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Distinguishing Financialization from Neoliberalism

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journal contribution
posted on 04.08.2022, 23:40 authored by Aeron DavisAeron Davis, Catherine Walsh
Neoliberalism and financialization are not synonymous developments. Financialized nations are directed by particularly financialized epistemologies, cultures, and practices, not only neoliberal ones. In examining the financialization of the UK economy since the mid-1970s, this study discovers a socio-economic shift beyond the broad transition from Keynesianism towards free-market fundamentalism. Economic developments were guided by the very particular economic paradigms, discursive practices, and financial devices of the City of London, as financial elites became influential in the Thatcher governments. Five epistemological elements specific to finance are discussed: the creation of money in financial markets, the transactional focus of finance, the centrality of financial markets to economic management, the orthodoxy of shareholder value, and the intensely micro-economic approach to financial calculation. Identifying these distinctions creates new possibilities for understanding financialization, elites, and the neoliberal condition that brought about both the financial crash of 2007–8 and the political and economic crises that have followed.

History

Preferred citation

Davis, A. & Walsh, C. (2017). Distinguishing Financialization from Neoliberalism. Theory, Culture & Society, 34(5-6), 27-51. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276417715511

Journal title

Theory, Culture & Society

Volume

34

Issue

5-6

Publication date

01/09/2017

Pagination

27-51

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

03/07/2017

ISSN

0263-2764

eISSN

1460-3616

Language

en