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Rankin_Governing Dev

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This article was downloaded by:[University of Toronto] [University of Toronto] On: 22 February 2007 Access Details: [subscription number 769797755] Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Economy and Society Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713685159 Governing development: neoliberalism, microcredit, and rational economic woman Katharine N. Rankin To link to this article: DOI: 10.1080/03085140020019070 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03085140020019070 Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.informaworld.com/terms-and-conditions-of-access.pdf This article maybe used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material. © Taylor and Francis 2007
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Downloaded By: [University of Toronto] At: 17:53 22 February 2007 Governing development: neoliberalism, microcredit, and rational economic woman Katharine N. Rankin Abstract This paper addresses the emergence of microcredit programmes as a preferred strat- egy for poverty alleviation world-wide. Taking the paradigmatic case of Nepal, it engages a genealogical approach to trace how Nepalese planners’ enduring concerns about rural development intersect in surprising (and gendered) ways with donors’ present focus on deepening nancial markets. In the resulting microcredit model, the onus for rural lending is devolved from commercial banks to subsidized ‘rural development banks’ and women borrowers become the target of an aggressive ‘self- help’ approach to development. As a governmental strategy, microcredit thus consti- tutes social citizenship and women’s needs in a manner consistent with neoliberalism. Drawing on ethnographic research, the paper also considers the progressive and regressive possibilities in the articulation of such constructed subjectivities with local cultural ideologies and social processes. Such an investigation can in turn provide a foundation for articulating a more normative agenda for development studies – grounded in the perspectives of those in subordinate social locations.
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