Financial Inclusion: A Tale of Two Literatures

Prabhakar, Rajiv (2019). Financial Inclusion: A Tale of Two Literatures. Social Policy and Society, 18(1) pp. 37–50.



Financial inclusion has arisen as an important social policy agenda over the past 20 years. A scholarly literature has emerged that is very critical of financial inclusion seeing it as part of the financialisation of the everyday. Often, this theoretical literature makes little reference to how financial inclusion was developing in practice. Conversely, much of the policy literature does not refer to theoretical controversies about financial inclusion. The result is that the theoretical and policy literatures are developing in isolation of one another. This article suggests that it would be much better if there were greater mixing between these different literatures. The scholarly literature can inform the direction of policy and the applied literature can develop more nuanced versions of financialisation.

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