Inancial Inclusion As a Basic Human Right? Reframing Inequalities in > the > South

Friday, July 18, 2014: 5:30 PM
Room: F204
Oral Presentation
Lena LAVINAS , Institute of Economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A new wave of commodification “all the way down” (Fraser 2012) is taking shape as a paradigm to enhance basic protection through market provision in the developing world. A shift from principles of equal citizens to equal consumers and from risk-sharing to individual risk-taking strengthens private insurance schemes and other financial products and services in detriment of public and universal provision of decommodified goods and services. As a result, inequalities between Western countries and the rest of the world may widen. Worse, some (Schiller) even state that ``we need to reframe the wording of `universal human rights` (...) in more basic terms`` (2012:150) to connect all people to finance.

This presentation will compare the extent to which incomplete social protection schemes are being replaced by the provision of minimum income transfers and some basic services for the needy through the social protection floor (ILO 2012) and the basic universalism framework (Huber and Stephens 2012) along with a process of “bankcarization“ of the poor and the vulnerable. We argue that preventing market failures instead of promoting equality of opportunities and further public redistributive mechanisms to make market societies more homogeneous reflects strategies to enhance privatization and capital markets whose deployment has been long constraint by domestic market restrictions in the developing world. This trend is likely to reinforce duality and polarity and undermine strategies to achieve broader equality between developed and developing nations, between the wealthy and the excluded. The North-South divide will deepen. We will examine how these conceptual frameworks have emerged in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis; we will scrutinize the profile of the public provision of welfare in some developing countries, through an overview of social spending (public and private).