The most recent conversations about financial instability in International Political Economy have addressed the ongoing financial spasms of the past five years; a global financial spasm unleashed by the 2008 subprime debacle, ongoing Eurozone instability, and general price volatility in securities markets globally.
Alongside and as part of these broader spasms, however, has been another key trend—the intensifying reach of global financial markets into and among those populations which live at its very edges. There are increasing, and increasingly profitable, experiments which are explicitly targeted to those without regular access to full or formalized financial practices. This book places the practices of fringe finance in critical context by situating them within a larger set of discussions in the field. Most importantly, this book is part of a much broader attempt in IPE to rethread the study of finance to questions of cultural and social theory in a meaningful manner. Finance is increasingly subjected to innovative forms of social inquiry influenced by a range of diverse methods including governmentality, actor-network theory and cultural economy. By drawing on several strands of social theory, this book contributes to this broader movement in IPE and helps open more space for the continuation of these interdisciplinary conversations.
This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of IPE, development studies and economic sociology.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Finance at its Centre and its Edges, Part 1—Sites of Conversion Chapter 2. Mapping the Logics of Expansion: The Globalization of Payday Lending, Chapter 3. The Financialization of Micro-Credit, Chapter 4. Bodies at/of Risk: Micro-Insurance and the Vulnerable Life Course, Part 2—Fringe Finance as a Social Practice, Chapter 5. Making Regular: Fringe Lending as a Formal Practice, Chapter 6. From Inclusion to Adverse Incorporations, Chapter 7. Economies of Social Practice: Creating Alternative Circuits of Financial Incorporation
Rob Aitken is Associate Professor of International Relations and IPE at the University of Alberta, Canada.