Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (600.81 kB)

Ensuring Uncertainty? The International Political Economy of Over-The-Counter Derivatives Trading

Download (600.81 kB)
posted on 2021-11-10, 22:09 authored by Bateman, Seth

Over-the-counter (OTC) financial derivatives are increasingly used in a globalising financial market as tools for risk management. However, the advent of large financial crises as a result of their use raises issue as to the risks derivatives themselves might pose to the players who use them, as well as to the international financial system as a whole. It is, therefore, a key question to ask what regulation might be apt for trade in OTC derivatives. This thesis considers how a post-structuralist account might offer important insight into how this question is understood. Post-structuralist, as well as broader social constructivist and non-rationalist critiques help illustrate some of the limits to objectivist rationalism in practices of financial risk management. This thesis argues that the danger of ignoring such critiques include a continued “illusion” of individual and state-actor control over macro-economic processes, such as the phenomenal volume of trade in OTC derivatives contracts today. In this light, therefore, the regulation of OTC derivatives is not just a political question of who does and should have explicit policy control over economic and regulatory processes; but it is also a political question over knowledge constructs, and how particular technologies and specialist discourses are developed that enable “experts” legitimacy and power where it is not necessarily justified.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

International Relations

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Pettman, Ralph