GCEG 2022 Dublin: Special Session 04_09 Financialisation: Disruptions, Displacements and Discontents

GCEG 2022 Dublin  –Special Session 04_09

Financialisation: Disruptions, Displacements and Discontents

Session organisers:

  • Leonardo Pataccini, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland / University of Latvia
  • Martin Sokol, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Jennie Stephens – Northeastern University – j.stephens@northeastern.edu

Session description:

Financialisation, a shorthand for the increasing power of finance over society and the economy, continues to reshape economic geographies in numerous ways and at multiple scales. From housing to health care, from education to innovation, from firms to governments, from labour markets to financial markets, from retail banks to central banks, the process of financialisation has fundamentally altered wealth and power relations. In doing so, it has created significant disruptions, displacements and discontents. Financialisation appears to be deepening social and territorial inequalities, while making contemporary capitalist economies more prone to crises which in turn reinforces the concentration of wealth and power among those with financial assets, i.e. the pandemic has worsened economic inequities and strengthened multiple problematic financial mechanisms. Furthermore, the subjugation of economic process to the financialised logic of short-term financial gain accelerates climate change, reinforces fossil fuel reliance, and deepens climate vulnerabilities around the world.


TUESDAY 7th JUNE 2022 – Trinity

Financialisation I: Central banks and monetary policy                Chair: Jennie Stephens

  • Sokol M. – Financialisation, Central Banks and the New State Capitalism
  • Pataccini L. – Examining the Transmission Mechanism of Monetary Policy in the Euro Area in the Light of Financialisation
  • Cohen D.; Martine A.; Rosenman, E. – Walls of Capital: Quantitative Easing, Spatial Inequality, and the Winners and Losers of Canada’s Pandemic-Era Housing Market
  • Eichacker N.Financialization, Structural Power, and the Global Financial Crisis for Europe’s Core and Periphery


Financialisation II: Climate justice, higher education & neoliberalism                 Chair: Martin Sokol

  • Stephens J. – Climate Justice and the Financialization of Higher Education
  • Green L. – The Financialising Univer[city]? Financial Restructuring and Urban Real Estate Development in UK Higher Education
  • Discussion



Financialisation III: Housing and real estate                   Chair: Leonardo Pataccini

  • Alexandri G. – From Housing Financialisation to Housing Affordability Pressures in Athens and Barcelona; Exploring Comparatively Social Ruptures and Urban Transformations
  • Kors T.; Rainer G. – Financialization of (Holiday) Real Estate in a Traditional Tourism Town. The Case of Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  • Crevoisier O.; Theurillat T.; Merckhoffer A. – The Changing Role of Real Estate in Swiss Urban Development: Evidence and Theoretical Reframing
  • Pósfai Z. – Dependent Housing Financialization in Hungary – Post-2008 Shifts


Financialisation IV: Hegemony and subordination         Chair: Zsuzsanna Pósfai

  • Fernandez, R.; Pataccini L.; Sokol M. – Monetary Policy, Varieties of Capitalism and Subordinate Financialization: What Explains Divergent Economic Geographies of (Semi-)Peripheries in East-Central Europe?
  • Benceković S. – Mapping the Postsocialist Bankscapes: Sub-National Banking Geographies in Croatia
  • Handke M. – Financialization and Financial Flexibility in Indebted COVID-19 Risk Societies
  • Ouma S.; Mkalama B.; Ndemo B. – Hegemonic Venture Capital: A (Re)View From Africa


Photos from Event

RSA 2022 conference image

2022 RSA CEE conference in Leipzig, Germany (14-17 Sept)

Conference website: https://www.regionalstudies.org/events/2022-rsa-cee-programme/

Special Session SS05 at the 2022 RSA CEE conference in Leipzig, Germany (14-17 Sept 2022). 

