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BiGS Event: Book launch - Seduced and Betrayed: Exposing the Contemporary Microfinance Phenomenon

Starts 25 January 2018 - 18:00
Finishes 25 January 2018 - 20:00
Venue Birkbeck, University of London. Room B01, Clore Management Centre, London WC1E 7JL
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Event description

Book launch - Seduced and Betrayed: Exposing the Contemporary Microfinance Phenomenon, edited by Milford Bateman and Kate Maclean, published by SAR University of New Mexico Press, 2017

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Microfinance began as the disbursement of tiny loans to the poor, which they could use to undertake informal income-generating activities. It went on to become one of the most popular international development policies of all time and a mainstay of local development and antipoverty programs across the Global South. The contributors to this multidisciplinary volume consider the origins, evolution, and outcomes of microfinance from a variety of perspectives and contend that it has been an unsuccessful approach to development. The contributors contend that over the last twenty years, microfinance policies have exacerbated poverty and exclusion, undermined gender empowerment, underpinned a massive growth in inequality, destroyed solidarity and trust in the community, and, overall, manifestly weakened those local economies of the Global South where it reached critical mass. They use qualitative anthropological, economic, and political-economic research to unpack the ideas and values that have allowed microfinance to “seduce” the world and blind so many to its corrosive effects.

The book is based on a National Science Foundation funded weekend-seminar at the School of Advanced Research, UNM, Santa Fe New Mexico in 2012.  Participants and contributors include anthropologists Carla Freeman, Lamia Karim and Meena Khandelwal, economists Milford Bateman and Maren Duvendack, as well as scholars from development studies (Phil Mader, Kazia Paprocki, Kate Maclean) and practitioners (Jessica Gordon Nembhard, and Khadija Sharife).  The foreword is by James K Galbraith.  

BiGS provides a forum for innovative interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange in gender and sexuality studies. It brings together scholars working in the arts and humanities and the social sciences and encourages dialogue with practitioners in the creative industries as well as with non-academic constituencies.