Warwick Critical Finance Group Newsletter

October 9, 2017

We've held our first conference!

Greetings, newsletter readers, 

We all (kind of) know young scholars working on finance, but only in that academic sense of knowing a name, a paper perhaps, maybe an page, but nothing more substantial. So in order to collect people together, discuss each other’s work, synergies, and points of debate — as well as to create a basis for further collaboration — we held our first Early Career Researcher Workshop two weeks ago. It have been two very inspiring days for us, a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it! Below please find a summary of the workshop. 

Moreover, we share with you a short review of a new edited volume on critical methods in Political and Cultural Economy as well as an announcement of our next talk on 'resilience' and the Finance and Society conference in London. Finally, we would like to bring I-Peel.Org to your attention — a new online tool for teaching International Political Economy. 

Thank you for reading and have a good start into the new academic year. 

Best wishes,
Johannes, Lauren, Luke, Marco, Ruben and Sahil

Conference Summary: New Frontiers in the Interdisciplinary Study of Finance

It is difficult to do justice to the breadth and depth of material covered at the Warwick Critical Finance workshop. Over two days we had 37 people speaking on 10 different panels, two keynote speeches, two break-away group activities, one large social evening and a lot of coffee and sandwiches.
What defined the conference was an overt effort at collaboration, support, intellectual curiosity and enjoyment. As early career researchers the aim was to establish a network of colleagues who will push critical studies of finance forward over the next decade.
The panels ranged from a series of talks about ‘Digital Technologies and the rise of Fintech' to a debate about theory and history in a panel about ‘How Does History Matter?’. In between there were presentations on financialisation of the global south — with one participant who was denied a visa by the UK government joining over Skype — to the gendered development of the ECB’s monetary governance.
The conference programme is available and since all speakers produced papers, anyone interested is welcome to email the authors asking for copies.
Looking ahead there are four working groups established that anyone is welcome to join. The first is developing a share-able, ‘how-to manual’ for conference and workshop organising, trying to institute the collaborative principles established here in our future meetings.
The second is exploring the technicalities of finance and the question of how well versed in technical minutiae critical researches must be to have a useful perspective on the issues we study.
The third examines, rather boldly, the politics of financialisation. How do we keep foregrounded the questions of who gains, through what means and to with what effects when we study finance?
Finally the fourth group is working on the role of finance in development and whether global financial infrastructure is helping or hindering international development.

Here you can find the slides from the keynote presentations as well as pictures from the event.

New Book: "Critical Methods in Political and Cultural Economy"

Johnna Montgomerie has edited an impressive volume on critical method in IPE which goes well beyond anything you are likely to be expecting from a methodology book. It presents a compelling case for regarding methods not as finished tools to be passed on from researcher to researcher, but as highly personal processes developing in the course of research. What is appealing and what is new about this book is that it does not seek to be another manual or schematic overview of methods — these are well established elsewhere. Instead, it seeks to start a conversation about methods in reflective terms, inviting us to think about them as a shared experience that is handled by each person differently and as collaborative efforts that require compromise and adaptation. It uses autobiographical vignettes to make it an engaging read: Personal insights shared by seasoned scholars of critical IPE. They work beautifully to lead and shape the content of this book. Having read it, methodology springs back to life, as a prolific landscape of diversity. What does it mean to ‘do’ critical research? This book will prove invaluable in developing new answers to this question.

Critical Methods in Political and Cultural Economy. Edited by Johnna Montgomerie. London & New York: Routledge, 2017. More information

Conference: Intersections of Finance and Society 2017

The growth of new forms of money and finance is increasingly recognised as one of the defining developments of our time, and it is beginning to yield innovative research across the humanities and social sciences. Following on from the success of its inaugural conference last year, this two-day event aims to foster further dialogue between the diverse camps that make up the new field of ‘finance and society’ studies. In particular, it seeks to identify new synergies between heterodox political economy and various sociological, historical, and philosophical perspectives on the intersections of finance and society.

In association with Finance and Society, an independent and fully open-access journal dedicated to publishing empirical and theoretical research in which the social substance of finance takes precedence. The Conference combines high-profile keynotes and roundtables with panel sessions on various themes on the intersections of finance and society.

Time and Location: 2-3 November 2017 at City University, London.

You can register for the event through eventbrite.

WCF Dialogue on "Resilience: Market Subjects and Performative Politics"

The post-crisis period has seen a growing emphasis on nurturing complex adaptive financial networks that have the ability to ‘bounce back’ in stressful situations.  What are the political consequences of this impetus? A re-invention of neo-liberalism in disciplinary terms or a proliferation of alternatives to market-centrism? Or something else?

Against this backdrop, WCF has invited John Morris (Faculty Research Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University) and James Brassett (PAIS Department, University of Warwick) to discuss the (cultural) production of both resilient financial systems and market subjects. The session will be chaired by Marco Andreu (PAIS Department, University of Warwick).

Wednesday 8th November 2017 04:30 – 6:00 pm at the University of Warwick, OC0.04 (Oculus Building).

More information

I-PEEL: Reflect on Objects and Practices from Everyday Life!

Academics at Warwick University have developed a useful tool for teaching International Political Economy which is well worth a look. I-Peel.Org is designed to introduce the study of IPE to students by asking them to reflect on everyday practices, objects and issues, and connecting them in some way to the global political economy or to theories and approaches in IPE. Using a variety of multimedia resources and content, the site aims to be an engaging entry point for understanding the global political economy.

For those interested in work on finance there are a number of fascinating pages. Why not try starting with “Saving” by Dr Craig Berry, “Borrowing” by Dr Chris Clarke or “Failure” by Prof Jacqueline Best and see what else draws your interest.



Resilience: Market Subjects and Performative Politics

WCF Dialogue: James Brassett and John Morris on 'Resilience'
8 Nov. 2017, University of Warwick, OC0.04 (Oculus Building)

Post-crisis regulation emphasised the nurturing of complex adaptive financial networks that have the ability to ‘bounce back’ in stressful situations. But what are the political consequences of producing ‘resilient' market subjects and financial systems?

  • John Morris (Faculty Research Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University)
  • James Brassett (PAIS Department, University of Warwick)

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Warwick Critical Finance Group · Department of Politics and International Studies · University of Warwick · Coventry, CV4 7AL · United Kingdom

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