Development Studies Association Conference

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConference participation


Paper: Financial(ised) Inclusion Abstract: Policy initiatives aimed at 'financial inclusion' have gathered pace since the global financial crisis of 2008. This paper traces a discursive shift that attributed market failures, not to poorly regulated financial markets and institutions, but to individual consumers, in particular poorer, 'risky' consumers whose behavioural traits can and should be 'nudged' in a more 'rational' direction (World Bank 2014, 2015).Behavioural economics, as interpreted by the World Bank and other donors, naturalises 'the market' while 'correcting' behavior of individuals so they can 'connect' to it. Efforts to extend financial inclusion to the 'unbanked' in the developing world exemplify this change of emphasis from 'making markets work for the poor' to governing market subjects. This paper examines the growing importance of digital-based financial inclusion as a form of organising international development interventions through networks of state institutions, development agencies and 'philanthropic investment' fintech companies. While such programmes are couched in terminology of including the (financially) excluded, poverty in the developing world is now cast as a new frontier for profit making and accumulation. The fintech-philanthropy-development (FPD) complex generates digital ecosystems that map, expand and monetise 'digital footprints'. This digital revolution offers the state new ways of expanding the inclusion of the 'legible', and global finance new ways of 'profiling' poor households into generators of financial assets.
Period12 Sept 201614 Sept 2016
Event typeConference
LocationOxford, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • financialisation
  • ICT
  • financial inclusion
  • behavioural economics
  • governmentality