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Photo: David Ausserhofer

Dr. Philip Mader
Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies
University of Sussex, Brighton


Blog: http://governancexborders.com/ (co-editor)

The Political Economy of Microfinance: Financializing Poverty. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Financialising Poverty Cover

This book helps to understand the enigmatic microfinance sector by tracing its evolution and asking how it works as a financial system. Our present capitalism is a financialized capitalism, and microfinance is its response to poverty. Microfinance has broad-ranging effects, reaching hundreds of millions of people and generating substantial revenues. Although systemic flaws have become obvious, most strikingly with the 2010 Indian crisis that was marked by overindebtedness, suicides and violence, the industry’s expansion continues unabated. As Philip Mader argues, microfinance heralds less the end of poverty than new, more financialized forms of poverty. While microfinance promises to empower, it generates discipline and extracts substantial resources from the poor, producing new crises and new forms of dispossession.

Read excerpts here: http://governancexborders.com/tag/the-political-economy-of-microfinance-financializing-poverty/

“Microfinance is financialization dressed up as charity: a pathway for global finance to penetrate the capitalist periphery. In this richly documented book, Mader dispels the myth that debt can move the poor out of poverty. Far from an economics of liberation, microfinance is part of a politics of repression: it extracts more wealth than it creates, and reinforces economic dependence.” – Wolfgang Streeck



Mader, P.: Microfinance and Financial Inclusion. Chapter in the Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Poverty. Edited by David Brady & Linda M. Burton. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016.

(→ pre-edit version)

Mader, P.: Questioning Three Fundamental Assumptions in Financial Inclusion. IDS Evidence Report 176, February 2016.

Mader, P./Sabrow, S.: All Myth and Ceremony? Examining the Causes and Logic of the Mission Shift in Microfinance from Microenterprise Credit to Financial Inclusion. Forum for Social Economics, online-first publication July 2015. DOI: 10.1080/07360932.2015.1056204.


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