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SCFS Research Seminar: A critical history of poverty finance

  • Wednesday, 11 January 2023, 12:00-1:00 pm (UK time)
  • Hybrid event: R1.15, Ramphal building and online on MS Teams
  • All Warwick staff, students, and alumni are welcome to attend.

Register for the event


Finance, mobile and digital technologies - or 'fintech' - are being heralded in the world of development by the likes of the IMF and World Bank as a silver bullet in the fight against poverty. But should we believe the hype?

In this seminar, Dr Nick Bernards will introduce his new book, A Critical History of Poverty Finance. The book demonstrates how newfangled 'digital financial inclusion' efforts suffer from the same essential flaws as earlier iterations of neoliberal 'financial inclusion'. Relying on artificially created markets that simply aren't there among the world's most disadvantaged economic actors, they also reinforce existing patterns of inequality and uneven development, many of which date back to the colonial era.

Bernards offers an astute analysis of the current fintech fad, contextualised through a detailed colonial history of development finance, that ultimately reveals the neoliberal vision of poverty alleviation for the pipe dream it is.


Dr Nick Bernards

Nick BernardsLink opens in a new window is Associate Professor of Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick. He is a political economist with research and teaching interests in the past and present intersections of labour, finance, and global governance. His work is historically-oriented, with an emphasis on how long-run legacies of colonialism have shaped the present context of sustainable development practice. He is the author of The Global Governance of Precarity: Primitive Accumulation and the Politics of Irregular Work (Routledge, 2018) and A Critical History of Poverty Finance (Pluto Press, 2022).


Register for the event

  • If you are a Warwick staff member or student, please fill in the form below to register for the event. If you would like to attend the event online (on Microsoft Teams), once you have registered for the event we will send you the link to join the event via email closer to the time.
  • If you are a Warwick graduate, please email Feng dot Mao at warwick dot ac dot uk to register for this event.

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