ASTK15465U COURSE: The Politics of Global Finance

Volume 2017/2018

Part of the specialization "International Political Economy"

Bachelorlevel: 10 ECTS

Masterlevel: 7,5 ECTS


Since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, global finance was pushed to the fore of the political agenda. The course surveys the transformations underpinning the rise of global finance from the point of view of political science. The course is divided in three parts. In the first part, we will observe the historic transformations of the financial sphere. The second part addresses various characteristics of the modern financial market: the role of ideas, banking practices as well as the role of regulators and central banks. Finally, the third part looks at financial crises and regulative reforms.


1- Introduction

2- The Gold Standard

3- The Bretton Woods system

4- Deregulation and capital control

5- Financialization and the rise of global finance

6- The role of economic ideas

7- Banking practices

8- Credit agencies

9- Regulation and regulators

10- General theorie of crises

11- The 1998 East-Asian Financial crisis

12- The 2008 Global Financial crisis

13- Post-crisis regulation

14- Conclusion : finance and society

Learning Outcome

After the completion of the class, the student should a) have a better understanding of financial markets, crises and regulation b) be able to make informed analysis of international finance from the point of view of political science c) should be able to engage with the literature in International Political economy on global finance. 

Example of readings


Abdelal, Rawi. ‘Writing the Rules of Global Finance: France, Europe, and Capital Liberalization’. Review of International Political Economy 13, no. 1 (2006): 1–27.

Bagehot, Walter. Lombard Street, a Description of the Money Market. London: Smith, 1873.

Cohen, Benjamin J. ‘Review: Phoenix Risen: The Resurrection of Global Finance’. World Politics 48, no. 2 (1 January 1996): 268–96.

De Goede, Marieke. A Genealogy of Finance: Virtue, Fortune and Faith. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.

Goodman, John B., and Louis W. Pauly. ‘The Obsolescence of Capital Controls?: Economic Management in an Age of Global Markets’. World Politics 46, no. 1 (1 October 1993): 50–82.

Hall, Rodney Bruce. ‘The Discursive Demolition of the Asian Development Model’. International Studies Quarterly 47, no. 1 (1 March 2003): 71–99.

Helleiner, Eric. States and the Reemergence of Global Finance: From Bretton Woods to the 1990s. Cornell University Press, 1994.

Ruggie, John Gerard. ‘International Regimes, Transactions, and Change: Embedded Liberalism in the Postwar Economic Order’. International Organization 36, no. 2 (1 April 1982): 379–415.

Sinclair, Timothy. ‘Reinventing Authority: Embedded Knowledge Networks and the New Global Finance’. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 18 (2000): 487–502.

Underhill, Geoffrey R. D. The New World Order in International Finance. Palgrave Macmillan, 1997.

Wood, Duncan Robert. Governing Global Banking: The Basel Committee and the Politics of Financial Globalisation. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.


A complete list of the reading  will be ready by the beginning of the seminar

Students should have a basic understanding of international relations and political science. Students should come to class having done the required reading for each week’s work and should participate fully in the various discussion and other exercises that will take place in class.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written 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