Digital financial technologies have been acclaimed as instruments to facilitate the movement of money within and across countries, contributing to financial stability, economic growth and the achievement of social goals. This presentation examines the institutional arrangements underpinning the distributive dynamics of digital financial platforms used for social welfare projects in Kenya and Brazil.
Kenya’s celebrated mobile money project, M-Pesa, is considered one of the most successful digital financial projects to date and its platform has been used for various private/public welfare initiatives including basic income pilots; Brazil relies on well-established correspondent banking networks and community finance initiatives, and following the Kenyan experience has developed mobile phone-enabled projects to facilitate the distribution of social funds such as Bolsa Família benefits.
The comparison between these two countries provides insights on global dynamics of digital welfare projects, the gains, limits and potentials of digital financial technologies, as well as the role of regulation in shaping practices of resource distribution. Selena argues that while these projects focus on the local, it is too often ignored how they are embedded in global institutional and political economic dynamics that necessarily affect their impact on more marginalised groups.
This is the first webinar in the Digital Regulatory Welfare State series.
About the Speaker
is Assistant Professor at Warwick Law School, University of Warwick. Serena’s research interests lie in the areas of gender studies, law and development, global political economy, finance and digital technologies. Serena’s recent book, The Exclusionary Politics of Digital Financial Inclusion: Mobile Money, Gendered Walls (Routledge, 2020), provides a socio-legal critique of the narratives, institutions and governance of digital financial inclusion as a development strategy for gender equality, arguing for a decolonial politics of redistribution to guide future digital financial projects.
This event will be delivered online via Zoom. Please register here.