Session organisers:

Arguments centred on infrastructure have become increasingly influential across social sciences. While infrastructure is primarily understood as embedded technical support systems that provide services to populations and organizations, social scientists document that infrastructures themselves are integrated into larger ecologies of other infrastructures, social organization, work routines, norms and standards, communities of users etc. (Niewöhner 2017). Infrastructures can be thus seen as extended and technologically mediated material assemblages that continuously produce social and socio-technical relations in both planned and unplanned ways (Harvey et al. 2017). Scholars working on finance deploy the concept as a heuristic for making visible “hard” infrastructures in finance as well as the socio-technical and organizational arrangements and processes surrounding them (Bernards and Campbell-Verduyn 2019; Krarup 2019). They further developed the notion of the infrastructural power of finance to draw attention to the ways in which state actors such as central banks and treasuries come to depend on financial actors, markets and practices for the execution of their policies, with obvious implications for regulation (Braun 2020; Gabor and Braun 2020). A related line of enquiry focuses on entanglements between financial infrastructures and security (de Goede 2020), which have been recently taken to a new level with unprecedented sanctions against Russia’s access to particular financial markets, assets or payment systems. This special session invites analyses of these two dimensions of the relationship between infrastructure and finance in Eastern Europe – a region in which this line of enquiry is still underdeveloped, although existing scholarship already points to distinctive financial infrastructures such as foreign-led banking systems.

First, the session invites analyses of the infrastructures of Eastern European finance. The term is interpreted such as to cover a wide range of infrastructural phenomena – technological instruments and systems (e.g. trading platforms, payment systems, credit registries), mechanisms and techniques (e.g. credit scoring, government debt issuance techniques), and institutions and institutional frameworks (e.g. exchanges, markets.).

Second, the session invites reflections on the infrastructural power of finance in the region as well as its limits – the ways in which financial instruments and markets become prerequisites for monetary, security and other policies, but also the ways in which states may reassert their power vis-à-vis finance and deploy it for their purposes.


Call for Papers – IGC 2024:

35th International Geographical Congress, Dublin, Ireland (24th – 30th August 2024)


C.09: Dynamics of Economic Spaces

In-person paper session:

Financial innovations for transformative climate and economic justice

Session organisers:

  • Martin Sokol (Associate Professor of Geography, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) – sokolm@tcd.ie
  • Jennie Stephens* (Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy, Northeastern University, Boston, USA; Radcliffe-Salata Climate Justice Fellow at Harvard 2023-2024, Cambridge, USA) – j.stephens@northeastern.edu (*Session Chair)

Session abstract:

Financial systems have potential to be both drivers of and barriers to the transformative changes that are urgently needed to advance climate justice and promote economic justice. Fossil fuel phaseout and transformation toward a more stable, equal, healthier society based on a more caring solidarity economy requires financial innovation. Recognition of the central role that financial innovations, financial flows, and financial processes have on transformative social change is rapidly growing, and collective calls for fundamental transformation of financial systems are becoming more frequent.

This session invites contributions which explore different kinds of financial innovations that would advance climate justice and economic justice. Papers focused on financial innovations of all kinds are welcome – from public banks to private finance innovations; from transformative monetary and fiscal policies to bank lending, worker-owned cooperatives and community cooperatives. Papers situated at various geographical scales are also welcome from macro-innovations designed to transform the global financial system as a whole; to multinational financial institutions; to radical national and transnational central bank interventions and transformative financial regulations; as well as innovations at local levels, including community banks, alternative local currency schemes or micro-level financial innovations for climate justice. Innovations that link these scales together are invited, including contributions relating to the Global North, Global South, Global East, and everything in between. Both conceptual and empirical-based papers are welcome.

Deadline: Friday 12th January 2024


Abstracts (max. 250 words) must be submitted via submission portal. Details here: https://igc2024dublin.org/call-for-abstracts/. You will find our session under Congress Commission C.09: Dynamics of Economic Spaces. While submitting your abstract you will be able to indicate if you also intend to attend the RGS-IBG 2024 conference in London (28th – 30th August 2024). IGC is working with the RGS to ensure that delegates who wish to attend both conferences will be able to do so.

Please also email a copy of your abstract to sokolm@tcd.ie and j.stephens@northeastern.edu.

Thank you! See you in Dublin in August 2024!

Rethinking Growth: Towards a Wellbeing Economy for Ireland, 25th- 26th June 2024.

Event: Rethinking Growth: Towards a Wellbeing Economy for Ireland

When:  Tuesday  25th June 2024 – Wednesday 26th June at 5pm

Where: Venue: Dargan Auditorium, Trinity Business School

Website: https://rethinking-growth.ie/

Tickets: Registration page here



If you can’t make it in person please email info@rethinking-growth.ie  reference “Online participation” in subject line for online participation.

