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Building Financial Resilience: Migrant Economies of Charitable Giving

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Al JamesORCiD, Professor Jane Pollard



This is the final published version of a working paper that has been published in its final definitive form by FinGeo, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The ‘global’ economic downturn and subsequent phase of austerity haveprompted an ongoing search for ‘alternative’, more sustainable models ofresilient and redistributive growth. Yet the geographical scope of that search –commonly centred on Anglo-American models of best practice - remainslimited in the face of a ‘cosmopolitan’ diversity of financial practice. This paperidentifies important possibilities for advancing economic theories of resiliencethrough new cross-disciplinary engagements with resilience research ‘byanother name’ in development studies. These ideas are developed through anempirical analysis of faith-based charitable giving amongst the Somali migrantcommunity in London, for whom Islam forms a major defining element of theiridentity and is difficult to disentangle from Somali culture. Our analysischallenges internalist conceptions of economic resilience vis-à-vis a diversityof translocal resilience practices of economic provisioning, resourceredistribution, grassroots giving and livelihood that are simultaneously rootedwithin and across the global South and global North, amongst migrants whomove. We also outline a series of future research possibilities that emergefrom this work. Faith-based charity and human compassion offer vital (yetheavily under-researched) components of economies of resilience, throughwhich monetary and non-monetary assets are mobilised to help people inneed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): James A, Datta K, Pollard JS, Akli Q

Publication type: Working Paper

Publication status: Published

Journal: Financial Geography Working Paper Series

Year: 2018

Pages: 25

Publisher: FinGeo