Sebastian Botzem presents research on financial elites

In December, Sebastian Botzem presented preliminary findings of the Global Financial Elites project at the “Networks in Finance” Workshop at the University of Manchester, organized by Adam Leaver and Daniel Tischer. The paper, co-authored by Natalia Besedovsky, investigates the dynamic development of the global financial elite network drawing on the GloFIELD database which includes the big players of finance and their connections to other organisations via personal links.20161208_095144Comparing the network structure over 25 years, Sebastian and Natalia find that organizational relations become more dense over time and that the global network changes notably after the financial crisis. In particular, regulators, international organisations, and the industry itself lose connectivity while private non-profit organisations like think tanks and professional associations move towards the core. In the 2013 network, for instance, the World Economic Forum (WEF) is the most centrally located organization . Interpreting networks as infrastructure of soft power relations and knowledge flows, these changes might indicate an increasing demand of sense-making, persuasion, and a need for reassurance after the crisis. Network structures also signal a renewal of the dominant self-regulatory pattern in financial governance. The rise of new actors in the financial elite network certainly merits further research.

20161208_100546The workshop brought together both renowned and emerging scholars from different disciplines interested in network structures and dynamics within global finance. Participants discussed the usefulness of network analysis in understanding financialization and structural changes in different financial sectors. A consensus emerged that social network analysis helps us a great deal in this respect since it enables the mapping of actor constellations over time and the connectedness of finance across sectors and borders. The workshop, however, also showed that network analysis does not replace the theorization of social relations and dynamic change in finance and ideally needs to triangulated with other methods.

P&F Seminar on Investment Clubs in January

In January, the research group “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance” continues its “Politics & Finance Seminar Series” ith a discussion on investment clubs as homosocial groups. Lydia Welbers, doctoral researcher at the Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy (SOCIUM) at the University of Bremen, presents tentative findings and thought on her ongoing doctoral thesis in a project on decision-making practices of small investors.

17.01.17: Lydia Welbers (SOCIUM, University of Bremen): “Investment clubs
as homosocial groups. Which is the value of this category of analysis?”
InIIS, Room 7.2020, 12.15-13.45

Abstract of Lydia´s talk: Investment clubs (as associations of small investors, which pool their money) have to decide together, how to invest their money on the financial market. On the group level, members of the group look quite similar. Therefore these groups can be divided in male and female associations. The talk focusses on the added value by describing investment clubs as homosocial groups by mentioning differences and similarities between these groups and their decision making processes.

After the presentation, there will be plenty of time to ask questions and discuss various aspects of the topic. If you wish to attend the seminar, please write an email to smoeller[at]uni-bremen.de.

P&F Seminar on Basel Accords in December

On December the 15th, Prof. Lucia Quaglia (University of York) will be guest in our “Politics & Finance Seminar Series” at InIIS. She will talk about the political economy of domestic compliance with international financial standards in the case of Basel Accords in banking regulation. Lucia is one of the most renowed experts on European financial governance and works in the fields of International & Comparative Political Economy. During her current fellowship at Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg she explores transatlantic economic coordination together with Prof. Susanne K. Schmidt from InIIS.

15.12.16: Lucia Quaglia (University of York), “The politics of domestic compliance with the Basel Accords in Banking”, InIIS, Room 7.2210, 12.15 – 13.45

Abstract of the talk: Why do jurisdictions comply (or not) with international financial standards? This research examines the mixed record of compliance of the two main jurisdictions worldwide – the United States and the European Union – with the most well-known financial standards, the Basel Accords. It draws attention to the ‘misfit’ between the international standard-setting process and the process of domestic compliance. In the uploading stage, elected officials delegate international standard-setting to domestic regulators and large internationally-active financial institutions successfully mobilise. In the downloading stage, domestic interest groups team up with elected officials in order to resist compliance with international standards that have negative distributional implications for domestic constituencies.

Presentations in the UK

Within the next few weeks, members of the research group “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance” will present findings of their ongoing research at different occasions in the United Kingdom. Sebastian Botzem will participate in a workshop on “Networks in Finance” organized by Adam Leaver and Daniel Tischer at Alliance Manchester Business Salliance-mbs_logochool (AMBS). There, he will present a paper by Natalia Besedovsky and  him on “Knowledge intermediation and the rise of boundary-spanning organizations in finance”.

