To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Most previous studies reject the basic tenet of the Masters Hypothesis that the influx of financial index investments has pressured agricultural futures prices upwards substantially. However, the impact of index investment activities may be more complicated and nuanced than can be detected by the relatively simple linear Granger causality tests used in many previous studies. Our study applies a new cross-quantilogram (CQ) test to weekly index trader positions and returns in four agricultural futures markets. Overall, we find limited support for a significant relationship between extreme index trader position changes and returns, and even less support that increased index trading activities have pushed commodity prices higher.
The scaling-back, scaling-up, and scaling-down of liberal nation states since the 1970s have fundamentally changed the contexts in which state responses to squatting must be understood. The impacts of neoliberalism, globalization, and localism – scaling-back, scaling-up, and scaling-down the nation-state – have provoked new questions for liberal property theories. While the foundations of the classical nineteenth century liberal state and twentieth century liberal ownership societies – which underpin liberal theories of private property – have shifted, the “invisibility” of the state in liberal property theories has meant that this fundamental change has attracted relatively little attention. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis and Great Recession, the politics of “austerity” and affordable housing crises, the re-emergence of squatting as an issue of political concern and the use of state power to respond to unlawful occupation have re-positioned debates about “private property” in the public realm. For property scholarship to succeed in understanding and advancing solutions to contemporary property problems, it is important that our theoretical and methodological frameworks are attuned to the real contexts of state action.
In this chapter, we explore the phenomenon of homeless squatting on empty land through the prism of ownership and owners, and reflect on how the changing nature and conceptions of ownership have re-shaped the norms and narratives of absent ownership. We begin by examining “ownership” as a scaled concept: building on our approach in Chapter 6, we explore how the registers of scale – and, particularly, the dynamics of “upscaling” and “downscaling” – reveal the multiple layers of meaning, values and interactions within the frame of ownership: between individual (absent owners) and institutional (the law of ownership; the institution of private property) stakeholders, and between these interests, squatters, and the state. We reflect on how the character of ownership, and of owners, have changed since the 1970s, resulting in the emergence of the “investor model” of owner-occupation, and the normalization of small-scale landlordism and property development. We consider the resilience needs of absent owners, and examples of state action in relation to unlawful occupation that allocates resilience to absentee owners. Finally, we begin to reflect on the impact of absenteeism on neighborhoods, and the relationships between absentee owners and owner-neighbors.
States respond to homeless squatting in empty land by selectively conferring resilience on individuals, groups and/or institutions. In this chapter, we reflect on the role of aggregated or collective claims to state-backed resilience linked to homeless squatting on empty property. Specifically, we consider how interests become aggregated; how aggregation promotes collective consciousness and reaffirms individual claims; and how groups garner state support through the exercise of collective influence or voice. We recognize that the co-option of state actors and agencies to shore up the resilience of the group is not unidirectional but bidirectional. While collective or group interests may seek out state-backed resilience in the form of “other-regarding” state action, states also invoke collective interests to justify or explain their actions, particularly when the state’s own self-interest aligns with the interests or claims of the group. In this chapter we broaden the scope of our “problem topography” by alternately centering a range of networked or aggregated stakeholders: neighbors, market actors, social activists. We explore how collective interests cluster around specific claims; how they exercise influence to secure state action, and also how state actors and institutions justify or explain their responses with reference to the protection of specific group interests. These collective claims are not distinct from, but overlap with the individual claims of owners and squatters, who are themselves simultaneously self-interested individuals and members of networks that share common interests and goals.
This article advances explanations of the housing crisis in modern political economies. It argues that the rise of agglomeration economies is driving the massive increase in housing prices in superstar cities. These concentrate high-paying jobs and life chances in central metropolitan areas, pulling in a highly skilled workforce who are willing and able to pay ‘whatever it takes’ for access to these opportunities. As a result, the value of homeownership in strategic urban locations has surged. Investors have thus found it rational to capitalize on longer-term price inflation and invest. Based on a comparison between New York City, London, Paris, and Berlin, this article demonstrates that housing prices in superstar cities move in lockstep with the reconfiguration of urban labour markets. Investors follow this trend in their decisions to invest in housing, which further compounds affordability pressures. The article concludes that access to homeownership in strategic urban locations increasingly mediates inequality and class formation in modern political economies.
The food industry is a notoriously complex economic sector that has not received the attention it deserves within legal scholarship. Production and distribution of food is complex because of its polycentric character (as it operates at the intersection of different public policies) and its dynamic evolution and transformation in the last few decades (from technological and governance perspectives). This volume introduces the global value chain approach as a useful way to analyse competition law and applies it to the operations of food chains and the challenges of their regulation. Together, the chapters not only provide a comprehensive mapping of a vast comparative field, but also shed light on the intricacies of the various policies and legal fields in operation. The book offers a conceptual and theoretical framework for competition authorities, companies and academics, and fills a massive gap in the competition policy literature dealing with global value chains and food.
