University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Abstract

Understanding the nature of state financialisation is crucial to ensure definancialisation efforts are successful. This paper provides a structured overview of the emerging literature on financialisation and the state. We define financialisation of the state broadly as the changed relationship between the state, understood as sovereign with duties and accountable towards its citizens, and financial markets and practices, in ways that can diminish those duties and reduce accountability. We then argue that there are four ways in which financialisation works in and through public institutions and policies: adoption of financial motives, advancing financial innovation, embracing financial accumulation strategies, and directly financialising the lives of citizens. Organising our review around the two main policy fields of fiscal and monetary policy, four definitions of financialisation in the context of public policy and institutions emerge. When dealing with public expenditure on social provisions financialisation most often refers to the transformation of public services into the basis for actively traded financial assets. In the context of public revenue, financialisation describes the process of creating and deepening secondary markets for public debt, with the state turning into a financial market player. Finally, in the realm of monetary policy financial deregulation is perceived to have paved the way for financialisation, while inflation targeting and the encouragement, or outright pursuit, of market-based short-term liquidity management among financial institutions constitute financialised policies.

ID: 13435831