Already in November, Sebastian Möller will give a talk on his research about the financialization of municipal debt management at an AMBS PhD Seminar. Sebastian is currently visiting scholar at AMBS´s “People, Management and Organisation” (PMO) division. In early December, he will also present tentative findings of his UK field work on LOBO loans at a workshop at Newcastle´s Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) organized by Andy Pike and Peter O´Brien. Finally, Sebastian will give a seminar at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) towards the end of his research stay in the UK.

  • 24/11/2016 (1pm, AMBS East, B2): Sebastian Möller – When finance knocks at city hall´s door: Derivatives and municipal debt management.
    AMBS PhD Seminar, University of Manchester (UoM)
  • 02/12/2016 (1.15pm, CURDS): Sebastian Möller – Global finance meets local politics: Derivatives and municipal debt management. Financialisation and local government workshop, University of Newcastle
  • 08/12/2016 (9am, Chancellors at UoM): Natalia Besedovsky & Sebastian Botzem – Changing Patterns in Global Finance: Knowledge intermediation and the rise of boundary-spanning organizations in finance. Networks in Finance Workshop, UoM
  • 14/12/2016 (4pm, ICOSS Boardroom): Sebastian Möller – When global finance knocks at city hall’s door: Derivatives and municipal debt management.
    SPERI Seminar, University of Sheffield

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Blog post for soziopolis.de

Sebastian Möller and Marcus Wolf have written a report on the Young Scholars Workshop on Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Finance for the German social science blog soziopolis. The workshop was organized by our research group in September at the University of Bremen with kind support by the Center for Transnational Studies (ZenTra) and the Foundation of the University of Bremen. In their contribution, Marcus and Sebastian summarize the keynote talks by Eleni Tsingou, Lucia Quaglia, and Phil Mader and discuss strenghts and downsides of the interdisciplinary study of financial market developments. There is also a blog post in English language on socializing finance. Previously, Marcus and Sebastian already have published blog posts on soziopolis on the Debt Trails Workshop in Budapest and the symposium on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Institute for Intercultural & International Studies.

Möller, Sebastian & Wolf, Marcus (2016): Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf das Finanzwesen (Report on the Young Scholars Workshop). Soziopolis, 10.11.2016.

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Lucia Quaglia guest at joint InIIS BIGSSS colloquium

On Monday, 24 October 2016, Prof. Lucia Quaglia will be guest at the joint colloquim of the Institute of Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) & the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS). Lucia is senior lectur at the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of York and currently fellow at Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst. She is one of the most renowed experts on European financial governance and works in the fields of International & Comparative Political Economy. During her current fellowship, which is co-funded by BIGSSS and the University of Bremen, she explores transatlantic economic coordination together with Prof. Susanne K. Schmidt from InIIS. In the colloquium session, she will talk about post-crisis banking regulation at the interface between domestic and international governance. Her paper will be discussed by our colleague Marcus Wolf.

InIIS BIGSSS Colloquium, 24 October 2016, 4-6pm, Unicom 7.2210
Lucia Quaglia: Post-crisis banking regulation at the interface between domestic and international governance

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In December, Lucia will also be guest in our “Politics & Finance Seminar Series”. On this occasion, she will talk about domestic compliance with international financial standards in the case of the Basel Accords. This event will be held on 15 December.

Teaching in winter term 2016/17

In winter term 2016/17, Sebastian Botzem will teach the research seminar “Introduction to the Political Economy of Global Trade” (in German language, BA Political Science). This seminar will take place Wednesdays 10-12 at SpT C4180 (Sportturm). You can register for the course via Stud.IP.

