Alternative financial spaces: a case study of credit unions in Scotland

McGrath, Claire (2019) Alternative financial spaces: a case study of credit unions in Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis explores the changing values and practices of the credit union sector in Scotland as a case study for alternative financial spaces in the wake of the 2008-9 financial crisis. Credit unions have emerged as part of a global movement, adapting to local contexts to provide access to finance for the economically marginalised. Using an evolutionary perspective, the thesis charts the trajectory of the credit union movement, focusing in on the key influences and their impact on viability and values in the post financial crisis political and economic landscape in Scotland.

The financial crisis had a profound effect on the financial sector, including on alternatives such as credit unions. The thesis explores whether the credit union sector’s traditional commitment to alternative social values has been sustained despite pressures in the post-crisis political economic environment. It is contended that a new phase of neoliberalism emerged from the financial crisis, creating new challenges for credit unions as a result of austerity and a changed regulatory framework. At the same time, neoliberal ideals and financialisation processes are serving to crowd out the alternative values that underpin the movement, with potential repercussions for the role of credit unions within the economy. A qualitative research design is employed to explore these issues through a multi-method study of the Scottish credit union sector.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Alternative financial spaces, credit unions, financial crisis, financialisation, neoliberalism.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Funder's Name: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Supervisor's Name: Cumbers, Professor Andrew and McMaster, Professor Robert
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Dr Claire McGrath
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-72980
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2019 12:59
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2022 08:44
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.72980

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