In September, Sebastian Botzem, Marcus Wolf and Sebastian Möller will present a paper on “Financializing through ideas” at the 2018 annual conference of IIPPE – the International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy – at the University of Pula, Croatia. The theme of the conference will be “The State of Capitalism and the State of Political Economy”. In our paper we are aiming at analyzing the pervasiveness of financial ideas and narratives – a theme that cuts across the different projects pursues by the research group. It brings together accounts from constructivist IPE and empirical findings from our ongoing research. The presentation will be part of the conference´s stream on financialization and is (preliminarily) scheduled for session 5 on 13 September (11:30- 1:30, Room 2).
On 25 July, Sebastian Möller presented his research on municipal derivatives at the 5th Global Conference on Economic Geography in Cologne. In his talk “The financialization of municipal debt: Local governments and the brave new world of derivative capitalism”, Sebastian summarized his empirical findings on debt management practices of Manchester (UK), Essen (DE) and Linz (AT) and discussed his analytical approach of tracing the micropolitics of local state financialization. The talk was part of a series of panels on the financialization of the state that Sebastian co-chaired with Laura Deruytter and Reijer Hendrikse from the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels.
In February, Sebastian Botzem will present recent findings of his ongoing research on global financial elites at a conference on the repercussions of the financial crisis ten years after its outbreak in Darmstadt (Germany). The conference “Nachbeben. Zehn Jahre Finanzkrise und ihre Auswirkungen in Deutschland und Europa” is co-organized by the Schader Foundation and the Political Economy section of the German Assocaition for Political Science (DVPW). In his talk (23 February, 1pm), Sebastian will analyse the rise of transnational professional and advocacy associations as vastly invisible lobbyists since the crisis. The presentation will be part of a panel on changing actor constellations in global finance.
The full program of the conference can be found here.
This week, the International Relations section of the German Association for Political Science (DVPW) will gather for its open conference at the University of Bremen. From Wednesday to Friday, there will be lots of panels covering a broad variety of IR issues including International Political Economy and global finance. Members of our research group are participating in the conference. On Wednesday afternoon, Sebastian Botzem will present a paper on elite organization in global finance (3.15-4.45pm, Room SFG1040). On Friday morning, he will chair a panel on global finance in which Marcus Wolf and Sebastian Möller will jointly dicsuss four papers on financial governance (11.15-12.45, Room, SFG1030). More information on the confernce can be found here.
In July, the University of Bremen will host Prof. Eve Chiapello for two events. Chiapello is a renowned sociologist and currently research director at L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Her research focuses on the transformation of capitalism through management tools, valuation, and accounting. In 1999, she published Le nouvel Ésprit du Capitalisme (English: The New Spirit of Capitalism) together with Luc Boltanski, a work systematically analyzing managerial literature from the 1960s and 1990s to detect a shift in the ethos of capitalist society. This book has become something like a moden classic in sociology. More recently, Chiapello´s work has turned to the manifold dynamics of financialization. In a joint research project with scholars at the University of Hamburg, Chiapello, for instance, explores the “financialization of valuation and public policies”.
In Bremen, she will give a talk on “The Financialization of Public Policies” within the BIGSSS lectures series (5 July). Moreover, she will be guest at a “Politics & Finance Seminar” of our research group on “Devices, Conventions and the Study of Neoliberalism” (6 July). In this seminar, we will discuss her recent article “Critical accounting research and neoliberalism”. As a kick-off for our discussion, Martin Nonhoff (InIIS) will comment the paper. If you want to participate in the seminar, please contact s.moeller[at]uni-bremen.de.
Overview of the two events
- 05.07.2017: Eve Chiapello (EHESS Paris): “The Financialization of Public Policies” (BIGSSS Lecture), 16.15-17.45, Room 7.2210 (InIIS)
- 06.07.2017: Eve Chiapello (EHESS Paris), Workshop: “Devices, Conventions, and the Study of Neoliberalism”, 10-12h, Room 7.2210 (InIIS)
The “Politics & Finance” research group is hosting a reading session on process tracing in IPE (and byond) on 01 June (10-12) at InIIS. We will read and discuss selected contributions from a recent special issue of New Political Economy. The program for the event can be found here. If you wish to participate, please send an email to smoeller[at]uni-bremen.de.
In September, the Warwick Critical Finance Group will be hosting the sequel of last year´s Young Scholars Workshop on interdisciplinary finance studies. The workshop is titled “Taking the next step: new frontiers in the interdisciplinary study of finance” and will take place on 25 & 26 September 2017 at the University of Warwick (UK). The Call for Papers can be found here. Paper proposals are due on 1 June. The event will provide an excellent opportunity to continue our discussions on the ongoing and manifold daynamic changes of finance, it´s transformative influence on various realms of society, and further avenues for the intersdisciplinary agenda of finance research. Moreover, the workshop is targeted at further strengthening networks and collaborations of early career researchers.
In November 2017, the City University London will be hosting the second “Intersections of Finance and Society” conference organized by the “Finance and Society” Journal, the Finance and Socitey Network at the University of Sydney, and the City Political Economy Research Centre (CITYPERC). The Call for papers for this conference has been announced now. Last year´s inaugural conference was a mayor success and brought together hundreds of finance scholars from different disciplines and from all over the world. Abstracts for this year can be submitted until 01 August. Melinda Cooper and Joseph Vogel already have been confirmed as keynote speekers for this event.
In early October 2017, the section “International Relations” of the German Association of Political Science (DVPW) is holding an open conference at the University of Bremen. The conference will be organized by colleagues from the Institute of Intercultural and International Sudies (InIIS). Abstracts can be submitted until 31 March 2017. The call for papers and further information can be found here.
There is also a distinct call for papers for a panel at this conference organized by the DVPW working group on International Political Economy. The panel will focus on politics of financial solidarity within the European Union. This call can be found here. Abstracts for this panel are due on 20 March.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 House
Alliance Manchester Business School
Booth Street West
M15 6PB, UK
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.
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.
Abstracts can be submitted until March 31. Find out more information here (in German language).
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.
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 email@example.com if you have any questions
or want to attend the event.
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.Herbert 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.
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 lecture and the symposium will be held in German language. You can find the full program of the event here.
There is now available a video with some snippets of the panel discussion on TTIP. You can also find an audio recording of the full event. Media coverage of the event includes Weser Kurier and Bremer Uni-Schlüssel.
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.
“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
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.
Photo: Jürgen Howaldt
“Freihandelsabkommen TTIP – Eine Bedrohung für die Demokratie?”
19 October 2015, 19:00
Haus der Wissenschaft / House of Science
Here you can find a brief summary of the discussion in “BUS aktuell” (in German language).