Previous seminars of research group members at Bremen University:

  • Economic elites and the regulation of the world economy
    (Sebastian Botzem, summer term 2016)
  • The politics of debt in financialized capitalism
    (Sebastian Möller & Marcus Wolf, summer term 2016)
  • Social science perspectives on finance
    (Natalia Besedovsky, winter term 2015/16)
  • Politics & economy in the age of globalization
    (Sebastian Botzem, winter term 2015/16)
  • Political Economy of financial market regulation
    (Sebastian Botzem, summer term 2015)
  • International Political Economy of the financial crisis
    (Sebastian Möller & Marcus Wolf, summer term 2015)

Summary of #YSW16

Young Scholars Workshop: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Finance
21-23 September 2016, University of Bremen

In September, the research group “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance” led by Sebastian Botzem has hosted a Young Scholars Workshop on the interdisciplinary study of finance at the University of Bremen. This event brought together 30 emerging academics from different universities, countries, and disciplinary backgrounds (including Political Science, IPE, Economic Sociology, Economics & Business Studies, Human Geography, and Economic History). Besides providing a platform for establishing international contacts among young scholars, the main goals of the workshop were to better understand the complexities of global finance and to discuss merits and constraints of interdisciplinary approaches to studying finance. Given the increasing relevance of finance, in both politics and everyday life, and finance’s susceptibility to crises, a more encompassing understanding of its dynamics is urgently required. In this respect, the three days of intense paper sessions, inspiring lectures and a concluding round table certainly provided new insights and ideas for the individual projects of the workshop participants as well as for a broader common research agenda on finance. Read more here

Find the respective twitter feed here.
Find the workshop program here.

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Sebastian Möller guest at Manchester Business School

From October until mid-December, Sebastian Möller will be visiting researcher at the “People, Management and Organisations” department of the Alliance Manchester Business School (University of Manchester). During his research stay, Sebastian will be supervised by Julie Froud (Professor of Financial Innovation) and Adam Leaver (Professor in Financialization Analysis and Business). In Manchester, Sebastian will conduct fieldwork for his research project on municipal derivatives, exchange ideas with scholars and other PhD candidates at AMBS, and present tentative findings in a colloquium. Within his project, the LOBO loan engagement of the Manchester city council is a crucial case study. During his stay, Sebastian will conduct both expert interviews with financial professionals and public administrators as well as document and archival research. Sebastian was able to raise funding for his research stay from the BremenIDEA out program.

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Marcus Wolf visiting researcher at Sciences Po

In October, Marcus Wolf will be visiting researcher at the Institut d’Études Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. Marcus will be hosted by the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations and the MaxPo Center on Coping with Instability in Markets whose research focus lies at the intersection of political economy and economic sociology. During his stay Marcus will conduct fieldwork at the OECD for his dissertation project on the politics of financial literacy education, collecting both information from interviews and visits at the OECD archive. Moreover, Marcus will present parts of his findings at the workshop “Réguler, conseiller, éduquer? Comment les politiques publiques encadrent-elles l’argent des ménages” (engl: How public policies frame the money of households) at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations of Sciences Po Paris on 13th of October.

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Presentations at DGS Congress in Bamberg

On September 29, Natalia Besedovsky and Sebastian Botzem will present their current research on the global financial elite and the German council of economic experts at the 38th congress of the German Sociological Association (DGS) in Bamberg. Both will be panelists at the ad-hoc group on economic elites that will be chaired by Natalia and Saskia Freye. Natalia will talk about the ongoing project on transnational financial elites (“Finanzelite im Wandel? Eine transnationale Netzwerksanalyse”). Sebastian will present a paper on the influence of the economics profession examplified by the German council of economic experts (“Der Einfluss von Berufsökonomen am Beispiel des Sachverständigenrats zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung”).

Find out more about the panel here.

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Natalia Besedovsky now research fellow in Hamburg

In August, Natalia Besedovsky started working at Hamburg University’s Sociology Department as a research fellow at Sighard Neckel’s chair on the Study of Society and Social Change. The group works on the study of modern capitalism and its current economic, social, and cultural changes. It focuses on social consequences of financial markets, social inequality and the manifold crises of social subjectivities, with special interest in social conflicts over sustainability. Natalias new research focuses on finance and sustainability, the intersections between financial and other social rationalities, as well as calculation practices of sustainable investors and banks. She will remain in close contact with the group, especially through the cooperation with Sebastian Botzem on the project on transnational financial elites.

