MAKING POVERTY INTO A FINANCIAL PROBLEM: FROM GLOBAL POVERTY LINES TO KIVA.ORG

Authors

  • Anke F. Schwittay

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Development Studies, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
    • Correspondence to: Anke F. Schwittay, Centre for Development Studies, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.

      E-mail: a.schwittay@auckland.ac.nz

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Abstract

This paper presents the financialization of poverty as a conceptual addition to the literature on microfinance. It argues that for microfinance to be seen as a solution to poverty alleviation, poverty has been made into a financial problem. This is exemplified by the World Bank's global poverty line and leads to the constitution of poor people as financial subjects. In addition, thinking of poverty in financial terms enables Northern publics’ engagement with poverty. Recent initiatives like Live Below the Line and Kiva.org are presented as examples of how poverty is made manageable for Northern supporters of microfinance. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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