chapter  8
Global governance and poverty reduction: the case of microcredit
ByHELOISE WEBER
Pages 20

At the dawn of the twenty-first century the material polarisation of global society is clearly evident. This situation has been aptly described by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as a ‘crisis of global poverty’.1 Key global institutions have begun to respond to this: in the context of their enhanced efforts to co-ordinate policy for poverty reduction, microcredit has become one of the key targeted institutional responses. However, contrary to popular images of the poverty impact of microcredit, research has shown the adverse social implications for many of the targeted recipients. An understanding of the political-economic embeddedness of microcredit in the context of globalisation offers crucial insights in terms of accounting for this discrepancy. I argue that the global institutional appropriation of microcredit is motivated primarily by its capacity to both facilitate globalisation as well as extend the global governance agenda-in terms of disciplinary neoliberalism-to the level of local communities.