BesedovskyHer new contact details are:

Universität Hamburg
Fakultät Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften
Institut für Soziologie
Allende-Platz 1
20146 Hamburg

Tel: +49 (0)40 42838-9874
natalia.besedovsky@uni-hamburg.de

Practical information for the young scholars workshop

In September, the research group “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance” is hosting a young scholars workshop about interdisciplinary perspectives on global finance at the University of Bremen. Practical information and a list of participants can now be found on our website. The papers for the workshop are due on August 31 and will be provided in a paper room later on. During the workshop, Lucia Qualia (York), Eleni Tsingou (Copenhagen) and Phil Mader (Sussex) will give talks on their current research. 30 young scholars from different countries will discuss their projects and the potential for interdisciplinarity in the study of global finance. The workshop is kindly supported by the Center for Transnational Studies (ZenTra) and the Foundation of the University of Bremen.

Presentations at the ISA Forum of Sociology in Vienna

In July, the members of the research group “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance” will present some preliminary findings of their projects at the 3rd ISA Forum of Sociology in Vienna. The Conference will take place at the campus of the University of Vienna. Our talks are scheduled as follows:

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P&F Seminar on IMF – World Bank Collaboration

On June 29 (12:15-13:45), the “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finace” research group will be hosting another “Politics & Finance” seminar at the University of Bremen. Matthias Kranke from the University of Warwick will talk about “The Politics of IMF-World Bank Collaboration: Rethinking Institutional Change”. Matthias is a PhD candidate at Warwick´s Department of Politics and International Studies and has studied Political Science and International Relations in Lund (Sweden), Trier (Germany), and Sydney.

The event will take place at the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) at the University of Bremen (Mary-Somerville-Straße 7, Bremen) in room 7.2020.We invite all fellow scholars from the University of Bremen, students, members of the BIGSSS graduate school and anyone else interested in discussing current empirical research on global finance to participate in the seminars.

Abstract of the talk

Conventional accounts of institutional change in global governance tend to foreground either the macro level of international regimes or the micro level of one international organisation. In my talk, I seek to explore the middle ground that connects these two levels. At the meso level, we find, among other things, collaborative relationships between international organisations, such as between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The political study of inter-agency relationships needs to cut through a ticket of technicalities, especially when we want to understand how collaborating organisations devise rules of interaction. I argue that institutional change between the IMF and the World Bank following the global financial crisis was highly uneven and specific to the field of interaction. The tentative findings suggest that bureaucratic actors from ideologically proximate organisations, or even from within the same organisation, may construe what appears to be the same crisis in largely different ways.

P&F Seminar on Inequality & Redistribution

In June, the “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance” research group is continuing it´s “Politics & Finance” seminar series with two events. We invite all fellow scholars from the University of Bremen, students, members of the BIGSSS graduate school and anyone else interested in discussing current empirical research on global finance to participate in the seminars.

On June 21 (14:15-15:30), Laura Seelkopf from the Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy (Socium) at the University of Bremen will present current findings on “Inequality and Redistribution in the OECD”. Laura is a postdoctoral research fellow at Socium´s Department for the Political Economy of the Welfare State and board member of the Political Economy section of the German Association of Political Science (DVPW). She holds a PhD from the University of Essex and has studied administrative science in Konstanz (Germany). Furthermore, on June 29, (12:15-13:45), Matthias Kranke from the University of Warwick will talk about “The Politics of IMF-World Bank Collaboration: Rethinking Institutional Change”. Both events will take place at the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) at the University of Bremen (Mary-Somerville-Straße 7, Bremen) in room 7.2020.

  • 21.06.16: Laura Seelkopf (University of Bremen), “Inequality and Redistribution in the OECD”, 14:15-15:30, room 7.2020
  • 29.06.16: Matthias Kranke (University of Warwick), “The Politics of IMF-World Bank Collaboration: Rethinking Institutional Change”, 12:15-13:45, room 7.2020

Sebastian Möller will be visiting researcher at ICAE Linz

In June, Sebastian Möller will be hosted for 3 weeks by the “Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy” (ICAE) at Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria) as a visiting researcher. This research institute was founded in 2009 in order to analyze causes and effects of the recent financial crisis with an interdisciplinary and pluralistic approach to economics. During his stay Sebastian will conduct fieldwork for his dissertation project “Global Finance & Local Budgets – Municipal Governments´ Engagement in the Derivatives Market and the Role of Transnational Service Firms”. Moreover, Sebastian will exchange ideas on empirical financial markets research with scholars from ICAE and participate in ICAE´s summer academy 2016 on globalization and transnational corporate power in the 21st century.

