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Fabian Pape

Fabian Pape

ESRC Doctoral Research Fellow

PhD Candidate


Advice and Feedback Hours by appointment only


I am a political economist trained in Politics and International Relations (Sussex), Development Studies (SOAS, University of London) and Social Science Research (Warwick). I started my PhD programme in October 2017 on a '1+3' ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership scholarship and a University of Warwick PAIS PhD studentship. My thesis is provisionally entitled, 'Liquidity and the State: Monetary Governance in the United States, 1900s-2010s'. My supervisors are Matthew Watson and Chris Clarke.

I am one of the organisers of the Warwick Critical Finance Group.

Research Interests

My doctoral research focuses on the political space opened up by the conceptual ambiguity of the term ‘liquidity’. Amongst policymakers and the economics profession, there is very little agreement about what liquidity actually means. Instead, we often encounter it as a metaphor. For example, we are told that during the global financial crisis, markets that were previously ‘awash with liquidity’ suddenly ‘dried up’. But how exactly do experts make sense of the policy challenges associated with liquidity if the concept itself remains so elusive?

To address this question, my research traces liquidity as a governmental problem from the founding of the Federal Reserve to the global financial crisis. Instead of seeking to resolve the analytical tensions that underpin the concept of liquidity, I focus on the productive uses that are engendered by the ambiguous nature of liquidity. My key argument is that the very lack of a clear definition has opened up the space for various political projects of liquidity governance. I treat the discourse of liquidity as a useful way to understand how monetary governance regimes take shape to reflect broader political priorities, and how the construction of liquidity as a governmental problem has been used to describe, explain and intervene into the historically contingent social relationships that entangle the state and the market in the production of capitalist credit money.

Upcoming & Recent Presentations

(2019) "Balancing stability with liquidity? The Federal Reserve, money market changes, and the politics of macro-finance", International Studies Association's 60th Annual Convention, March 27-30, Toronto.

(2018) "Global liquidity as governmental problem: the institutional origins of the Federal Reserve’s liquidity swap lines", 10th Critical Finance Studies Conference, August 9-11, Gothenburg.

(2018) "Cross-border banking as driver of global liquidity: the case of European banks", European Union in International Affairs (EUIA) 2018, May 16-18, Brussels.

(2017) “Governing Global Liquidity: The Federal Reserve’s Liquidity Swap Lines in Historical Perspective”, Intersections of Finance and Society, November 2-3, City, University of London.

(2016) “Rethinking shadow banking through the lens of risk management”, Intersections of Finance and Society, November 3-4, City, University of London.