Jack Barry, a PhD candidate in POLS, will be publishing his article entitled “Microfinance, the Market and Political Development in the Internet Age” in Third World Quarterly, 33:1, pages 125-141, (available online December 13, 2011 as the lead article in the Financing Out of Poverty section of the issue).
In Barry’s article, he steps outside traditional economic analysis of microfinance, instead investigating the political ramifications of micro finance in developing countries. He examines three emerging trends in microfinance: new technology; the rise of for-profit microfinance institutions; and the increase in individual, rather than group microfinance lending. In exploring these trends, he analyzes seven prominent institutions: non-profits Kiva, Global Giving, Calvert Organization and MicroCredit Enterprises; and for-profits MicroPlace, MicroVest, and Oikocredit. His findings indicate that different types of microfinance institutions have unique characteristics that affect democratization, social capital, and economic and political empowerment.