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).
- Marek Mikuš, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany
- Leonardo Pataccini, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland / University of Latvia
- Martin Sokol, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
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.
Congratulations to Leonardo Pattaccini GEOFIN research fellow, on the publication is his latest work in the Journal of the Balkan Studies. “From post-socialist transition to the COVID-19 crisis: cycles, drivers, and perspectives of subordinate financialization in Latvia”.
This article is available online from: Journal of Baltic Studies
GCEG 2022 Dublin –Special Session 04_09
Financialisation: Disruptions, Displacements and Discontents
- Leonardo Pataccini, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland / University of Latvia
- Martin Sokol, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
- Jennie Stephens – Northeastern University – firstname.lastname@example.org
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
WEDNESDAY 8th JUNE 2022 – UCD
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
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 ?
The GEOFIN team in TCD Geography welcomes Caroline Bourke, who joins us as a Research Project Officer. Caroline joins Trinity College, having previously worked in a number of banking roles in the financial services sector.
Farewell to Dimitri Paraskevas, our Research Project Officer, who is moving to a new role in May. We wish you well in your new job and thank you for everything you have done for GEOFIN research!
We would like to wish Zsuzszanna Pósfai, our former Research Fellow, the very best of luck in her new professional pursuits. Thank you for everything you have done for GEOFIN research and looking forward to working with you again in the future!
Prof. Martin Sokol is participating in this year’s virtual (due to Covid-19) meeting of the American Association of Geographers (25 February – 1 March 2022) with a poster presentation entitled ‘Financial chains in financialized economies: the role of central banks’.
For more details and to download a copy of the poster presentation please click on the link below:
If you missed the recent presentation by Geofin’s Zsuzsanna Pósfai at the TCD Geography seminar series, you can now watch a recording of the session on YouTube.
Financialisation: Disruptions, Displacements and Discontents
This session invites papers that will address financialisation and its disruptions, displacements and discontents, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives and from a variety of scales from the local and regional to the trans-territorial and global. We welcome papers that will cover areas less researched including (but not limited to) the financialisation of banks, financialisation and monetary policy, financialisation of the state, financialisation of higher education, financialisation of nature, financialisation of climate governance, financialisation of energy systems, etc., as well as more established areas such as financialisation of housing & real estate, financialisation of households, and corporate financialisation. We particularly welcome contributions that would explore the links between different areas of financialisation, while considering multidimensional and mutually reinforcing disruptions and displacements caused by financialisation.
To submit your paper please click on the image below:
GEOFIN Researcher Zsuzsanna Pósfai participated in Trade Union Cooperation Forum’s recent conference on in-work poverty. The two-day conference was held on 2-3 December 2021 in Budapest. The Trade Union Cooperation Forum (SZEF) is one of the new federal systems of the Hungarian trade union movement, which was transformed during the political and economic change (1989–90). A trade union association representing employees in public education, health and social care, public collections, cultural and artistic institutions, and employees in the state and municipal administration, the judiciary, and public order and safety agencies. It is one of the largest trade union confederations in Hungary. In 2019, the 13 member organizations of the SZEF registered about 60,000 members.
A recording of the live discussion is available in Hungarian on Facebook.
TCD Geography seminars continue next Wednesday December 8th at 1pm with GEOFIN research’s Zsuzsanna Pósfai giving what’s going to be a cracking talk on finance and its potentials (and limitations) in enabling new possible forms of housing.
To register: https://tinyurl.com/yrvszsj6
The GEOFIN team in TCD Geography welcomes Dimitrios Paraskevas, who joins us as a Research Project Officer. Dimitri returns to Trinity College, having previously worked in a number of administrative roles in the University over a period of fifteen years.
Our Research Fellow Leonardo Pataccini tells us about his research on banking in the Baltics:
Our Research Fellow Zsuzsanna Pósfai introduces her research on the financialisation of housing, housing inequalities, affordable housing, and financial futures:
Our PhD researcher Sara Benceković explains her work on banking in Croatia for the GEOFIN research project:
The GEOFIN YouTube channel has launched! Meet our researchers and find out more about their work on financialisation, financial policies, banking, housing, etc.
Congratulations to Rodrigo Fernandez and his co-authors Tobias Klinge and Manuel Aalbers on their recent paper:
Zsuzsanna Pósfai recently gave a presentation at the annual (online) conference of the European Network of Housing Researchers (ENHR, 30 August-2 September 2021): “Housing finance beyond individual mortgages – how to finance – new forms of affordable housing in Eastern Europe?”
You can now view the slides from the presentation, as well as read the paper:
A PDF of the presentation is now available: Subordinate financialization in the European (semi-)periphery: The European Central Bank and the uneven monetary integration of East-Central Europe – PDF
If you missed the recent presentation by Martin Sokol, Rodrigo Fernandez, and Leonardo Pataccini at the Regional Studies Association 2021 Global E-Festival, you can now watch a recording of the session: Special Session 34 I FinGeo – Financial Policies
The RSA has made this recording available on Youtube until the end of August 2021.
