Sample Critical Reflection Paper on Governing development

In the article “Governing development: neoliberalism, microcredit and rational economic woman,” Rankin provides a feminine perspective on the use of microcredit programs as a strategy for alleviating poverty in the world. The author’s main thesis in the article is how microcredit emergence programs can be used as an alternative for eradicating poverty throughout the world. Additionally, the author uses a practical Nepal case study to analyze the impact of devolving rural fiscal lending from commercial banks to subsidized rural development banks and women-run microcredit on the economy of Nepal. The author evaluates the concept of microcredit in Nepal in the context of the deprived sector regulations established in 1970s Nepal. The microcredit model involves the devolution of lending from commercial banks to subsidized rural development banks with women borrowers becoming the target of an aggressive self-help approach to development (Rankin 19). Microcredit, as a fiscal governmental strategy, integrates the aspect of social citizenship and women’s needs in a way that is consistent with neoliberalism and sustainable development (Rankin 20). The author also looks at the progressive and regressive possibilities in the articulation of constructed subjectivities with local cultural ideologies and social processes.

The reading helped me understand the concept of social exclusion in the contemporary world and its influence on modern business and government and society. I learned that in every modern nation, there is a need for balancing the economic development of the state with the interests of the marginalized people in society, such as women. Besides, balancing interests of the economy and those of women’s needs can only be achieved through the participation of women in productive business activities. However, the interests of women, who are the most marginalized in the Third World countries, are challenged by limited access to productive activities, limited financial support, illiteracy, and unavailability of resources. Microfinance also poses an impediment to economic development thus has to be carefully monitored. However, the focus on women managed micro-finance institutions promotes social exclusion as men are secluded from the intricacies of the microfinance operations therefore, leading to poverty. therefore, while it is important to eliminate the marginalization of women, it should not be done at the expense of the men. I also learned that financial subjectivities, which is brought about by microfinance, may lead to individualization, which erodes the initial social relations and the bounds of the community while class differences lead to exploitation.

I think non-governmental institutions that provide microcredit often not keen on women’s empowerment due to external and internal factors. These factors include inadequate education of women, discrimination, lack of opportunity to be involved in productive activities, religious beliefs, and the restrictions of the society imposed to women. I also believe that the failure of non-governmental microcredit institutions leads to the misuse of the microcredit resources that then leads to increased poverty levels instead of eradicating poverty (Rankin, 35). Moreover, both governmental and non-governmental institutions that sponsor microcredit institutions should focus on ensuring that there is social inclusivity by also incorporating men in the operation and management of devolved microcredit institutions.


Microfinance is a viable way of empowering women and the poor mostly in developing countries by offering them cheap loans, which encourage them to engage in entrepreneurial activities. Developing regions like Africa and South Asia have benefited largely from microfinance institutions, which play a major role in the promotion of self-employment, economic rights and generation of income in rural areas.

Works Cited

Rankin, Katharine N. “Governing development: Neoliberalism, microcredit, and rational economic woman.” Economy and Society 30.1 (2001): 18-37.