Defining and identifying of poverty in advanced industrial societies involves an implicit argument that state policy should be developed to remove poverty or prevent it from occurring. The politics of poverty, therefore, is effectively the politics of antipoverty policy; and just as the politics of poverty can be traced back to the development of industrial society, so too can antipoverty policy. What such a historical review reveals is that throughout this period the major focus of antipoverty policy in Britain and all other industrial societies has been social security policy.
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