Edited by Tom Sorell, University of Warwick and Luis Cabrera, Griffith University, Queensland

  • PUBLISHED BY: Cambridge University Press
  • DATE PUBLISHED: August 2015
  • FORMAT: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781107110977

Microfinance – the practice of providing small loans to promote entrepreneurial activity among those with few financial assets – is increasingly seen as a sustainable means of aiding the global poor. Perhaps its most influential advocate, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, has claimed that there is a human right to microfinance, given its potential for poverty alleviation. This book directs critical philosophical attention at this very widely used and praised poverty-reducing measure. In chapters that discuss microfinance schemes and models around the world, internationally renowned contributors address important questions about both the positive impact of microfinance and cases of exploitation and repayment pressure. Exploring how far microfinance can or should be situated within broader concerns about justice, this volume sheds light on ethical issues that have so far received little systematic attention, and it advances discussion on new human rights, exploitation, and global justice.

  • Focuses on ethical issues arising in microfinance and will appeal to readers across the spectrum of development studies and ethical theory
  • Advances the increasingly integral debate about the creation of ‘new human rights’
  • Presents leading-edge thinking on what constitutes exploitation in the microfinance context

Tom Sorell, University of Warwick
Tom Sorell is Professor of Politics and Philosophy and Head of the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Warwick University. He is an RCUK Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellow (2013–16), and previously he was John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, University of Birmingham. He directs the major UK Arts and Humanities Research Council project, FinCris, and he led the AHRC-funded Research Network in Microfinance. He has published widely in moral and political philosophy. His most recent monograph is Emergencies and Politics: A Sober Hobbesian Approach (Cambridge, 2013).

Luis Cabrera, Griffith University, Queensland
Luis Cabrera is Associate Professor in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. He has published widely on global poverty, individual rights and justice across national boundaries, besides serving as a co-principal investigator on British Council and other grants to develop global justice networks and initiatives internationally. His most recent monograph is The Practice of Global Citizenship (Cambridge, 2010).


Tom Sorell, John Gershman, Jonathan Morduch, Kimberly Brownlee, Zofia Stemplowska, Daniel Butt, Miriam Ronzoni, Laura Valentini, Lesley Sherratt, Joakim Sandberg, Ana Marr, Mark Hannam