Date of Award/Publication

4-2003

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in International Studies

Department

International Studies

Abstract

The intention of this paper is to examine the emergence of microfinance institutions and provide evidence of their vulnerability to illegal financial activity, specifically activity that is conducive to the furthering of terrorist political agendas. Microfinance Institutions have emerged to provide an alternative for impoverished countries to alleviate poverty and promote economic development. Founders of microfinance institutions claim that they provide development aid without the political pressures or bureaucratic processes associated with many development aid organizations, but the contemporary nature of this area of finance has left most institutions relatively unaccountable for their financial activities. This could leave many microfinance institutions vulnerable to a variety of illegal activities, specifically those found useful to advance certain political objectives, including terrorism.

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