Saving, spending, and future-making: Time, discipline, and money in development

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Money is a distributed technology for the government of futures. Using ethnographically informed accounts of social practices around saving and collective remittances in poor countries this paper examines how the malleability of money enables it to have the potential for formalisation which allows it to be brought into formal relations of future-making and foreclosure, at the same time as its potential for investments and reallocation enables it to be the basis of flexible and adaptive strategies of future-making. We show how individuals engaged in development aspirations strive to achieve futures through the collection, care, and use of money, and how strategies of formalisation, discipline, and framing accord money developmental capacities. The liquidity of money renders it a flexible vehicle for personal and collective aspirations while representing risk of leakage to other persons and ventures. The paper examines the strategies used by lowincome savers and hometown associations in their concerns with establishing rules and discipline around the flexibility of money. © 2012 Pion and its Licensors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1641-1656
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Development policy
  • Future-making
  • Money
  • Remittances
  • Saving

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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