Thank you! Hope to see you there !

(Dr Martin Sokol, member of the conference organising committee).

Roundtables on central banks and monetary policy 2022 (online events)


Rodrigo Fernandez, Center for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)
Sara Murawski, The Transnational Institute (TNI)
Leonardo Pataccini, Trinity College Dublin / University of Latvia
Martin Sokol, Trinity College Dublin

For more information on these events: contact Martin Sokol.

These roundtable sessions focus on the most pressing issues related to central banking and monetary policy in contemporary financialized capitalism. The roundtables bring together experts and critical thinkers including scholars and civil society organizations that work on one or more of the following issues:
• Unconventional monetary policy/QE and wealth inequality
• Central banks, democratic deficit and accountability
• Monetary policy and green transition
• Monetary policy, subordinate financialization and core-periphery relations
• Monetary policy and spatial inequality
The aim is to encourage a dialogue between experts in these critical areas and to explore how synergies between different approaches can be achieved.

Theme 1: The monetary future of Europe
How should the European financial infrastructure and monetary policy (in the eurozone and beyond) be re-designed to promote more balanced development between the core and its peripheries (including the East-Central European periphery)? How can this be done to simultaneously support the green transition, social justice and democratic accountability of monetary policy in Europe?

Theme 2: The future of central banking and the global political economy

What a future central banking and international monetary architecture should look like to ensure global financial stability, to promote social & climate justice and to support balanced economic development at the global scale? What are the interlinkages between subordinate financialization and monetary policy?


Roundtable 1: 15th June 2022.   Notes from session

Participants: Uuree Batsaikhan, Marc Beckmann, Sara Bencekovic,  Nina Eichacker, Rodrigo Fernandez, Clement Fontan, Katie Kedward, Sara Murawski, Leonardo Pataccini, Martin Sokol, Jens Van ‘T Klooster.


Roundtable 2: 17th June 2022   Notes from session

Participants:  Andrea Binder, Annina Kaltenbrunner, Leah Downey, Katie Edward, Nina Eichacker, Roderigo Fermandez, Kardelen Gunaydin, Sara Murawski, Fathimath Musthaq, Leonardo Pataccini, Emily Rosenmann, Martin Sokol, Jennie Stephens.



The 2008 global financial crisis transformed leading central banks in the Global North into the ‘masters of the universe’. This dominant position in the global financial system was strengthened further by the monetary interventions initiated during the early period of the Covid-19 shock. Presently, the evolving repercussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine further highlight the need to examine the international monetary system.

Interventions by leading central banks at times of crises, while stabilizing the system temporarily, come at an enormous cost. Quantitative Easing (QE), for example, has inflated asset prices, including real estate, fueling a rise in wealth inequality not seen since the gilded age. The increase in cross-border financial flows, pushed by QE in the Global North, further solidified the subordinate position of emerging economies in the Global South and deepened uneven development at various spatial scales. The after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to strengthen these trends and, in doing so, increase the probability of further crises in the near future.

Another crucial set of questions relate to the potential for the greening of the financial system by monetary policy in the face of the climate crisis. Academics and civil society organizations have been successful in formulating caveats and alternatives to the one-dimensional ESG focus pushed forward by the financial services industry, but central banks are slow to bring in radical changes needed to avert the climate disaster. In fact, recent research suggests that the alleged ‘market neutrality’ of QE policies has increased climate change risks.

Related to all the above issues is the question of legitimacy and democratic oversight. While central banks have assumed a center role in the management of contemporary financialised capitalism, including acting as key geo-political agents, they remain largely insulated from democratic decision-making structures.

The proposed Roundtables are designed to facilitate focused discussion on the above set of issues. In particular we are interested in how these different questions and struggles can complement each other and what this means for the future of central banking and the financial architecture more broadly. What would/could/should a blueprint for a democratic, socially just, spatially balanced, and environmentally sustainable central banking of the future look like? How can central banks best position themselves to become the responsible and accountable agents of positive change and transformation? How can a positive change be achieved at the European level and what needs to be done at the global level ?



