ASTK15390U COURSE: The Politics of international banking

Volume 2015/2016

Bachelorlevel: 10 ECTS

Masterlevel: 7,5 ECTS


Elective course - Specialization "International political Economy"

Elective course - SRM

Bachelor students can only sign up for this course if they are enrolled at political science


A country does not ”choose” its banking system; rather it gets a banking system that is consistent with the institutions that governs its distribution of political power.

This course investigates the link between states, their financial institutions and international organizations. It revolves around the financial crisis, the political roots of its causes and the international political struggle to realign banking regulation.

As the banking industry has successfully breached national borders their regulation has incrementally moved into the hands of a patchwork of international institutions, forums and conventions. These regulate, monitor and debate banking behavior. This system, in its lack of strong authority and legitimacy, stands shaken after the 2008 crisis.


The class uncovers the origins of this system, its actors, purpose and fault lines with national interests.

The class covers the explanations and mechanisms of the financial crisis, the substance of financial regulation and various policy tools for regulating banks and the financial market. It seeks to analyze the  debates and reforms attempt in the wake of the crisis.  

From a general introduction to IPE theory it dwells into specific theories on the politics of banking regulation. Using these theories to analyze actors, ideas, institutions and interests at play during the political struggle to reregulate banks. 

Learning Outcome

Demonstrate a strong familiarity with current financial governance.


Evidence knowledge of the key historical change in financial regulation.


Explain various factors that have fostered change in Financial governance


Assess the pros and cons of various governing regime


Able to engage with the literature in International Political Economy on Global Finance

• Baker (2010) Deliberative international financial governance and apex policy foums; where we are and where we should be headed

• Baker (2010) Restraining regulatory capture. Anglo-America, crisis politics and trajectories of change in global financial governance

• Ballo (2012) : How and to what extent did private actors influence Basel III?, PIPE - Papers on International Political Economy, Arbeitsstelle Internationale Politische Ökonomie, Freie Universität Berlin, No. 13/2012, http:/​/​​10419/​66201

• BCBS (2012) Basel III: Necessary, but not sufficient

• Best, J. (2010), ‘The Limits of Financial Risk Management; Or, What We Didn’t Learn from the Asian Crisis’

• Blyth (2013) This Time It Really Is Different; in "The Third Globalization; Can Wealthy Nations Stay Rich in the 21th century?"

• Blyth M. (2002): Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press: Chapter 2

• Claessens, Stijn & Geoffrey R. D. Underhill(2010): "The Political Economy of Basel II in the international financial architecture" in: Global Financial Integration Thirty years on - From reform to crisis, Edited by Geoffrey R. D. Underhill, Jasper Blom and Daniel Mügge, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, USA

• Enria, Andrea & Teixeira, Gustavo (2011): A new institutional framework for financial regulation and supervision, in Franceso Cannata and Mario Qugiariello (2011), Basel III and beyond (Risk Books)

• FSA (2009), Turner Review - A regulatory response to the global financial crisis,

• Helleiner & Pagliari (2011), The End of an Era in International Financial Regulation? …., International Organization 65, Winter 2011, 171–197

• Helleiner & Porter (2009) Making Transnational Networks more Accountable, in: Re-Defining the Global Economy, OCCASIONAL PAPER N° 42

• Helleiner (2011); The Limits of Incrementalism; The G20, the FSB and the international regulatory agenda

• Helleiner et al.(2010) Global Finance in crisis, The Politics of International Regulatory Change, (London: Routledge)

• Howarth & Quaglia (2013) Banking on Stability. The Political Economy of New Capital Requirements in the European Union, Journal of European Integration,

• IMF (2010) redesigning the contours of the future financial system

• King & Tarbert (2011) Basel III - An Overview

• Kluza, S. (2009) Country-Based vs. Global Regulation: Failures of the Present Framework, in: Re-Defining the Global Economy, OCCASIONAL PAPER N° 42

• Matthijs M. and Blyth M. (2015) “The future of the Euro”, Oxford University Press

• Mochella & Tsingou (2013) Great expectations, slow transformations - Incremental change in post-crisis regulation, ECPR PRESS

• Moschella (2013) Governing risk, The IMF and Global Financial Crises

• Moschella (2012) Lagged Learning and the Response to Equilibrium shock; The Global Financial Crisis and IMF Surveillance

• Mügge (2011)From Pragmatism to Dogmatism: European Union Governance, Policy Paradigms and Financial Meltdown, New Political Economy, 16:2, 185-206

• Mügge (2014) Resilient neo-liberalism in European financial regulation, in edit. Schmidt & Thatcher: Resilient liberalism in Europe's Political Economy

• Persaud (2010) The locus of financial regulation, Home versus Host

• Pistor, K. (2014) “Transnational regulatory regimes in Finance, A comparative analysis of their (Dis)integrative effects” In: Leveling the playing field – Transnational Regulatory Integration and Development, Edited by Bruszt and McDermott, Oxford University Press

• Posner (2010) Changing transatlantic financial regulatory relations at the turn of the millinnium, in  Global Financial Integration Thirty years on - From reform to crisis, Edited by Geoffrey R. D. Underhill,

• Quaglia (2012) The 'Old' and 'New' Politics of Financial Services Regulation in the European Union

• Ranjit Lall (2011): From failure to failure: The politics of international banking regulation, Review of International Political Economy, First: 1–30

• Schmidt (2009): putting the political back into political economy by bringing the state back in yet again, World Politics61, no. 3 ( July 2009), 516–46

• Simmons(2001)The International Politics of Harmonization: The Case of Capital …‘, International Organization 55/3, (September), 589-605

• Singer (2004) Capital Rules: The Domestic Politics of International Regulatory Harmonization, pp 531-565 in International Organization Volume 58, Issue 03

• Spendzharova, A. B.(2012): Power to the European Supervisory Authorities: Explaining the Incremental Evolution of

• Tarullo, Daniel K. (2008): "Banking on Basel: The Future of International Banking Regulation", Peterson Institute, chapter 6, Massachusetts

• Véron, N. (2010): Financial Regulation: A New Fortress Europe? Peterson Institute for International Economics at http:/​/​​realtime/​?p=1191

• Vestergaard, Jakob & Martin Højland(2011): "The New Standards in Banking Regulation: From Basel II to Basel III", in Governing through Standards - Origins, Driver and Limitations, Edited by: Stefano Ponte, Peter Gibbon and Jakob Vestergaard, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, USA

• Werner, R. A. (2014) “Can banks individually create money out of nothing? — The theories and the empirical evidence”, International Review of Financial Analysis 36 (2014) 1–19

• Woods (2010) Global governance after the financial crisis: A new Multilateralism or the last Gasp of the great powers?, Global policy Volume 1, Issue 1, January 2010

The course features two-hour sessions that partly comprise mini-lectures, discussions and seminar activities. Potentially involving guest lecture.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Course Preparation
  • 88
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Exam Preparation
  • 77
  • Preparation
  • 12
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner