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Blowfield, Mick and Dolan, Catherine (2014) 'Business as a development agent: Evidence of possibility and improbability.' Third World Quarterly, 35 (1). pp. 22-42.

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Abstract

An emphasis on making markets work for the poor has thrust companies into the role of ‘development agents’ – organisations that consciously seek to deliver outcomes that contribute to international development goals. This paper examines what business as a development agent means in terms of the promise, the conceptualisation and the developmental outcomes of several initiatives engaged in ‘bottom billion capitalism’. It argues that, while these initiatives are hailed as a solution for poverty, the benefits of such engagement must be weighed against other factors, including exclusion, the emphasis on capital assets and the reinterpretation of positive outcomes. The paper presents an alternative model of business as a development agent that better meets the criteria for a genuine development actor.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Published as part of a special issue on ‘New Actors and Alliances in Development’
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 01436597
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2013.868982
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2015 11:13
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/19417

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