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Sebatian Botzem talks about accounting in Manchester

On June 1st, Sebastian Botzem will be spaeker in the “Accounting & Finance” seminar series at the Alliance Manchester Business School. During the seminar, he will talk about the introduction of European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) and their commonalities with private accouting rules.

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Botzem
“The Privatization of European Accounting Regulation – Comparing the Harmonization of Private and Public Reporting Standards”
June 1st, 2016

Room 5.1 Crawford Housealliance-mbs_logo
Alliance Manchester Business School
Booth Street West
Manchester
M15 6PB, UK

 

CfP: Young Scholars Workshop on Finance in Bremen

The research group is organising a workshop on “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Finance” with kindly support from the Center for Transnational Studies (ZenTra) and the Foundation of the University of Bremen taking place in September 2016 (21/09 – 23/09) in Bremen. The purpose of this workshop is to understand the complexities of global finance and to discuss the merit of interdisciplinary approaches to studying finance. We want to bring together junior scholars, PhD students as well as Post‐docs, and Junior Professors, with an interest in interdisciplinary exchange, that are conducting empirical research on all aspects of global finance. Moreover, we seek to identify common themes (empirical and methodological) as well as promising theoretical approaches across disciplines to come to a more encompassing understanding of global finance as a social and political phenomenon.

The Call for Papers has just been launched, we invite all interested scholars to submit paper proposals by May 20.

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Teaching in summer term 2016

Next summer term, members of the research group will again contribute to the political science study programs at Bremen University. Sebastian Botzem will teach the seminar “Economic elites and the regulation of the world econony” (in German language, Master). This seminar will take place Wednesdays 10-12 at SpT C3140 (Sportturm). In addition, Sebastian Möller and Marcus Wolf will offer the course “The politics of debt in financialized capitalism” (in English language, Bachelor) which will be held as a block seminar (21/22. May & 25./26. June). The introduction for this course will take place on 20 April 4-6pm at UNICOM 2210. You can register for both courses via Stud.IP.

Previous seminars of research group members at Bremen University:

  • Social science perspectives on finance
    (Natalia Besedovsky, winter term 2015/16)
  • Politics & economy in the age of globalization
    (Sebastian Botzem, winter term 2015/16)
  • Political Economy of financial market regulation
    (Sebastian Botzem, summer term 2015)
  • International Political Economy of the financial crisis
    (Sebastian Möller & Marcus Wolf, summer term 2015)

Workshop on Transnational Studies in Bremen

In May, the Center for Transantaional Studies (ZenTra) will host a workshop for PhD candidates and Post-Docs on empirical approaches to social science research on transnationalism. The workshop is organized by Sebastian Botzem (head of the research group “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance”), Moritz Renner and Céline Teney and will take place on May 26 at the University of Bremen. It aims at discussing methodological approaches to study transnational phenomena in the light of empirical research projects from the fields of sociology, legal studies, political science and economics. In particular, the workshop will address the question of what are appropriate units of analysis in transnational studies. Moreover, implications of different answers to this question for research design, analysis and interpretation will be discussed.

imagesAbstracts can be submitted until March 31. Find out more information here (in German language).

Presentations at the “Debt trails” Workshop in Budapest

In March, Marcus Wolf and Sebastian Möller will present short papers on their research projects at a workshop called “Debt trails: Mapping relations of debt and credit from evryday actors to global credit markets”. The workshop is organized by Paul Langley (Durham University) and Liz McFall (Open University) and will be hosted by ELTE University Budapest and the Journal of Cultural Economy. Marcus is going to present a paper on “Financial literacy education and the role of debtors and investors in financial regulation. Sebastian will talk about “Local governments & global finance: Municipal engagement in the derivatives market”. He receives the travel & accomodation grant for the workshop funded by ELTE University.

Update: You can find a brief report on the workshop on soziopolis (in German language) and a video recording of the joint keynote by Liz Mc Fall and Paul Langley on youtube.

