‘Capital Divided? The City of London and the Future of the British Economy’

5 November at 4.30pm.

Speakers: Brunello Rosa, Dr Ann Pettifor, Dr Geoff Tily, John Mills, Paul J. Davies, Anastasia Nesvetailova

CITYPERC (City Political Economy Research Centre) and SPERI (Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute) have the pleasure to welcome students, staff and members of the public to a panel discussion on the relationship between the City of London and the British economy.

This event brings together a distinguished line-up of academics and practitioners to discuss new and old questions about the role of the City in Britain’s economic development. Some of those questions, including the relationship between the City and British industry, are of longstanding and enduring relevance. Others are only just coming into view, such as the place of the City vis-à-vis a sustainable economic model and a changing world economy. Drawing upon theoretical, conceptual and historical analyses, the conference seeks to generate new political economy understandings of the City’s role within British capitalism.

The panel will engage with the hard questions that no-one dare ask about the challenges of rebalancing the British economy:

– What role can the City play in a more sustainable or, indeed, post-growth political economy?
– What would the City need to do in order to better support a British developmental strategy?
– How can the City and the state combine to rebalance the British economy?
– Are accusations of the unproductive nature of contemporary finance accurate or misplaced?
– If not growth, then what might the City aspire to? And how might we smooth the transition towards a different developmental model?

Click here to register.

 

A workshop on the City’s role within Britain’s Political Economy

City University London, Wednesday November 5th 2014

This workshop explores the relationship between British economic development and the City.  Bringing together academics and practitioners, the event will seek to generate new answers to questions about the City’s role in Britain’s economic development. Some of those questions, like the proper relationship between the City and British industry, are of longstanding and enduring relevance. Others, such as the City’s role in a sustainable economic model and a changing world economy, are only now coming into view. Drawing upon theoretical, conceptual and historical analyses, the workshop will seek to generate new political economy understandings of the City’s role within British capitalism.

Panels:

a) Re-thinking the role of the City:

What is the City? And what role does it play in the contemporary British political economy? These are the central questions of this panel, which invites theoretical and historical investigations into the City’s evolving function. The panel attempts to define the City, both in terms of its role as a political actor/set of actors and as a social space where global and domestic finance intersect.  Moving beyond the specification of the City’s form and functions, the panel invites participants to identify different developmental phases and themes, which help contextualise change and continuity in the City’s role within Britain and the wider world economy. What changes did the City undergo in the years before the financial crisis and how has it changed in the post-crisis era? Should we still think in terms of the City versus industry? Or is this an outmoded approach to understanding the City today? Does the City primarily serve the interests of the British economy or the global political economy?  What sort of political-economy framework is required to adequately capture the City’s complex role?  From where does the City derive its power, and are those sources changing?

 

b) The City and the British state

Although the City is a nodal point within the wider global political economy, it is hosted within a distinctive sovereign space: the British state. This panel investigates the relationship between the City and its host state. Participants are invited to submit papers that explore the linkages between the City and various aspects of British statecraft. Thematically, the panel examines the manner in which the City connects with the different institutional components of the British state and its bearing upon the construction of policy regimes in a number of different areas, including monetary policy, fiscal policy and industrial policy. What is the relationship between the role of the City and the politics of Quantitative Easing? Has the government’s policy of austerity benefited the City or would the City benefit from a more fiscally expansionary stance? How might the City play a role in a revitalised British industrial policy? Is the City-Bank-Treasury nexus still a relevant conceptual lens for understanding the City’s relationship to the British state.

 

c) Any port in a storm? The City in a changing world economy

The financial crisis has accelerated global shifts in wealth and power, with the rapid growth of the BRIC’s now thrown into stark contrast with austerity and stagnation in the Europe. As the changing global distribution of political-economic power gathers momentum, the City is faced with an increasing array of strategic dilemmas over how best to position itself and maintain international pre-eminence within a changing global landscape.  This panel addresses the City’s position within a rapidly shifting global economy by exploring the relationship between the City and rising global powers, changing international trade and capital flows and the politics of the international monetary system. How should the City position itself with regard to emerging powers? Can the City tap into the growing financial power of China? What challenges does the European banking union pose to the City’s role? Will the City maintain its role if Britain withdraws from the EU? How can the City balance between Britain’s domestic interests and the evolving demands of the global financial system?

 

d) Roundtable: Growth, sustainability and the place of the City

Although Britain needs to restore growth in the short-term, mounting ecological challenges force us to look beyond growth and towards more sustainable forms of socio-economic development. Any rebalancing and reconfiguration of the British economy will inevitably have to tackle a central question: what role can the City play in a more sustainable or, indeed, post-growth political economy? It is with this question that this panel engages. What would the City need to do in order to better support a British developmental strategy? How can the City and the state combine to rebalance the British economy? Are accusations of the ‘unproductive’ nature of contemporary finance accurate or misplaced? If not growth, then what might the City aspire to? And how might we smooth the transition towards a different developmental model?