Global Poverty- Realism, Liberalism, Marxism, and Constructivism
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Global Poverty- Realism, Liberalism, Marxism, and Constructivism

Global poverty is taking its severe shape because of the lack of sustainability between masses and state at social, economic, and political level. This generated several theories, including realism, liberalism, Marxism, and constructivism, from philosophers in different eras,

Global poverty is taking its severe shape because of the lack of sustainability between masses and state at social, economic, and political level. This generated several theories, including realism, liberalism, Marxism, and constructivism, from philosophers in different eras,

Both realism and liberalism are defined from various perspectives. According to Pam Morris, realism is associated with harsh and sordid aspects of man’s life and his existence (pp.3, 2003). The term originated from Europe in mid-eighteenth century when rest of the world was proceeding towards the edge of technological advancement and the industrialization was becoming in vogue (Gunderson, pp.8, 2008). This industrial approach was good only for aristocrats because the middle and lower class were facing severe poverty and hunger issues. The term “realism” was used originally to shake these people from their complacency and motivate them for self-independence but eventually in the context of global poverty.

On the other hand, liberalism was defined from the perspective of government constitution and parliament, individual economy and discrimination between political and religious monarch in the nineteenth century (Gould, pp.3, 1999). In the Victorian age, this liberalism theory was aimed to emphasize on domestic employment to kill the poverty issue (Ruggie, pp.231, 2008). But after World War II, this term was described in the context of political, governmental and social context to kill poverty issues in the US, the UK and the rest of the world (Rawls, 2005).

Among the major philosophers who contributed to the analysis of global poverty is Karl Marx, whose theory was based on humanitarian spirit and was used for global poverty reduction since 1789. If the analysis of Marxism is done from the perspective of global poverty, it would appear as a revolutionary theory since Karl Marx was one of the revolutionaries who bring the idea of social equality when the social discrimination between rich and poor were at its apex. The ideology of Karl Marx, which emphasized social equality, brought French Revolution in 1789 when the tyrant feudal class was abandoned and killed by revolutionaries (D'Amato, pp.13, 2006).

As for the modern social theory, constructivism serves as the foundation. Generally referred as the theory that discusses the interaction between man’s experience and his ideology, constructivism purports the reciprocal nature of ideas and interests (Chong, pp.21, 2010). Basically, this theory delineates the scenario of state’s ideology and interests and constructivists’ conduct towards the state.

To alleviate global poverty, various reformations on the global trade regime are necessary (Gismondi, pp.196, 2007). Analyzing the basic theories on global poverty provides a realistic approach of human beings that would lead the world towards poverty reduction. While realism, liberalism, and constructivism present indispensable perspectives on the analysis of global poverty, what appears to be the strongest solution to the problem is Marxism. Dubbed as another name of Catholicism which presents the human beings as united and preaches brotherhood (Lawson, George, 1980, pp.164 ), Marxism refuses to blame the poor individual for being poor (Stearling, 2003). Since global poverty is a social issue that affects the world as a whole as the very term implies, the solutions must then focus on the global society rather than on the individual. Fixing the social structure can solve the global poverty issue once and for all while trying to scrutinize the individual lives of the members of such a vast society may take a very long time.


Chong, D. P., 2010. Freedom from poverty: NGOs and human rights praxis. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

D'Amato, P., 2006. The meaning of Marxism. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Grabowski, B. L. and Lehman, E. R., 1995. Constructivism: its foundations and applications : a selected bibliography. Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Educational Technology

Gould, A., 1999. Origins of liberal dominance: state, church, and party in nineteenth-century Europe. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Gunderson, J., 2008. Realism. Mankato, Minn: The Creative Company.

Lawson, R. and George, V., 1980. Poverty and inequality in Common Market countries. London ; Boston : Routledge & Kegan Paul,.

Morris, P., 2003. Realism. London ; New York: Routledge..

Rawls, R., 2005. Political liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Ruggie, J. G., 2008. Embedding global markets: an enduring challenge. Aldershot : Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Stearling, S. ,2003. Marx's theory of economic crisis. International Socialist Review

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