Politics & Finance Seminar with Phil Mader (28 January)

The research group “Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance” continues its seminar series at InIIS on January 28. We will discuss the topic “Financial Inclusion or the Financialization of the poor?” (see below) with Dr. Phil Mader, research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS)  at the University of Sussex in Brighton (UK). Phil is author of the book “The Political Economy of Microfinance” that will be dicussed at the Historical International Political Sociology (HIPS) Colloquium on Wednesday, 27 January at InIIS (6-8pm room 2020). At both events, students, BIGSSS fellows and other interested academics are highly welcome.

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Financial Inclusion or a deeper Financialisation of Poverty?
Critically exploring the contours and assumptions of a growing policy space

The financial inclusion of poor and low-income populations, particularly women, features high on mainstream development agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals. This paper discusses work in progress to ask: what techniques and technologies are employed in financial inclusion? In what relationship to older practices (e.g. microfinance) does financial inclusion stand? And what effects can we expect? Financial inclusion builds upon novel assumptions about the power of finance, in particular that (1) there is a causal relationship from financial access to development and broader benefits, (2) the extension of finance is directly beneficial to the poor, and (3) there is an untapped business opportunity in providing comprehensive financial services to the poor. Studying power relations, surplus extraction, the enclosure of commons, and the proliferation of crises, as in microfinance, provides some answers. But we also need a deeper understanding of how financial inclusion brings new groups of actors (such as global financial companies) into connection with poor people and directs new technologies (such as financial literacy training) at the poor.

Politics & Finance Seminar (No 3)

“Financial Inclusion or the Financialization of the poor?”
Dr. Phil Mader, Brighton
Thursday, 28 January 2016
10-12, InIIS, room 2020
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7, 28359 Bremen

Please contact smoeller@uni-bremen.de if you have any questions
or want to attend the event.

Panel on quantification

At the symposium “End or return of history. Changes in the world society since the end of the Cold War”, held for the 20th anniversary of the Institute of Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS), Sebastian Botzem and Natalia Besodovsky contributed to a panel on the politics of quantification. In his introductory remarks, Klaus Schlichte, professor for International Relations at the InIIS, pointed out that quantification today is a wide-spread phenomenon: The world is increasingly interpreted through numbers and numerical targets (e.g. the Sustainable Development Goals and the famous two-degree-target regarding climate change) shape political discourse. The panel was comprised of scholars from sociology and political science.20151211_104434Herbert Kalthoff, professor for Sociology at the University of Mainz, described the omnipresence of numbers as a dynamic of a “quantifying and calculating society”. Processes of calculation fix and stabilize knowledge. Nevertheless, the meaning of numerical representations is often contested among practitioners and therefore needs to be continuously (re)constructed. The simplicity of numbers, often assumed by social science research and in particular in the natural sciences, thus has to be questioned. Numbers, quantification and calculation therefore, have to be studied in specific empirical contexts.

Natalia Besedovsky stressed that not the use of numbers in politics is new but the outsourcing of their production from the state to private actors. This can be highly problematic as in the case of credit rating agencies where the methods used to produce ratings gradually shifted away from the regulatory purpose intended by state agencies. The calculative practices that produce certain numbers therefore are highly relevant since they determine the way in which the numbers can be used politically.

Sebastian Botzem argued that although numbers often appear to be depoliticized, quantification is always political as it justifies management and enables political control. Moreover, quantification is guided by specific normative and theoretical assumptions predetermining the scope of political action. He illustrated these observations with the case of European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) that are currently introduced in order to harmonize budget management of public entities. Under EPSAS, markets (and market prices) become the central point of reference for political decision-making, limiting policies that are not in line with market logics.

Klaus Schlichte showed how quantification produces a representation of the world that becomes powerful in state bureaucracies. In the case of police work in Uganda, he showed how reported events are translated several times into written categories and numbers that inform policy-making and budgetary decisions. At the same time, budgeting and resource distribution cannot be understood by quantification alone as political loyalties and established practices play an important part in co-determining policy-making.

In the discussion it became clear that quantification is a relevant issue for political analysis and that more empirical research is needed to better understand quantification as a condition of bureaucratization on the one hand and effective governance of quantification as driver of marketization of politics on the other. After all, research and teaching can benefit from greater awareness of quantification at different political levels.