The increasing presence of for-profit service providers in publicly-funded eldercare has transformed care in Nordic welfare states which have a strong tradition of public care provision. Macro-level research on care policies has mainly focused on public institutions, national policies, and marketization. The financialization of eldercare has not received much scholarly attention, and existing studies mostly focus on the UK. The financialization of eldercare refers to the ways in which care is both a site of profit extraction and financial engineering. The Nordic system is relatively universal, and, with rapidly ageing demographics, there is a secured demand for eldercare services. However, these services have been heavily marketized over the past two decades, opening up lucrative possibilities for financialized actors who have established a stronghold over the markets. We analyse these processes through selected empirical examples from Finland, and argue that the financialization of eldercare in the Nordic context demands attention as we are witnessing a new configuration between the constitutional order of the welfare state, public finances, and private profit which is neither transparent, nor democratic.
This chapter focuses on the city of Harish, a project that various governments have tried to develop over the last forty years. The first attempts included a kibbutz, a Community Settlement and, later, a Suburban Settlement. All were unsuccessful, mainly due to the site’s peripheral location and proximity to the West Bank and other Arab towns. By 2010, the huge demand for new dwelling units, the construction of the Trans-Israel Highway and the recently erected West Bank Separation Barrier all contributed to turning Harish into an attractive piece of real estate. This enabled the Israeli government to designate it as a city with a target population of 60,000. Focusing on the case of Harish, this chapter illustrates the financialization of the national settlement project, explaining how the state apparatus was used to create a real-estate market in a given area to supply the dwelling units that were needed while expanding the national territorial project. Analyzing the urban layout and the housing units in Harish, as well as the everyday life of the families in it, this chapter explains how this future city embodies the privatization of the national settlement project.
Both worker bargaining power and political democracy have been gripped by a mutually reinforcing crisis that has worsened for decades, harming working people (especially communities of color) and undermining our social fabric. This chapter argues that this crisis had become existential by 2020 as the pandemic, policing, privatization, financialization, growing monopoly, and rising unemployment exacerbated inequality, sparked social unrest, and threatened democracy. It contends that our response must link the defense of political democracy to the fight for bargaining power for workers in the twenty-first century economy through innovative movement campaigns and new alliances that tie together the degradation of the environment, the upending of democratic oversight, and the more general degradation of the political economy to the exploitation of the workforce by rent-seeking corporate power.
Set in a context where material accumulation is valorized, this article analyzes narratives of sika bone (bad money) as expressions of economic uncertainty by market women operating in an era of increased financialization. The ethnographic evidence supports previous arguments about the impact of economic change in this millennium, a change that fosters both rationality and superstition in equal measure. Salifu proposes that sika bone indicates a sense of uncertainty fostered by economic change in the supply of cash and formal credit, a sentiment that is expressed by applying old notions about occultic means of accumulation to new and equally enigmatic circumstances.
Finance rests on a process of abstraction, based on various material devices that have been studied by economic sociologists in recent years. The fact that many of those devices are legal in nature has not attracted much attention, even though financial instruments are typically embodied in legal documents. This paper argues that interactions involving legal documents shape both financial markets and their regulation, by specifying the contextual elements that will be deemed relevant in interpreting financial commitments. It takes as a case study the emergence of swaps since the 1980s. Through their work in standardizing, commenting, and litigating swaps contracts, bankers’ lawyers were able to recast obligations between banks and their clients in more abstract terms, discarding all references to specific business projects. Such abstraction simultaneously allowed the spectacular development of swaps markets, their positioning on the fringes of regulations, and the strengthening of bankers’ prerogatives against their clients.
This introductory chapter identifies key puzzles and questions, lays out the book’s main argument, and highlights the book’s contributions and implications. The book develops a new comparative framework that integrates credit regimes and social policies in the study of comparative political economy. It contributes to a range of literatures in political science and sociology, including the literatures on states and markets by moving beyond the focus on a purely substitutive link between welfare states and financial markets; it expands work in international political economy on capital flows and policy scope by introducing the notion of credit regimes; and it sheds new light on research on income and wealth inequality by documenting credit markets’ regressive allocation and distribution of resources and responsibilities and new forms of inequality and discrimination. The chapter then lays out the book’s main empirical strategies and data sources. The book’s key approach is to studying individuals within particular institutional constraints in different countries cope with social risks and seize social opportunities. It does so by drawing on a new measure of credit regime permissiveness, longitudinal micro-level panel data from Denmark, the United States, and Germany, and an original cross-national survey.
In many rich democracies, access to financial markets is now a prerequisite for fully participating in labor and housing markets and pursuing educational opportunities. Indebted Societies introduces a new social policy theory of everyday borrowing to examine how the rise of credit as a private alternative to the welfare state creates a new kind of social and economic citizenship. Andreas Wiedemann provides a rich study of income volatility and rising household indebtedness across OECD countries. Weaker social policies and a flexible knowledge economy have increased costs for housing, education, and raising a family - forcing many people into debt. By highlighting how credit markets interact with welfare states, the book helps explain why similar groups of people are more indebted in some countries than others. Moreover, it addresses the fundamental question of whether individuals, states, or markets should be responsible for addressing socio-economic risks and providing social opportunities.
