The Power of Finance before and after the Great Financial Crisis – workshop & special issue of Government & Opposition

On 1 May 2013, we hosted a workshop entitled ‘The Power of Finance before and after the Great Financial Crisis’ at the Kenwood Hotel in Sheffield.

The workshop, funded by the journal Government and Opposition, the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) at the University of Manchester and SPERI, attracted leading academics from across the globe, and their papers will form a special issue of Government and Opposition, to be published in 2014.

The literature on the Great Financial Crisis has been dominated by two concerns: by arguments about the causes of the crisis and by efforts to trace the regulatory consequences (notably attempts at reform) after the crisis.  But there is an underlying issue which is common to the pre-crisis world, to the crisis itself and to the aftermath of crisis.  That may be summed up as the power of finance.

This special issue of Government and Opposition therefore stands back from the immediate debates about causes and consequences of the Great Financial Crisis to ask the following questions. What is the basis of the power of finance: does it reside, for example, in ideological hegemony or lobbying muscle or institutional connection?  In short, how can finance be understood politically?

To answer this question, the following papers were presented (the titles may change before publication):

  • Innovation, Fragility and Complexity: An Alternative View of Structural Power of Finance by Anastasia Nesvetailova (City University London)
  • Coalitional Dynamics, Power Structure and Financial Markets in East Asia by Xiaoke Zhang (Manchester Business School)
  • The Power of Collective Inaction: Finance-Government Relations in Comparative Perspective by Cornelia Woll (Sciences Po, Paris)
  • From Debt-Driven Growth to Bust: Transformations of Financial Power in Greece by George Pagoulatos and Christos Triantopoulos (Athens University of Economics and Business)
  • US Financial Power, Crises and the State by Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin (York University, Toronto)
  • The Changing Power of Finance in the UK by Sukhdev Johal  (Queen Mary University London), Mick Moran and Karel Williams (Manchester Business School)
  • Finance in Latin America Seen through the Pensions Vantage Point by Giselle Datz (Virginia Tech)
  • The Ideational Shaping of State Power and Capacity: Winning Battles but Losing the War over Bank Reform in the UK by Andrew Hindmoor (University of Sheffield) and Stephen Bell (University of Queensland)

The day was intense, but enjoyable and productive. We are immensely thankful to all the speakers and we look forward keenly to the publication of this special issue.

We’ll update you with the official date of publication as soon as we have it!