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WCF - Early Career Researcher Workshop 2019

Critical Macro-Finance Workshop

Warwick Critical Finance Group & Political Economy Research Centre at Goldsmiths

9-10 September 2019 at Goldsmiths, University of London


A decade after the 2008 financial crisis, new political economic imaginaries have emerged to make sense of our financialised world. As the work of scholars such as Adam Tooze and Daniela Gabor has shown, critical macro-finance is one of the most important of these trends. It has shed light on the infrastructure of contemporary global finance, the links between shadow banking, money markets and monetary policy, and the evolving governance architecture established in the wreckage of the crash. This work can seem obtuse and technical at first and in the domain of (heterodox) economics rather than broader political economy traditions. Yet it has important implications for how we understand the categories of ‘state’, ‘market’, ‘governance’ and ‘power’ in the contemporary world.

To explore these implications and move the conversation into new directions we teamed up with the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC) at Goldsmiths and to host a two-day workshop. Over the course of the workshop, we did some theoretical heavy-lifting and discussed thirteen papers with an eye to the broader themes and questions they raised about the limits and possibilities of critical macro-finance as an emerging research orientation. For instance, what is the utility of a balance sheet perspective to the study of money and finance? Is there a need for more critical distance from the burgeoning policy literature on financial markets? How to incorporate questions of history, power, and leverage in our analysis? How to bridge the divides between post-Keynesian economists and IPE scholars? All accompanied, of course, by plenty of coffee and deliciously fresh food from our favorite yellow cornershop only a few blocks down from Goldsmiths.

What characterised the workshop, then, was a productive and collaborative workshop atmosphere that allowed us to dive deep into the questions that came up during the panel sessions, which were broadly designed to address critical macro-finance (a) in the context of emerging markets, (b) in the context of monetary governance, and to further investigate (c) how to theorise, (d) how to historicise, and (e) how to politicise critical macro-finance as an emerging research agenda and/or approach. The programme can be found here!

Thanks to all the participants for making this such an insightful and highly enjoyable event. Good luck to everyone with taking their papers forwards, and we hope to continue the discussion on critical macro-finance!