we find little in the way of shared understanding about poverty and, due to the dominance of econometrics and its insistence on using household surveys, very little middle ground where other disciplines might collaborate to rethink key conceptual and methodological issues.