University of Sussex
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Speculating on convergence: the Western European finance-led growth regime and the new European periphery

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posted on 2023-06-07, 16:12 authored by Or Raviv
Operating at the theoretical boundary between Political Economy, International Relations and Regional European Integration Studies, this Doctoral thesis explores how the ‘top-down’ institutional redesign of the expanding European polity has worked to produce the necessary extra-market (social and political) support structures for the rise of European financial capital, while profoundly reshaping the dynamics of accumulation and social reproduction on the European continent. As such, this work links the processes of deepening and widening European integration to the wider sphere of global financial integration and finance-led restructuring, a lacuna in the existing literature. Concretely, I argued that finance, the preeminent globalising force rather than a tertiary activity, has been at the centre of European integration project. Over the past decade in particular, the transformations in the European financial sector, the so-called financialisation of Europe, while seemingly driven by imperatives arising from the exigencies of economic competition, should be understood primarily as a political-economic process deeply embedded in a geopolitical rivalry. Crucially, Europe’s engagement, while embedded in a global financial system, is distinct. European finance proceeds on the basis of its institutional specificity. Here history, tradition, culture, and geopolitical context, and therefore in turn, specifically European institutions, define the mechanisms through which the financialisation of the European space has unfolded. From this standpoint, the thesis also explores the constitutive role played by Western European financial institutions in the financial integration of the Central European new member states and the consequent ideological and institutional reconfiguration of Europe’s Eastern post-communist periphery in line with the demands of a liberal (financialised) market democracy. In doing so, the thesis also poses a challenge to the dominancy of a-historic and depoliticized (indeed teleological) narratives of capitalist state formation in post-communist Central Europe, which ultimately reduces post-communist transformations to a straightforward and technical transition towards a predefined capitalist future.


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  • doctoral

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  • eng


University of Sussex

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