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Introduction: the structural power of finance meets financialization

Dafe, Florence, Hager, Sandy, Naqvi, Natalya and Wansleben, Leon (2022) Introduction: the structural power of finance meets financialization. Politics & Society, 50 (4). 523 – 542. ISSN 0032-3292

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Identification Number: 10.1177/00323292221125563


How do we theorize and analyze the structural power of finance when global capitalism itself undergoes constant and profound structural transformation? The literature continues to assume that the source of financial structural power is its unique ability to provide credit to the real economy, playing a crucial role in meeting the investment imperative. But recent research documents that most financial market activities no longer facilitate productive investment and can even be a drag on economic development. If the financial sector's primary role is not to support productive investments, then on what basis does it continue to hold structural power? The contributions to this special issue engage with how decades of financialization have transformed the basis of structural power toward alternative functions that have gone unnoticed in the existing literature. These include household and real estate lending that fuels consumption-led growth, concentration and expansion of financial institutions as tools of geo-economic strategy, financing current account deficits that facilitate global imbalances, and wealth preservation that bolsters inequality.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2022 07:36
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2022 15:45

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