City Research Online

Introduction: The Structural Power of Finance Meets Financialization

Dafe, F., Naqvi, N., Hager, S. B. ORCID: 0000-0002-1205-3623 & Wansleben, L. (2022). Introduction: The Structural Power of Finance Meets Financialization. Politics and Society, 50(4), pp. 523-542. doi: 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.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in Politics and Society by SAGE under a CC-BY-NC licence.
Publisher Keywords: structural power, finance, industrial capitalism, financialization, capital flows, development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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