InIIS celebrates anniversary

The Institute of Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS), one of our home institutions, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in December with the beginning of the Senghaas Lectures and a symposium on current changes in the world society. The first Senghaas Lecture will take place on Thusday, 10 December (7.30pm at the Stadtwaage Bremen). Prof. Klaus Dieter Wolf from the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt will talk about current challenges in world politics. On Friday, 11 December, the InIIS will hold a symposium on the end or return of history (10.30 – 5.30pm at the Cartesium). Sebastian Botzem and Natalia Besedovsky will contribute to the first panel on the politics of quantification (“administered world or world disorder”).

Both the lecInIIS_Jubiläumture and the symposium will be held in German language. You can find the full program of the event here.

Blog entry on TTIP

Sebastian Botzem and Marcus Wolf have written a comment on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that is currently negotiated between the United States and the EU for the IMPULSE blog of Bremen University. In their comment, Sebastian and Marcus argue that TTIP is a potential threat for democracy on both sides of the North Atlantic. In particular, regulatory cooperation, prioritization of investor´s interests, and private investor-to-state dispute settlement bodies could undermine democratic decison-making. Thus, TTIP should be discussed much more as a democracy issue rather than as a technical free trade agreement. The blog entry goes back to a public panel discussion on TTIP organized by the research group earlier this autumn in Bremen.

Read the blog entry (in German language) here.

An adio- and video-file of the panel discussion can be found here.

Teaching in winter semester 2015/16

This winter term, members of the research group contribute with seminars to the political science study programs at Bremen University. Sebastian Botzem offers an introduction to International Political Economy (“Politics & Economy in the Age of Globalization”, in German language). This seminar takes place Tuesdays 2-4pm at AIB 1010. Natalia Besedovsky teaches the course “Social Science Perspectives on Finance” (in English language). Her course runs Fridays 10-12 at IAW 02 (Haus Seekamp).

Previous seminars of research group members at Bremen University (summer term 2015)

  • Sebastian Botzem: “Political Economy of Financial Market Regulation”
  • Sebastian Möller & Marcus Wolf: “International Political Economy of the Financial Crisis”

Seminar series “Politics & Finance” continues with Pia Eberhardt (20 October)

In October, the research group “Transnational political ordering in global finance” will continue its seminar series “Politics & Finance” at the Bremen Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS). Our guest is Pia Eberhardt from the Brussels based NGO Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO). In her talk “Insights from the Engine Room – Lobbying in Brussels”, Pia will share her impressions of corporate lobbying practices in the EU´s political decision-making process. Particularities of interest group activities in Brussels will be stressed and the role of CEO will be introduced. Especially colleagues from InIIS, SOCIUM, BIGSSS and students from the University of Bremen are invited to discuss these topics with our guest.

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Source: http://corporateeurope.org

“Insights from the Engine Room – Lobbying in Brussels”
(Pia Eberhardt, CEO)

Tuesday, 20 October 2015, 10-12

Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS)

Mary-Somerville-Str. 7, 28359 Bremen
Room: UNICOM 2020

 

 

Panel discussion on TTIP in Bremen (19 October)

The research group Transnational Political Ordering in Global Finance is organizing a public panel discussion on the Transatlantic Trade and Investmentpartnership (TTIP) that is currently under negotiation between the EU and the USA. The discussion will focus on the implications of regulatory cooperation and private dispute settlement provisions for democratic decision-making. Prof. Sebastian Botzem, head of the research group, will discuss with Pia Eberhardt (Corporate European Observatory, CEO), Torsten Grünewald (Bremen Chamber of Commerce) and Joachim Schuster (MEP, International Trade Committe, SPD). The panel discussion will be moderated by the journalist Alexandra Endres (ZEIT online).

Both the panel dicussion and Q&A will be held in German language.

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Photo: Jürgen Howaldt

 

“Freihandelsabkommen TTIP – Eine Bedrohung für die Demokratie?”

19 October 2015, 19:00
Haus der Wissenschaft / House of Science
Sandstraße 4/5
28195 Bremen

Here you can find a brief summary of the discussion in “BUS aktuell” (in German language).