The recent financial crisis exposed both a naïve faith in mathematical models to manage risk and a crude culture of greed that embraces risk. This book explores cultures of finance in sites such as corporate governance, hedge funds, central banks, the City of London and Wall Street, and small and medium enterprises. It uses different methods to explore these cultures and their interaction with different financial orders to improve our understanding of financial crisis dynamics.
The introduction identifies types of cultural turn in studies of finance. Part I outlines relevant research methods, including comparison of national cultures viewed as independent variables, cultural political economy, and critical discourse and narrative policy analysis. Part II examines different institutional cultures of finance and the cult of entrepreneurship. Part III offers historical, comparative, and contemporary analyses of financial regimes and their significance for crisis dynamics. Part IV explores organizational cultures, modes of calculation, and financial practices and how they shape economic performance and guide crisis management. Part V considers crisis construals and responses in the European Union and China.
This book’s great strength is its multi-faceted approach to cultures of finance. Contributors deploy the cultural turn creatively to enhance comparative and historical analysis of financial regimes, institutions, organizations, and practices as well as their roles in crisis generation, construal, and management. Developing different paradigms and methods and elaborating diverse case studies, the authors illustrate not only how and why ‘culture matters’ but also how its significance is shaped by different financial regimes and contexts.
Part I: Researching Cultures of Finance: Theoretical Foundations and Methods 1. Sense- and Meaning-making in the Critique of Political Economy 2. The Cultural View on Financial Markets 3. Culture as Discursive Practice: Combining Cultural Political Economy and Discursive Political Studies in Investigations of the Financial Crisis Part II: Cultures of Finance 4. What Price Culture? Calculation, Commensuration, Contingency, and Authority in Financial Practices 5. Financialization and the Enterprise Decoy 6. Booms, Busts and the Culture of Risk Part III: Cultural Factors in Financial Crisis Generation 7. Financial Stability and Technological Fixes as Imaginary across Phases of Capitalism 8. Varieties of Capitalism: Beyond Simple Dichotomies 9. Competitive Concerns and Imaginaries in the Liberalization of European Finance Part IV: Economic Imaginaries, Financial Calculation, and Crisis Dynamics 10. Hedge Funds and the Limits of Market Efficiency as a Regulatory Concept 11. Derivatives as Weapons of Mass Deception and Elite Contestation: the Case of FIAT 12. A Cultural Political Economy of Financial Imaginaries: the (Re)Making of ‘BRIC’ and the Case of China Part V: Crisis Construals and Responses to Financial Crisis in Europe 13. Culture Matters: French-German Conflicts on European Central Bank Independence and Crisis Resolution 14. Interpretations of the EU Crisis and their Policy Implementation 15. Mark my Words: Discursive Central Banking in Crisis
Bob Jessop is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Cultural Political Economy Research Centre, Lancaster University, UK.
Brigitte Young is Professor for International Political Economy at the Institute of Political Science, University of Münster, Germany.
Christoph Scherrer is Professor for Political Science and Director at the International Centre for Development and Decent Work, University of Kassel, Germany.
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