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Johannes Petry

Pathway to instability? The politics of developing and internationalising China's capital markets

I am an ESRC Doctoral Research Fellow and PhD Candidate in International Political Economy at the University of Warwick, researching the transformation of global finance and the infrastructures underpinning it. Trained as a political economist, I studied political science, economics, comparative public policy and international political economy. Between my studies and starting a PhD, I worked in finance for two years to obtain more practical knowledge about financial markets. Applying these insights, my research focuses on the infrastructural arrangements enable the functioning of financial markets.

In my PhD research, I research the development of Chinese capital markets and their integration into global finance and focus on the role (stock and derivative) exchanges play as crucial actors in processes of capital market development. While they share some characteristics with ‘global’ capital markets, Chinese capital markets function quite differently because China’s state-owned exchanges facilitate the development of capital markets that follow an institutional logic of and are embedded in China’s state capitalism. Instead of following a neoliberal rulebook, the exchanges facilitate the state’s ability to control capital markets and to direct market outcomes towards certain state policies, both within China and internationally. These findings have important implications for political economy debates on the transformation of China’s capitalism, its integration into the Global Financial Order, trajectories of financialisation as well as the politics of infrastructures in global finance.

My research draws on extensive fieldwork in Beijing, Dalian, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Singapore, Frankfurt and London where I conducted 130+ expert interviews and gained ethnographic insights from attending 25+ financial industry events. While I also draw on statistical financial data, I am rather interested in the emergence of the infrastructures that enable these financial flows in the first place.

During my research, I also held positions as visiting fellow at The City University of Hong Kong (May-July 2017), Goethe University Frankfurt (Jan-March 2018), the Fudan Development Institute in Shanghai (April-May 2018), Peking University’s International Political Economy Center (Oct-Nov 2018) and at East China Normal University in Shanghai (Sep-Oct 2019).

I am also a co-founder and -organiser of the Warwick Critical Finance Group.

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Academic publications 

Petry, J. (2020) ‘Same same, but different: Varieties of capital markets, Chinese state capitalism & the global financial order’, Competition & Change (open access).

Petry, J. (2020) ‘From national marketplaces to global providers of financial infrastructures: Exchanges, infrastructure and power in global finance’, New Political Economy (open access).

Petry, J. (2020) 'Financialization with Chinese characteristics: Exchanges, control and capital markets in authoritarian capitalism', Economy & Society, 49(2): 213-238, doi:10.1080/03085147.2020.1718913 (open access).

Dutta, S., F. Pape, R. Kremers & J. Petry (2020) ‘Critical macro-finance: An introduction’, Finance & Society, 6(1): 34-44 (open access).

Dutta, S., F. Pape, R. Kremers & J. Petry (2020) Special Forum on ‘Critical macro-finance’, Finance & Society, 6(1).

Petry, J., J. Fichtner & E. Heemskerk (2019) 'Steering capital: The growing private authority of index providers in the age of passive asset management', Review of International Political Economy, doi:10.1080/09692290.2019.1699147 (open access).

Petry, J. (2020) 'Securities exchanges: subjects and agents of financialization', in: D. Mertens, P. Mader & N. van der Zwan (eds.) The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization. London: Routledge, 253-264 [pre-print].

Petry, J. (2020) 'Schmalz, Stefan (2019): Machtverschiebungen im Weltsystem. Der Aufstieg Chinas und die große Krise' (book review), Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 61(1), 219-221.

Petry, J. (2018) 'Investor trust, uncertainty and markets: Progress and challenges in the internationalisation of China’s capital markets', China Watch, 28 (3/2018), 31-35.

Petry, J. (2018) '投资者信任、不确定与市场:中国资本市场国际化国家化进程中的发展与挑战', 中国观, 78期 (2018 年第3 期总第), 25-27. [China Watch translation]


Non-academic publications

Petry, J. (2020) 'London Stock Exchange vs EU: Refinitiv battle reveals unease over power of modern stock markets' The Conversation, 28 August.

Petry, J. (2020) 'Why do financial infrastructures matter? The structural power of exchanges in global finance' Political Economy Research Centre, 13 July.

Petry, J. (2020) 'Wall Street beyond the Chinese Wall: Market infrastructures and the slow opening of China's capital markets', ETF Stream, 25 June.

Dutta, S., F. Pape, R. Kremers & J. Petry (2020) 'Critical macro-finance: Eine Einführung', Dezernat Zukunft, 25 June.

Petry, J.(2020) 'Financializing state capitalism: Exchanges, financial infrastructures & the active management of capital markets in China', Developing Economics, 10 June.

Petry, J. (2020) 'Three financial firms could change the direction of the climate crisis – and few people have any idea' The Conversation, 24 February (with J. Fichtner & E. Heemskerk).

Petry, J. (2020) 'Index funds might sound boring. But who decides which countries and companies to include?' Washington Post, 8 January (with J. Fichtner & E. Heemskerk).

Petry, J. (2019) 'China, state capitalism & the global financial order', Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa, 11 May 2019.

Petry, J. (2017) 'Why does fieldwork matter? Some reflections on immersion, the everyday and knowledge creation from researching financial markets in Hong Kong', Social Science Works, 10 November 2017.

Petry, J. (2016) 'Intellectual monocultures, black swans & the failure of economics: lessons from the global financial crisis and austerity', Social Science Works, 7 November 2016.

Kaja, O. & J. Petry (2016) 'The ECB’s corporate bond purchase programme: More distortions', Deutsche Bank Research, 14 June 2016 (with O. Kaya).

Deutsche Börse (2015) Corporate Report 2014 (co-editor and co-author, English and German versions).

Deutsche Börse (2015) Deutsche Börse Group: From trading floor to electronic trading marketplace. June 2015 (co-editor and co-author, English and German versions).