GEOFIN Lunchtime Seminar on “Financialisation” with Alicja Bobek and Marek Mikuš (19th September 2019)

GEOFIN International Seminar Titles: “Subordinated financialisation? The role of financial investment, credit and debt in everyday lives of households in East-Central Europe” / “State financialisation in Croatia: Preliminary Findings of an interview-based case study ”Speakers: Dr Alicja Bobek (Trinity College Dublin) / Dr Marek Mikuš (Trinity College Dublin / Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle) Date: Thursday 19th September 2019 […]

GEOFIN International Seminar with Larry Murphy “Financialization (un)limited: Restless capital, housing and home” (16th October 2018)

GEOFIN International Seminar

Title: “Financialization (un)limited: Restless capital, housing and home”

Speaker: Professor Laurence Murphy (University of University of Auckland)

Date: Tuesday 16th October 2018

Time: 4-5pm

Venue: M4, Museum Building, Trinity College Dublin

Free event: All welcome

Book your place via: Eventbrite

About the speaker:

Laurence Murphy is Professor of Human Geography in the School of Environment (University of University of Auckland) and was formerly Professor of Property in the University of Auckland Business School. He has published widely on property topics including: homeownership, social rental housing, mortgage securitisation, office development, the institutional evolution of listed property trusts, finance capital and entrepreneurial urban governance. In 2014 he was the Helen Cam Visiting Fellow at Girton College, University of Cambridge and held a Visiting Professorship at Trinity College Dublin in 2009. In 2010 he was appointed Acting-Director of “Transforming Auckland: Institutional, Technological and Cultural Innovations for Sustainable Cities”, one of three Thematic Research Initiatives (TRI) established by The University of Auckland. Prof Murphy completed his PhD in Urban Economic Geography at the University of Dublin (Trinity College Dublin) and has held lecturing posts at Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast and the London School of Economics.


The burgeoning literature on financialisation affords the potential for ongoing ‘conceptual slippage’ whereby the term is employed in multiple and inconsistent ways. Consequently, Christophers (2015) posits that the term financialization is limited and potentially unhelpful. In this paper I argue that conceiving of financialization as a dynamic and changeable set of processes is conceptually and empirically productive. Drawing upon my own research, which examines issues of housing and home, I explore the possibilities of engaging with the notion of ‘financialization (un)limited’ (Murphy, 2015). Such an engagement takes cognizance of the protean nature of financialization and takes seriously the notions of its limits, especially within local contexts.

About the event:

This lecture is co-organised by the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) and the Finance, Economy & Society (FES) research group and sponsored by ERC GEOFIN research ‘Western Banks in Eastern Europe: New Geographies of Financialisation’ (Project No. 683197). The event is presented as part of the “Distinguished International Lecturers in Geography” lecture series.

Related resources:

Poster: PDF

View photos from this event in our Photo Gallery / GEOFIN Events

Prof Larry Murphy (Photo by M. Sokol)

GEOFIN International Seminar with Fabio Contel “The financialization of the Brazilian territory (1964-2017): Main aspects” (19th April 2018)

GEOFIN International Seminar

Title: “The financialization of the Brazilian territory (1964 – 2017): Main aspects”

Speaker: Professor Fabio Betioli Contel (University of São Paulo, Brazil)

Date: Thursday 19th April 2018

Time: 1-2pm

Venue: GGSR-A, Museum Building, Trinity College Dublin

Free event: All welcome

Book your place via: Eventbrite

About the speaker:

Professor Contel holds a degree in Geography from the University of São Paulo (1994) a Master’s degree and PhD in Human Geography from the University of São Paulo, Brazil (2001/2006). He was a PhD researcher at the Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena (Germany) in 2005, where he later returned as a Visiting Research Professor in 2007. Since 2008 he has been lecturing at the Department of Geography at University of São Paulo, Brazil. He is currently holding a Visiting Fellowship at the School of Geography of the University of Oxford (2017/2018). Prof Contel has experience in the area of economic geography, urban geography and financialisation of geographical space.

About the event:

This lecture is organised by the Finance, Economy & Society (FES) Research Group and sponsored by ERC GEOFIN research “Western Banks in Eastern Europe: New Geographies of Financialisation” (Project No. 683197). The event is presented as part of the “Distinguished International Lecturers in Geography” lecture series.

Related resources:

Poster: PDF

View photos from this event in our Photo Gallery / GEOFIN Events

Prof Fabio Contel (Photo by M. Sokol)