Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Crisis management, Microfinance, Social movements
In October 2010, the state government of Andhra Pradesh issued an ordinance prohibiting microfinance institutions from distributing and collecting loans following allegations that over-indebtedness and coercive loan recovery tactics were causing borrower suicides. While no evidence substantiating a link between microfinance and borrower suicide has been provided, an anti-microfinance movement across India developed with clients reneging on their loans. Indian microfinance risked insolvency and the once lauded poverty alleviating movement was perceived as a villain by the international community. Microfinance was in crisis.
How a social movement such as microfinance responds to a crisis is an understudied topic in social movement literature. By contrast, crisis management is an extensively analyzed topic in business literature. This thesis aims to develop five broad crisis managing concepts from this business literature and probe them in the case of Indian microfinance. The five concepts probed include: denial, retaliation, purification, reform, and re-authentication. All five tactics were observed to occur. This thesis concludes with two findings. First, social movement crisis management is an area primed for future research. Second, this research needs to be applied to other social movements in crisis to eventually develop a model that explains how social movements respond and should respond to crises.
Pickup, A. (2012). Crisis Management by Social Movements: Learning from Indian Microfinance (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1046