Our September issue, Volume 52, Number 5 of Antipode, is hot off the press, and here we’re pleased to present a paper from it.
“From the School Yard to the Conservation Area: Impact Investment across the Nature/Social Divide” outlines how financial instruments branded as “social” and “green” finance have sought to incentivize financiers into investing in social services and conservation efforts. The paper’s authors, Dan Cohen and Emily Rosenman, highlight the common methods used to turn complex social and environmental problems into quantified metrics that unlock profit-making opportunities. These efforts create profits while reworking social and environmental systems in ways that undermine community-oriented goals and democratic decision-making. This so-called “impact investing” has worked to promote finance-led interventions as solutions to the worst of capitalism’s ills without disrupting the political and economic systems that have produced these ills.
As Dan and Emily argue in their video abstract below, critical scholars and practitioners of “social” and “green” finance must unite around a critique of the connections between financial actors’ promises to “fix” socioenvironmental crises. This is important for understanding and resisting the ways financial actors are working across sectors to reshape everyday life and important environmental systems.