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Community Economies in the Global South

Community Economies in the Global South (Caroline Shenaz Hossein and Christabell P.J., eds., Oxford University Press) examines how people who conscientiously organize rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs) bring positive changes to their own lives as well as others. ROSCAs are a long-established and well documented practice, especially those organized by women of colour. Members make regular deposits to a fund as a savings that is then given in whole or in part to each member in turn based on group economics.

This book spotlights women in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia who organize and use these associations, composed of ordinary people belonging to similar class origins who decide jointly on the rules to suit the interests of their members. The case studies show how they vary greatly across countries in the Global South, demonstrating that ROSCAs are living proof that diverse community economies do exist and have been around for a very long time.

The contributors recount stories of the self-help, activism, and perseverance of racialized people in order to push for ethical, community-focused business, and to hold onto local knowledge, grounded theory, and lived experience, reducing the need to rely on external funding as people find ways to finance sustainable, debt-free business ventures.

The first collection on this topic edited by two women of colour with roots in the Global South, this volume is a rallying call to other scholar-activists to study and report on how racialized people come together, pool goods, and diversify business in the Global South.

About the editors

Caroline Shenaz Hossein is Associate Professor of Global Development and Political Science at the Department of Global Development Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough. She is the author of the award winning Politicized Microfinance: Money, Power, and Violence in the Black Americas (University of Toronto Press, 2016). She is the editor of The Black Social Economy: Exploring Community-Based Diverse Markets (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). She is the Founder of the Diverse Solidarity Economies Collective.

Christabell P.J. is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Kerala, India. She has held faculty positions at a number of institutions in India and at the University of Gondar, Ethiopia. She is the author of Women Empowerment Through Capacity Building: The Role of Micro-Finance (Concept, 2009) and Inclusive Growth Through Social Capital Formation: Is Microfinance an Effective Tool for Targeting Women? (Concept, 2016).

Book ‘Community Economies in the Global South’

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