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American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting 2019, Washington DC, 3-7 
April
 
Deadline for abstracts: 22 October 2018
 
Session Title: Finance for Development
 
Organizers: Ilias Alami (Maastricht University), Adam Dixon (Maastricht 
University), and Emma Mawdsley (Cambridge University).
 
The realm of international development is in a period of turbulent change. 
Neo-mercantilist and geopolitical considerations are being re-centered in donor 
strategies, in a context of a rapidly changing development landscape, and the 
partial fracturing of the North-South axis that historically framed mainstream 
development imaginaries and interventions. At the same time, a growing number 
of countries across the income spectrum have established state-sponsored 
strategic investment funds with a domestic development mandate to co-invest 
with private partners and other sovereign entities, bringing the tools of 
modern finance into contemporary industrial policy-making (e.g. India’s 
National Infrastructure Investment Fund’s USD 1 billion investment agreement 
with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority). Conventional development institutions 
have, for their part, re-centered private sector-led economic growth in their 
narratives, policies and partnerships, and signaled a move from ‘foreign aid’ 
to ‘development finance’. The growing buzz has been around drawing in vastly 
bigger financial resources by using overseas development assistance (ODA) to 
catalyze and leverage private sector investment on a massive scale. The 
financing slogan of the Sustainable Development Goals is ‘from billions to 
trillions’, and is predicated precisely on a world ‘beyond aid’. This deepening 
and expanding of finance and financial markets in the name of development 
entails partnerships with actors that were not traditionally involved in 
development finance, such as hedge funds, venture capital, investment banks, 
credit rating agencies, global accountancy firms, and financial intermediaries. 
These trends have occurred at the same time as incredible expansion in 
financial instruments, practices, and programs targeting individuals, 
households and small-and-medium enterprises across the Global South, and in the 
management of land, nature, infrastructure, land and energy.
 
This session offers a forum to present scholarship exploring the emerging 
geographies of finance and development that result from the messy articulation 
and tensions between these developments across, within, and beyond the Global 
South. In particular, we welcome contributions exploring:
 
·         The role of hybrid state-capital organizations (strategic investment 
funds, sovereign wealth funds, ‘marketized’ state-owned companies, development 
banks) in financing development.
 
·         The increasing role of private financial actors (such as hedge funds, 
venture capital, investment banks, credit rating agencies, global accountancy 
firms, financial intermediaries, etc.) in financing development.
 
·         The growing role of financial logics, practices, and instruments in 
development.
 
·         The protracted and contested re-purposing of ODA, the transformation 
of traditional DFIs, and new partnerships with private financial actors, and 
private development actors.
 
·         The discourses, narratives and rationales for the legitimation of 
finance in development: ‘patient capital’, blended finance, social impact, 
green bonds, etc. ‘doing well while doing good’
 
·         The role of aid and other forms of state support in the opening of 
new circuits of financial investments in emerging markets, frontier markets, 
and peripheral spaces of global finance, and in ‘de-risking’ private financial 
investment.
 
·         Tensions between national and geopolitical interests, and the 
expansion of finance and market development.
 
The organizers will also be inviting representatives from outside academia 
(e.g. think tanks; DFIs; financial services) as panel discussants who are 
engaged with financing for development.
 
Please submit paper abstracts (max. 250 words) to Ilias Alami 
(ilias.al...@maastrichtuniversity.nl) no later than 22 October 2018. Specific 
questions regarding the session can be addressed to any of the organizers.

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