Politics & Finance Seminar with Phil Mader (28 January)

The research group “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance” continues its seminar series at InIIS on January 28. We will discuss the topic “Financial Inclusion or the Financialization of the poor?” (see below) with Dr. Phil Mader, research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS)  at the University of Sussex in Brighton (UK). Phil is author of the book “The Political Economy of Microfinance” that will be dicussed at the Historical International Political Sociology (HIPS) Colloquium on Wednesday, 27 January at InIIS (6-8pm room 2020). At both events, students, BIGSSS fellows and other interested academics are highly welcome.


Financial Inclusion or a deeper Financialisation of Poverty?
Critically exploring the contours and assumptions of a growing policy space

The financial inclusion of poor and low-income populations, particularly women, features high on mainstream development agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals. This paper discusses work in progress to ask: what techniques and technologies are employed in financial inclusion? In what relationship to older practices (e.g. microfinance) does financial inclusion stand? And what effects can we expect? Financial inclusion builds upon novel assumptions about the power of finance, in particular that (1) there is a causal relationship from financial access to development and broader benefits, (2) the extension of finance is directly beneficial to the poor, and (3) there is an untapped business opportunity in providing comprehensive financial services to the poor. Studying power relations, surplus extraction, the enclosure of commons, and the proliferation of crises, as in microfinance, provides some answers. But we also need a deeper understanding of how financial inclusion brings new groups of actors (such as global financial companies) into connection with poor people and directs new technologies (such as financial literacy training) at the poor.

Politics & Finance Seminar (No 3)

“Financial Inclusion or the Financialization of the poor?”
Dr. Phil Mader, Brighton
Thursday, 28 January 2016
10-12, InIIS, room 2020
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7, 28359 Bremen

Please contact smoeller@uni-bremen.de if you have any questions
or want to attend the event.