Financialization and development policies: Critical perspectives on new financial circuits for international development projects
12-14 September 2018, Universität Hamburg, Germany
Conveners: Eve Chiapello (EHESS Paris) and Anita Engels (Universität Hamburg)
Organizing Team: Sara Aguiton (CNRS France), Stefan Aykut (Universität Hamburg), Philipp Golka (Universität Hamburg; Chair), Eduardo Gresse (Universität Hamburg), Isabelle Guerin (IRD, France), Océane Ronal (EHESS France).
On September 12-14, 2018, Hamburg University’s Centre for Globalisation and Governance (CGG) has held the conference „Financialization and development policies: Critical perspectives on new financial circuits for international development projects“ hosted by Prof. Dr. Ève Chiapello (EHESS Paris) and CGG director Prof. Dr. Anita Engels. At the conference, researchers from six continents were invited to discuss recent trends of development finance together with scholars and interested visitors from Hamburg and Paris. The conference has been organized as part of Prof. Chiapello’s Anneliese Maier Research Prize that has been awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a joint research project between EHESS Paris and the University of Hamburg.
The conference looked at the ways in which private financial actors and practices are enrolled and associated to the conception and implementation of policies for international development. This is a timely issue since the development landscape has recently seen a transformation in partaking actors and now encompass charitable foundations, multi-national corporations, and financial intermediaries, in addition to multilateral or bilateral public development banks and aid agencies. “Financing development“, in other words finding additional monetary resources, has now become an issue at the top of the agenda of multilateral development actors. Increasingly, these strive to commit private actors and to “lever in“ private money.
Against the backdrop of increasing plurality of relations, tools, actors, and practices in international development, the conference focused on the particular issue of financial circuits and their relation to development projects. Often, these circuits come with the emergence of new financial products, such as private equity financing linked to development banks, or other alternative financial instruments. In parallels, these circuits see the expansion of issues such as social enterprise, financial inclusion, microfinance, or mobile payment devices into the realm of development policy.
The conference aimed at assembling sociological, socio-historical and institutional analyses of these changes in the financing circuits and methods of international development aid over the last decades. A particular focus was put on empirical analyses of the changing role of financial actors, tools, innovations and practices in international development.