From Financial Exclusion to Financial Inclusion
: The Neoliberal Rolling Back - Rolling Out Paradox and the Growth of Mobile Money in Tanzania

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This thesis aims to show the neglected inclusive face of neoliberalism through transformation from higher levels of financial exclusion to increased levels of financial inclusion in Tanzania facilitated by mobile money (MM) growth. I illustrate that, in the case of Tanzania, the roll-back and the roll-out of neoliberal policies aided the advent of MM. I argue that classical and neoclassical perspectives, as perceived in the political-economic sense, informed the neoliberal roll-back and roll-out policies, which promoted the growth of MM and its role in moderating the factors of financial exclusion. Thus, I deploy and develop a conceptual framework that includes both classical and neoclassical perspectives to explain the roll-out and roll-back neoliberal policies and how they facilitated financial inclusion through MM. Most scholars neglect the inclusive role of neoliberalism. They also underestimate the role of classical perspectives by putting more emphasis on neoclassical views. Moreover, they do not explain the role of MM in facilitating financial inclusion through the neoliberal lens. This thesis addresses these gaps. I ask three questions to address the above issues. First, how did neoliberalism facilitate the growth of MM in Tanzania? Second, how did MM moderate the factors of financial exclusion in Tanzania? Third, what was the response of the banking sector to increasing levels of financial inclusion caused by MM in Tanzania? Therefore, the significance of this study is that it informs our empirical and theoretical understanding of inclusive neoliberalism and MM by introducing a focus on the transition from financial exclusion to financial inclusion through classical and neoclassical lenses hitherto lacking. Literature suggests the need for qualitative research in this field. Thus, the in-depth unstructured interviews/focus groups and content analysis of key documents/literature inform our empirical understanding of roll-back and roll-out neoliberal policies and their role in facilitating MM growth and financial inclusion.
Date of Award30 Mar 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorEgle Cesnulyte (Supervisor) & Adrian G Flint (Supervisor)


  • Financial inclusion; Financial Exclusion; Mobile Money; Tanzania; Neoliberalism; Neoliberal Rolling Out; Neoliberal Rolling Back; Deogratius Mhella; Global Political Economy; Policy Analysis; Transformations

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