Journal article

Neoliberalism, governance, and the geographies of conditional cash transfers

Jeff Garmany



This article considers the geographic effects of conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs), focusing specifically on the ways they rework space, modes of production, and State/society relationships. While CCTs appear linked to neoliberal development and biopolitical governance regimes (viz., governmentality), this article highlights the counterintuitive reasons for why CCTs sometimes fail to meet these broader State objectives. More directly, despite obvious tactics of Statecraft behind CCT initiatives, the effects of these programs can in fact undermine their intended governance outcomes. Drawing from case study research in rural northeastern Brazil - where an overwhelming majority of resid..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Leverhulme Trust

Funding Acknowledgements

My sincerest thanks go to Leidiane Castelo Branco, Maria Helena Cortez, Apolonia Castelo Branco Daniel, Sergio Fontenele, Pipiu, Mayze Siqueira, Fabricio Araujo Souza, and many other wonderful friends near the border of Ceara and Piaui. I wish also to thank Bill Calhoun with the School for International Training in Fortaleza, and also Oelito, Ceissa, and Melissa Brandao. This paper was greatly benefitted by comments from Jelke Boesten and Anthony Pereira at King's College London. This project was funded by a research grant from the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust (grant reference number SG121493), with additional support from the 44th International Congress of Americanists and the Sir Ernest Cassel Educational Trust. Finally, I thank the editor and the anonymous referees for their comments and helpful insights.