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Microfinance, The Internet and Political Development in the Developing World: An Analysis of Microfinance Institutions, the Rise of Internet Technology and the Impact of Both on Political Development

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Abstract:

Microfinance has emerged as a successful international development policy over the past 30 years. One primary reason for this is its ability to sidestep prevalent corruption in developing world state governments. In this analysis, I step outside traditional measurement of success for microfinance, which focuses on its impact on economic development, and instead investigate the political ramifications of microfinance. I analyze emerging trends in microfinance: (1) the emergence of the Internet as a new funding and global networking paradigm; (2) a shift towards for-profit microfinance institutions; (3) the rise of individualized, rather than group microfinance lending. I argue that microfinance institutions influence social capital, political empowerment and thus democratization. This research contributes a new way of conceptualizing microfinance institutions in their influence on political development. It also investigates seven prominent microfinance institutions in a case study analysis: non-profits Kiva, Global Giving, Calvert Organization and MicroCredit Enterprises and for-profits MicroPlace, Micro Vest, Oikocredit. My preliminary findings indicate that as a development policy, different types of microfinance have unique characteristics that can influence political development. It is important for policy makers and theorists alike to understand how and why microfinance can be beneficial for political development, particularly in the developing world, where social capital, political empowerment and democracy, has had intermittent success.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

microfin (174), develop (152), democraci (120), polit (114), democrat (99), econom (83), institut (81), profit (70), capit (62), 2 (61), social (59), impact (59), studi (54), world (48), 2008 (47), 1 (45), 2010 (42), barri (42), jack (42), page (41), 2/10/2010 (41),

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Microfinance, Internet, Technology, Political Development, Democracy, Social Capital
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Name: Theory vs. Policy? Connecting Scholars and Practitioners
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http://www.isanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Barry, Jack. "Microfinance, The Internet and Political Development in the Developing World: An Analysis of Microfinance Institutions, the Rise of Internet Technology and the Impact of Both on Political Development" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Theory vs. Policy? Connecting Scholars and Practitioners, New Orleans Hilton Riverside Hotel, The Loews New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA, Feb 17, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p416167_index.html>

APA Citation:

Barry, J. , 2010-02-17 "Microfinance, The Internet and Political Development in the Developing World: An Analysis of Microfinance Institutions, the Rise of Internet Technology and the Impact of Both on Political Development" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Theory vs. Policy? Connecting Scholars and Practitioners, New Orleans Hilton Riverside Hotel, The Loews New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA Online <PDF>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p416167_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Microfinance has emerged as a successful international development policy over the past 30 years. One primary reason for this is its ability to sidestep prevalent corruption in developing world state governments. In this analysis, I step outside traditional measurement of success for microfinance, which focuses on its impact on economic development, and instead investigate the political ramifications of microfinance. I analyze emerging trends in microfinance: (1) the emergence of the Internet as a new funding and global networking paradigm; (2) a shift towards for-profit microfinance institutions; (3) the rise of individualized, rather than group microfinance lending. I argue that microfinance institutions influence social capital, political empowerment and thus democratization. This research contributes a new way of conceptualizing microfinance institutions in their influence on political development. It also investigates seven prominent microfinance institutions in a case study analysis: non-profits Kiva, Global Giving, Calvert Organization and MicroCredit Enterprises and for-profits MicroPlace, Micro Vest, Oikocredit. My preliminary findings indicate that as a development policy, different types of microfinance have unique characteristics that can influence political development. It is important for policy makers and theorists alike to understand how and why microfinance can be beneficial for political development, particularly in the developing world, where social capital, political empowerment and democracy, has had intermittent success.


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