As part of the roundtable, “Ethics and the Future of the Global Food System,” this essay examines how the key decisions within the global system of food production are shaped by the organization of the global political economy. The understanding of the global political economy follows standard definitions that focus on the dominant market practices and the institutional structures within which those practices are embedded. I identify examples of market practices and institutional policies that structurally impair the ability of states to secure the human rights of their citizens, and explain specific issues of structural injustice raised by each example. The conclusion provides a survey of a range of alternative solutions for transforming the global political economy and creating the conditions for a more just and ecologically sustainable food system. Ultimately, our conception of human rights and the mechanisms for their protection and enforcement must change in order to address the scale and gravity of problems affecting the future of agriculture and our ability to feed the world.
The financialization of everyday life has received considerable attention since the 2008 global financial crisis. Financialization is thought to have created active financial subjects through the ability to participate in mainstream financial services. While the lived experience of these mainstream financial subjects has been the subject of close scrutiny, the experiences of financial subjects at the financial fringe have been rarely considered. In the UK, for example, the introduction of High-Cost, Short-Term Credit [HCSTC] or payday loan regulation was designed to protect vulnerable people from accessing unaffordable credit. Exploring the impact of HCSTC regulation is important due to the dramatic decline of the high-cost credit market which helped meet essential needs in an era of austerity. As such, the paper examines the impact of the HCSTC regulation on sixty-four financially marginalized individuals in the UK that are unable to access payday loans. First, we identify the range of socioeconomic strategies that individuals employ to manage their finances to create a typology of financial subjectivity at the financial fringe. Second, we demonstrate how the temporal and precarious nature of financial inclusion at the financial fringe adds nuance to existing debates of the everyday lived experience of financialization.
What is the relationship between debt and the welfare state? Recent arguments suggest that credit markets fill gaps left by limited social benefits but often rest on thin empirical grounds. This article makes two contributions to this debate by using micro-level panel data and leveraging variation in welfare state generosity across US states and over time. First, it shows that households that experience unemployment borrow significantly more in states where unemployment benefits are low compared to states where benefits are high. A 10-percentage-point decrease in unemployment replacement rates increases debt levels by about 30 per cent, or $5,300. Secondly, the article documents that rising indebtedness in the context of weak social policies has political consequences and increases support for a stronger safety net. One explanation is that voters seek social protection against downstream debt-induced economic risks. These findings suggest that welfare states can play a critical role in mitigating growing indebtedness.
Wealth creation and human rights gain particular significance in the context of globalization, sustainability and financialization. Globalization is understood as “a kind of international system in the making” (T.L. Friedman), characterized by an increasing interconnectedness of the world, due to the revolution of information technology and an immense reduction in the costs of transportation and communication. A new framework of international relations distinguishes four types: the foreign-country type, the empire type, the interconnection type and the globalization type. They are part of the extended conception of business and economic ethics at the micro-, meso- and macro-levels. Sustainability, defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), is incorporated and concretized in the Sustainable Development Goals (2015). And financialization as “the increasing role of financial motives, financial markets, financial actors and financial institutions in the operation of the domestic and international economies” (G.A. Epstein) stands in striking contrast with the comprehensive conception of wealth creation.
This chapter examines four novels published since the Irish economic crash and set in Dublin during the late boom and early bust years. Kevin Power’s Bad Day in Blackrock (2008), Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz (2011), Claire Kilroy’s The Devil I Know (2012), and Paul Murray’s The Mark and the Void (2015). Each of these novels details the effects of economic developments on the live, finances, and psyches of Irish citizens, while also exploring how a culture of accumulating indebtedness has altered the nature of contemporary Irish reality and the real ties that band society together. Reading these novels in the context of a recent turn in Irish Studies away from cultural concerns and toward a focus on Ireland’s “real economy,” I show how these novelists pay attention to the economy while not being afraid to explore world views, ideologies, desires, and feelings that serve to make it real.
It has long been overlooked that factions of finance such as banks and insurers can have opposing policy interests. This paper is concerned with the preferences and strategies of private financial actors in the context of private prefunded pensions. To capture the “tug of war” among these actors, this paper identifies their different financial business models (insurance- and investment-orientation), political roles (financial incumbents and challengers), and levels at which infighting may occur (political and product-market level). For the German case, it shows that product-market competition among financial incumbents and challengers over retirement savings products only turned into competition politics during the 1990s, when shifting political winds provided an opening to insert path-shaping instruments in line with the program of finance capitalism. Financial actors’ preferences are not a derivative of economic or functional incentives, but socially embedded in that they are crucially shaped by interactions with their competitors and the political environment. The analysis disentangles the complex web of competition, cooperation, and ownership among factions of finance and discerns their genuine preferences from those strategically adjusted to context. This sheds doubt on functionalist explanations of (pension) financialization and enhances our understanding of how financial actors form and pursue their preferences.