The geographies of social finance: Poverty regulation through the ‘invisible heart’ of markets

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The global financial and anti-poverty industries are embracing an investment philosophy called social finance, which claims that private profit-making can create positive benefits for society. Attempting to resolve the problems of capitalism from within the system, social finance reframes finance as a force for engendering, rather than disrupting, the public good. This article argues that social finance raises theoretical concerns for geographical research on finance, poverty, and neoliberalizing capitalism. I outline a typology of social finance’s forms and propose a geographical research agenda, arguing that social finance practitioners’ simplistic framings of geography belie many other geographies that constitute what is both an emerging financial marketplace and a logic of poverty regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-162
Number of pages22
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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