Short on time? Browse the presentation slides: Financialisation, post-pandemic central banking and regional and urban recovery: A turning point for monetary policy? – PDF
Congratulations to Marek Mikuš and Petra Rodik, former GEOFIN Research Fellows, on the publication of their new edited book (with a chapter co-authored by Zsuzsanna Pósfai, current GEOFIN Research Fellow):
Households and Financialisation in Europe: Mapping Variegated Patterns in Semi-peripheries (London: Routledge, 2021). DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003028857
The GEOFIN team attended the conference Thirty years of capitalist transformations in CEE: Inequalities and social resistance in Cluj, Romania/online on 20-22 May.
Our new Research Fellow Zsuzsanna Pósfai gave a presentation with Márton Czirfusz, titled “Dependent housing financialization in Hungary through the case of household debt”.
Their presentation is available as a PDF.
The GEOFIN research team in TCD Geography welcomes Dr Zsuzsanna Pósfai who joins us as a Research Fellow to work on possible financial futures.
Zsuzsanna is one if the founding members of the Periféria Policy and Research Center, an independent Budapest-based organisation working on spatial and housing justice. She has experience in the field of housing activism, of housing policy on the scale of local administrations (both in France and Hungary), as well as in academia. In recent years Zsuzsanna’s research has focused on the mechanisms of investment in the housing market and the over-indebtedness of households. Based on her research she is also working on practical ways to channel investment into affordable housing.
View her full profile here.
Martin Sokol recently participated in the ‘European Cities beyond COVID-19’ webinar, part of the Inspiring Ideas @Trinity series.
This webinar explores how European cities will adapt to a new working model, the challenges and opportunities for urban development and renewal the last year has brought, and what it means to be a future-focused city. It is moderated by Alan Duffy, CEO & Head of Banking, HSBC Ireland and former President of the Trinity Business Alumni and provides a twin academic and professional perspective on this area of increasing focus. It features Dr Martin Sokol and Prof Greg Clark, Global Head of Future Cities & New Industries for HSBC.
Watch the webinar here.
The GEOFIN research team in TCD Geography welcomes Dr Rodrigo Fernandez who joins us as a part-time research fellow to work on the linkages between monetary policy and subordinate financialisation.
Rodrigo is also a senior researcher at the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO). Previously he was a postdoc (2011–2013) at the University of Amsterdam and at KU Leuven/University of Leuven (2013-2019). He has published on offshore financial centers, shadow banking, real estate and financialization. His current research focuses on the financialization of non-financial corporations.
View his full profile here.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a crisis of global inequality. GEOFIN researchers Leonardo Pataccini and Martin Sokol share their views and underline the issues at stake, in a piece written for the Tribune magazine by Laura Fernandez Lopez:
Let’s hope that 2021 is a better year for everyone!
Read the article here
View full PDFs of the working papers here
Marek Mikuš, former GEOFIN Research Fellow and now based at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, discusses his new research project, which looks at how increasing indebtedness affects households in Eastern Europe – a topic that can only grow in importance following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Read his interview here.
Congratulations to Dr Petra Rodik, former GEOFIN Research Fellow, on the publication of her new book:
(Pre)zaduženi: Društveni aspekti zaduženosti kućanstava u Hrvatskoj / (Over)indebted: Social Aspects of Household Indebtedness in Croatia (Zagreb: Naklada Jesenski i Turk, 2019).
The GEOFIN research team in TCD Geography welcomes Leonardo Pataccini, who joins us as a Research Fellow to work on the financialisation of banks in the Baltic countries.
Dr Pataccini obtained his PhD in social sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He possesses an interdisciplinary background, combining sociology, international economics, finance and history, and besides his academic expertise, he also has experience as a consultant for international organizations and private firms. Currently, his main research areas are international political economy, political economy of the post-Soviet transition, financialization, and contemporary economic history.
Click here to join the GEOFIN mailing list and keep up to date with our latest news, events and publications.
Congratulations to Dr Marek Mikuš on securing a prestigious Emmy Noether grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) on “Peripheral Debt: Money, Risk and Politics in Eastern Europe”. His new project will be based at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle, Germany).
We are delighted that Marek will remain connected to GEOFINresearch as a member of our Academic Advisory Panel.
Thanks to Alicja and Marek for a very enjoyable seminar!
Click here for details of their presentations.
The GEOFIN team in TCD Geography welcomes Florence O’Regan, who joins us as a Research Project Officer. She has previously worked and studied at the universities of Cambridge, Leeds, York, and Durham, and is delighted to be joining Trinity College Dublin.