The United Kingdom is at the forefront of a global movement to establish a social-investment market. At the heart of social investment we find finance – and financialisation. Specifically, we find: a financial market (the social-investment market); a series of financial institutions (Big Society Capital, for example); a financial instrument (the social-impact bond); and a financial practice (social investing). Focusing on the UK, given its pioneering role, this paper first provides a brief history of social investment, tracing its development from the politics of the ‘Third Way’ to the social-impact bond. It then maps the terrain of the social-investment market, explaining the main institutions and actors, and the social-impact bond. Finally, it proposes a framework for analysing the disciplinary logics of finance, which it uses to understand the promise or threat (depending on one’s perspective) of social investment and the social-investment market.
AinsworthDavid2014 ‘Social Impact Bond Pilot to be Replaced by “Alternative Arrangement”’ Civil Society25April available at: https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/social-impact-bond-pilot-to-be-replaced-by--alternative-arrangement-.html.
Alternative Commission on Social Investment2015After the GoldrushMarch available at: <https://www.bigsocietycapital.com/sites/default/files/attachments/AftertheGoldRush-AlternativeCommissiononSocialInvestment.pdf> last accessed 1 March 2019.
Big Society Capitaln.d.Big Society Capital: Vision Mission and ActivitiesLondon: BSC available at: <https://www.bigsocietycapital.com/sites/default/files/pdf/BSCVisionmissionandactivities.pdf> accessed 30 June 2015.
BirkwoodSusannah2014 ‘Peterborough Prison Social Impact Bond Pilot Fails to Hit Target to Trigger Repayments’ Third Sector7August available at: <https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/peterborough-prison-social-impact-bond-pilot-fails-hit-target-trigger-repayments/finance/article/1307031>.
BlissRobert R.2004 ‘Market Discipline: Players, Processes, and Purposes’ in Market Discipline across Countries and Industries edited by ClaudioBorioWilliam C.HunterGeorge G.Kaufman and KostasTsatsaronis pp. 37–53Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
BrownGarethEmmaDowlingDavidHarvie and KeirMilburn2013 ‘Careless Talk: Social Reproduction and Fault-lines of the Crisis in the UK’ Social Justice: A Journal of Crime Conflict and World Order391: 68–85.
Cabinet Office2011Growing the Social Investment Market: A Vision and StrategyFebruaryLondon: Cabinet Office available at: <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/61185/404970_SocialInvestmentMarket_acc.pdf> last accessed 1 March 2019.
Cabinet Office2014Growing the Social Investment Market: 2014 Progress UpdateFebruaryLondon: Cabinet Office available at: <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/321483/2014_Social_Investment_Strategy.pdf> accessed 22 June 2015.
Centre for Social Impact Bonds2013Knowledge Box: Guidance on Developing a Social Impact BondLondon: Cabinet Office available at: <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/646733/Knowledge_Box_Guidance_on_developing_a_SIB.pdf> last accessed 1 March 2019.
DelevingneLawrence2014 ‘Goldman Sachs, Hedge Fund Billionaire Back $27M Social Impact Bond’ CNBC30January available at: <https://www.cnbc.com/2014/01/30/goldman-sachs-hedge-fund-billionaire-back-27m-social-impact-bond.html> accessed 8 August 2017.
DisleyEmmaJenniferRubinEmilyScraggsNinaBurrowes and DierdreCulley2011Lessons Learned from the Planning and Early Implementation of the Social Impact Bond at HMP PeterboroughLondon: Ministry of Justice available at: <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/217375/social-impact-bond-hmp-peterborough.pdf> accessed 29 January 2016.
GOV.UK2017b ‘Final Results for Cohort 2 of the Social Impact Bond Payment by Results Pilot at HMP Peterborough’ 27July available at: <https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/final-results-for-cohort-2-of-the-social-impact-bond-payment-by-results-pilot-at-hmp-peterborough>.
HaddonCatherine2012Making Policy in Opposition: The Commission on Social Justice 1992–1994London: Institute for Government available at: <https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/CSJ%20final_0.pdf> last accessed 1 March 2019.
HeroldConrad M.2002 ‘On Financial Crisis as a Disciplinary Device of Empire: Emergence and Crisis of the Crisis’ The Commoner5 available at: <http://www.commoner.org.uk/herold05.pdf> accessed 10 February 2016.
MacalisterTerry2003 ‘Bridge over Troubled Communities: Daughter of Third Way Architect Seeks to Tackle Social Decay with Capitalism’ The Guardian27May available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/business/2003/may/27/publicservices.society>.
McGettigan Andrew 2015 ‘The Treasury View of HE: Variable Human Capital Investment’ Political Economy Research Centre PERC Paper 6 5 May available at: <http://www.perc.org.uk/project_posts/perc-paper-the-treasury-view-of-higher-education-by-andrew-mcgettigan/> accessed 8 August 2017.
McGoeyLinsey2015No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of PhilanthropyLondon: Verso.
MorelNathalieBrunoPalier and JoakimPalme2012 ‘Social Investment: A Paradigm in Search of a New Economic Model and Political Mobilization’ in Towards a Social Investment Welfare State? Ideas Policies and Challenges edited by NathalieMorelBrunoPalier and JoakimPalme pp. 353–376Bristol: Policy Press.
Office for National Statistics2016 ‘The UK National Balance Sheet Estimates: 2016’ available at: <https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/uksectoraccounts/bulletins/nationalbalancesheet/2016estimates/pdf>.
OgmanRobert2016 ‘Social Impact Bonds: A “Social Neoliberal” Response to the Crisis?’ in Urban Austerity: Impacts of the Global Financial Crisis on Cities in Europe edited by BarbaraSchönig and SebastianSchipperBerlin: Theater der Zeit.
Perkins Daniel Lucy Nelms and Paul Smyth 2004 Beyond Neo-liberalism: The Social Investment State? Social Policy Working Paper No. 3 October Centre for Public Policy Melbourne: University of Melbourne available at: <http://library.bsl.org.au/jspui/bitstream/1/570/1/beyond_neoliberalism_social_investment_state.pdf> last accessed 1 March 2019.
PorterDoug and DavidCraig2004 ‘The Third Way and the Third World: Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion in the Rise of “Inclusive” Liberalism’ Review of International Political Economy112: 387–423.
SharmanAlice2016 ‘Peterborough SIB Did Not Foster Innovation, Evaluation Finds’ Pay for Success11January available at: <https://www.payforsuccess.org/resource/peterborough-sib-did-not-foster-innovation-evaluation-finds>.
Social Finance2014Introduction to Social Impact Bonds available at: <http://socialfinance.westgatecomms.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Introduction-to-Social-Impact-Bonds.pdf> accessed 15 January 2015.
Social Impact Investment Taskforce2014Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets15September available at: <https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/Public-Sector/gx-ps-impact-investment-report.pdf> last accessed 1 March 2019.
Social Investment Task Force2000Enterprising Communities: Wealth Beyond Welfare available at: <http://www.huckfield.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/00-SITF-Enterprising-Communities-Oct.pdf> last accessed 1 March 2019.
WilsonRob2016 ‘The Growth of Social Investment in the UK’ speech delivered on 2 March available at: <https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-growth-of-social-investment-in-the-uk-rob-wilson-speech> accessed 5 June 2016.