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Interrogating the moral turn in finance

IMPACT HAU is an innovative, critical and comparative anthropological study of the moral and political dimensions of impact investing. Inspired by Marcel Mauss’s classic use of the Maori concept of hau, the ‘spirit of the gift’, it focuses on the designers, traders and beneficiaries of impact bonds to produce an empirically driven analysis of the multiple moral orders within contemporary capitalism.

Ethnographic case studies compiled by our researchers will provide grounded, detailed accounts of the design and implementation of impact investing in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. These will support a critical appraisal of the current consensus among global policymakers and business leaders giving markets a determining role in the ecological transition, testing the theories of sustainability that underpin hopes for a socially inclusive green economy.

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