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The Political Economy of Finance and Crisis (Module)

Module description

Money and finance underpin modern economies; financial crises can wreck them.

Using an applied political economy approach, this module aims to analyse the recent evolution and current state of contemporary money and finance, as well as the origins of recurring financial crises – particularly the Global Financial Crisis. Using a mixture of primary and secondary sources, the module will explore major areas including: the role of key public and private institutions and organisations involved in money and finance; the structure and inner workings of international monetary and financial governance systems; the (dis)organisation and functions of contemporary financial markets; the illegal side of finance; the reasons and possible solutions to financial crises; and the enduring relevance of physical location for the operation of financial markets – with particular emphasis in London as a financial centre.

Module aims

The educational aim of this module is for students to learn about the recent evolution and current state of the political economy of money, finance and crises. Students will learn about five interrelated areas: the domestic and international institutions involved in the financial and monetary sectors, how finance as a distinct area of the world economy works, the non-legal side of finance, how and why financial crises happen, and the importance of geographical location in contemporary finance. The module will take advantage of London's role as a leading financial centre to supplement its academic contents; whenever possible, visits and talks related to the module contents will be organised.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge about the history, evolution and current state of the study and research of the political economy of money, finance and crises.
  • Have competence to select an appropriate mix of sources to critically assess the main empirical debates in the sub-fields of the political economies of money and finance and crises.
  • Have the ability to identify and analyse the main influences and constraints on monetary, fiscal, financial and crisis prevention policies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the reasoning, principles, aims, goals and instruments of the key players involved in the political economy of money and finance.
  • Have the ability to engage in the comparative study of different monetary, financial and crisis resolution policies.
  • Critically evaluate the relationship of money, finance and crisis with socio-political and broader economic and political developments.


Core Texts

In addition to the core texts listed below there will be additional weekly readings available on KEATS.

  • Andrews, David M. (ed.), International Monetary Power (Cornell: Cornell University Press, 2006).
  • De Goede, Marieke, Virtue, Fortune and Faith: A Genealogy of Finance (Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2005).
  • Eichengreen, Barry, Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).
  • Epstein, Gerald A. (ed.), Financialization and the World Economy (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2005).
  • Porter, Tony, Globalization and Finance (Cambridge: Polity, 2005).
  • Ravenhill, John (ed.), Global Political Economy, 4th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • Reinhart, Carmen M., and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).

*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.

Staff information

Dr Victoria Stadheim

Teaching pattern

Two hours per week, one lecture and one seminar

Module assessment - more information

One 3000 word essay (50%); one 3000 word supervised project (50%)

Key information

Module code 6AAOB304

Credit level 6

Assessment coursework

Credit value 30

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module Yes