Social investment innovation and the 'social turn' of neoliberal finance

Harvie, David, Lightfoot, Geoffrey, Lilley, Simon and Weir, Kenneth (2021) Social investment innovation and the 'social turn' of neoliberal finance. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 79 (102248). ISSN 1045-2354

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpa.2020.102248

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The social turn in finance has brought with it a raft of innovations in finance and investment. For some this is a positive development that positions finance as a means for achieving positive social change. However, the notion that such innovation offers a softer or more benign finance is debated. In this paper we examine one recent innovation, social impact bonds (SIBs), and through a case study, we evaluate policy documents, press releases, interim reports and interviews with 4 key stakeholders in a recent UK SIB. In doing so, we contend that the case SIB embedded modalities of neoliberal governance further into contemporary social care and social relations. We argue that social investment is thus based around a model of inclusive neoliberalism and that the apparent innovations in social investment further embed finance and extractive logic deeper into social life. We conclude by suggesting that the practise of social investment will do nothing to resolve the social problems that they are designed to tackle.

Keywords:Finance, Neoliberalism, Social Impact Bonds, Social Investment
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:46995
Deposited On:16 Dec 2021 10:24

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