Call for Papers: Scrutinizing Financial Inclusion (Deadline October 1st)

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Call for Papers: Scrutinizing Financial Inclusion (Deadline October 1st)

News posted in Economic Development, September 5th 2018

Inclusive or Exclusive Global Development? Scrutinizing Financial

Nov 21, 2018 | 11:30 – 17:00
York, United Kingdom | University of York


Deadline October 1st.

Microfinance and then financial inclusion have become buzzwords in
international development. Such initiatives have mobilised and generated
large amounts of development funding, despite substantial amount of
critique. Such critiques call for a more impartial assessment of the
effectiveness of financial inclusion on the grounds that funds for
microfinance, they argue, displaced development spendings on healthcare,
education or infrastructure. In addition, the focus on expansion of
financial markets to ‘bank’ and financially ‘include’ the poor may divert
attention from more comprehensive and effective poverty reduction
strategies. Critiques of this ‘way of doing development’ are often
sidelined and labelled as ‘extreme’, ‘sloppy’ or ideology-driven rather
than evidence-based. We believe that there is a need for contemporary
development scholars from all disciplines to engage in those debates. This
half-day workshop would bring in such scholars to discuss what we have
learned from a decade of research on the microfinance, and how financial
inclusion and the emergence of fintech may offer new opportunities – as
well as risks – in for inclusive global development.

Confirmed Speakers: Milford Bateman, Richard Kozul-Wright (UNCTAD),
Stephanie Blankenburg (UNCTAD), Kate Pickett (University of York), Lena
Rethel (University of Warwick)

In the wake of the release of the book The Rise and Fall of Global
Microcredit: Development, Debt and Disillusion
(edited by Milford Bateman, Richard Kozul-Wright, Stephanie Blankenburg),
we will scrutinize these questions through both in depth parallel sessions
and a roundtable with a variety of perspectives on the issue. The goal is
to bring scholars together from different disciplines and career stages to
inform each others thinking.

Breakout sessions: These 3 parallel sessions will be for early career
researcher presentations. The parallel sessions will be chaired by
Roundtable presenters, who will be tasked with bringing the discussion
emerging from the breakout sessions into the Roundtable discussion. The
themes of the parallel sessions are: 1) Unpacking financial inclusion as a
development tool, 2) Political Economy and Macroeconomic Implications of
Financial Inclusion, and 3) Alternatives to Financial Inclusion. See full
CfP here.

Roundtable: The Roundtable aims to bring people from different
perspectives together. Guiding questions for the Roundtable will be: What
is [truly] inclusive finance for development? How does fintech offer
opportunities for development? How does financialization offer
opportunities and challenges related to development? How can global
development institutions foster inclusive finance for development? What is
the appropriate role for academics in scrutinizing and promoting inclusive
development finance? Kate Pickett (University of York) will chair the

For the breakout sessions, we welcome papers focusing on, but not limited
to, the following themes and topics:

Theme 1: Unpacking digital utopianism and financial inclusion as
development tools

  • What is ‘financial inclusion’? How can or cannot financial inclusion
    serve inclusive development?
  • How does financial inclusion differ from micro-finance?
  • Digital utopianism, fintech, mobile money, and ‘banking’ the poor:
    Opportunities, trends, risks

Theme 2: Political Economy and Macroeconomic Implications of Financial

  • The role of micro-finance in financialization
  • Micro-credit, instability, systemic failure, crises
  • What is the connection between microfinance, entrepreneurs, and

Theme 3: Alternatives to Financial Inclusion

  • What are the alternatives to what is known as financial inclusion?
  • The role of community banks and development banks in fostering
    ‘financial inclusion’
  • Alternative theories of inclusive finance and alternative development

The sessions will be chaired by one early career researcher coupled with
one of the senior roundtable discussants who will offer reflections on the
papers and conclude the session.

Deadline: October 1st. Submissions should be no more than 700 words and
sent to [email protected] with the subject line
“Scrutinizing Financial Inclusion Submission”. Travel grants are available
for accepted applicants.

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