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The Unexpected Consequences of Microfinance

Abstract : Drawing on several years of research in southern India, this paper argues that the consequences of microfinance are, above all, political in nature. At the macro level, microfinance in India is supported by public authorities for two main reasons: it promotes neoliberal principles and acts as a populist tool for political parties in power or seeking power. At a regional level, various political, religious, as well as community-based groups and associations can be seen exploiting microfinance to strengthen their hold over local populations. At the lowest micro-local level, that of the “beneficiaries,” microfinance plays a role in local political ambitions both for women and for the most marginalized groups such as the lowest castes. The betterment of women leaders, however, in no way helps to foster a collective mindset – it merely serves to consolidate local patterns of patronage and dependence.
Keywords : Microfinance
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03230516
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 8:37:48 AM
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Isabelle Guérin. The Unexpected Consequences of Microfinance. Travail, genre et sociétés, L'Harmattan/La découverte, 2011, 25 (1), pp.61-79. ⟨hal-03230516⟩

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