King's College London

Research portal

The Developing World’s ‘New Middle Classes’: Implications for Political Research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Andrew Sumner, Frank-Borge Wietzke

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
JournalPERSPECTIVES ON POLITICS
Volume16
Issue number1
Early online date7 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Documents

King's Authors

Abstract

Rapid middle income growth over the past decades has led to increasing public interest in the developing world’s ‘new middle classes’. However, these transformations have received less attention in the comparative democratization and welfare state regime literature. This review article aims to fill this gap, by identifying emerging evidence and new directions for research about the social and political consequences of lower middle income growth. We note that, while socio-cultural and political transformations traditionally associated with expanding middle classes are unlikely to materialize at current levels of socio-economic wellbeing in most developing countries, new pressures for reform may arise out of demands to better protect modest increases in private assets and from improved educational outcomes among lower middle income groups. We also identify signs of increased distributional conflicts between economically vulnerable lower middle income groups and more affluent middle classes that may undermine the transition to stable democracy and more inclusive social policy systems.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454