Performativity and the Politics of Equipping for Calculation: Constructing a Global Market for Microfinance

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    This article argues that the concept of performativity deepens our understanding of contemporary, expertise-driven processes of global economic governance. Tracing the World Bank's role in constructing a global market for microfinance, the paper suggests that the World Bank was instrumental in translating selected parts of economic models into practice, thereby changing microfinance practices globally. Socio-technical networks centered on the World Bank were created to equip actors to become part of a global market, which incorporated not only donors but also commercial investors. The paper makes a critical intervention in the performativity literature by arguing for the need to take positional power and dominance in the socio-technical networks of International Organizations more seriously. This move improves our ability to specify how economic ideas and models are translated into practice in transnational arenas.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Political Sociology
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)406-425
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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