Any discussion of the limits of neoliberalism would be incomplete with consideration of the roles of finance and financialization (Amato and Fantacci 2012). But, research within the social sciences of management, finance and, to a lesser extent, accounting has treated finance as standing apart from other disciplines. This has led to consideration of financialization as a unilateral process: that finance acts upon society as if it were wholly external and self-evident. This is, in part, derived from a particular conception of finance as a purely mathematical/quantitative field, although this formulation is relatively recent, emerging only in the 1960s with the so-called New Finance.
As a result, financialization, as it is understood today (Johal et al. 2006), masks, in effect, a process that is fundamentally emergent and therefore incomplete (Poovey 1998). In particular, valuation, which lies at the heart of finance, is routinely presented as an objective, unproblematic practice. Yet, we argue, valuation is always political, as it selects a single expression of value, excluding all possible alternatives (Martin 2002) and thus circumscribing the field of possibilities. This might be no problem whilst it remains within sterile models, but once the social and political acts of valuation interact with lifeworlds that have not been redacted to the same extent, the collision is always unpredictable and potentially violent.
We invite papers that explore these issues, possibly touching upon the following themes:
- Big Society
- Cultures of finance
- Finance as methodology
- Financialization as performativity
- Food crisis
- Historicizing finance and histories of financialization
- Other financial imaginaries
Send an abstract to one of the convenors by 30 April, 2013.
Massimo Amato and Luca Fantacci, The End of Finance (Cambridge: Polity, 2012)
Randy Martin, Financialization of Daily Life (Philadephia: Temple University Press, 2002).
Mary Poovey, A History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998)
Angus Cameron, Senior Lecturer in Spatial Organisation, University of Leicester School of Management (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Angus studied for his first degree in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. After two years working as a financial journalist he then took a Masters degree in International Relations and a DPhil in International Political Economy (IPE) at the University of Sussex. His thesis, Globalization, Social Exclusion and the Discursive Localization of Poverty, combined elements of constructivist IPE with theorization of the ‘social exclusion’ agenda then current in UK politics. After four years as a research associate in the Geography Department at Durham University, Angus came to Leicester in 2001. After lecturing in the Geography Department for 10 years, Angus moved to the School of Management in June 2011. Since 2008 Angus has extended his academic work by acting as ‘spokesperson’ for Swedish performance artists goldin+senneby on their ongoing project ‘Headless’.
Angus’ primary research interests address the broad themes of spatiality, representation and performance. Empirically this has embraced topics of money, offshore finance, boundaries, taxation, cartography, discourses of inclusion/exclusion/exception, semiotics and the mythical figure of the Trickster. His current interests include the relationship between the contemporary state and the body and the construction of ‘xenospaces’ – fictional but functional spaces of exteriority.
David Harvie, Senior Lecturer in Finance and Political Economy, University of Leicester School of Management (email@example.com)
David joined the School of Management in September 2005, having previously taught at the University of Leeds and Nottingham Trent University. He holds a PhD in economics, an MA in economics and a BSc in economics and mathematics, all awarded by the University of Leeds. He is a member of the writing collective The Free Association and an editor of Turbulence: Ideas for Movement.
He writes on value theory and its relationship to the problematic of measure; the political economy of education; globalisation; time, working hours and productivity; and social movements and anticapitalism. His current research focuses on critiques of finance, and finance and ethics.
Geoffrey Lightfoot, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Accounting, University of Leicester School of Management (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Geoff joined the School of Management in September 2004 after previously teaching at the University of Humanistics, Utrecht and Keele University. Prior to his studies at Kingston University, London School of Economics and the Open University, Geoff worked for the Civil Service.
His current research is grouped around the exploration of aspects of representation and markets. This takes in several lines of enquiry. One strand, for example, includes deconstructing narratives of entrepreneurship and of trading (particularly within financial markets) with a concentration on how they collide with other representational regimes, such as accounting (and here currently drawing in particular upon the City Lives oral history collection held within the British Library Sound Archive). A related strand is the contradictions between Austrian economic theory, entrepreneurship, accounting and pricing behaviour. Most recently, he has been exploring histories of financial thought, and finance and ethics.
Simon Lilley, Professor of Information and Organisation, University of Leicester School of Management (email@example.com)
Simon studied for his first degree, in psychology, at University College London. His PhD, which considered the impact of computerisation on the management of oil refineries, was awarded by Edinburgh University, being funded by the ESRC as part of their Programme on Information and Communication Technologies. Simon has taught previously at the Universities of Keele, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Lancaster, at the International Business School, Budapest and at the Manchester School of Management, UMIST. Simon joined the School of Management in 2003, becoming Head of School in 2010. Simon is editor of the journal Culture and Organization.
Simon’s research interests turn around the relationships between (human) agency, technology and performance, particularly the ways in which such relationships can be understood through post-structural approaches to organisation. These concerns are reflected in a continuing focus upon the use of information technologies and strategic models in organisations and he is currently pursuing these themes through investigation of the regulation and conduct of financial and commodity derivatives trading.
Yuval Millo, Professor of Social Studies of Finance and Management Accounting, University of Leicester School of Management (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Prior to joining the School of Management on 1 September 2012, Yuval held positions at the London School of Economics and the University of Essex. Yuval graduated from the Science Studies Unit at the University of Edinburgh, where he wrote a PhD about the history of the Black-Scholes option pricing model and the evolution of financial derivatives markets. Yuval is a leading contributor to the emerging field of Social Studies of finance (SSF), which develops a unified analytical framework that includes elements from accounting, financial economics and sociology and analyses dynamics in and around financial markets. SSF pays particular attention to the technological and organizational infrastructure that affect price formation. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, Yuval’s current research includes the emergence of electronic trading in financial exchanges (with Daniel Beunza and Juan-Pablo Pardo-Guerra, LSE), the evolution of accounting standards for testing the impairment of assets (with Andrea Mennicken, LSE) and the rise of the Social Return On Investment methodology (with Emily Barman, Boston University and Matt Hall, LSE).