MA Politics

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
The Politics of Money & Finance

Unit code POLI60081
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Politics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course is divided into two main sections. The first introduces the politics of money and finance from a critical political economy perspective, questioning the role of these relations in the long history of capitalism, up to an including in everyday life. The second section offers some vignettes into contemporary issues in global finance, such as the role of finance in crises, development, and climate change. 

Aims

A common assumption is that the 2008 financial crisis re-politicized global finance. In reality, finance has been at the core of the global restructuring of capitalism for over a century, with particular implications in terms of global power, including how power is distributed and exercised along class, gender and racial lines. The task of liberalizing, managing, restraining and/or reproducing finance has been a central preoccupation for state managers and economic actors alike over this extended period. At the same time, the so-called ‘financialization of everyday life’ has fundamentally reshaped social existence and social power relations in the global era.

This module is thus interested in both the high and low politics of money and finance. The term ‘politics’ is key here, and this is not a module about the economics of money and finance. Instead, it introduces you to readings that use a political economy lens to critically interrogate the meaning of money and finance, to identify how power operates in relations of money and finance, and to critically analyze their relation to global capitalism.  

This course is divided into two main sections. The first introduces the politics of money and finance from a critical political economy perspective, questioning the role of these relations in the long history of capitalism, up to an including in everyday life. The second section offers some vignettes into contemporary issues in global finance, such as the role of finance in crises, development, and climate change. 

 

 

Learning outcomes

The main aim of this course is to introduce students to the multiple meanings of money and finance, and to build a systematic understanding of how these social relations are shaped by and in turn impact upon the global economy and the process of everyday life upon which it rests. Students should be able to articulate theoretically informed arguments about the nature of money and finance, and to present a critical analysis of financial power, using a micro and/or macro perspective. By the end of the module, students should be able to develop and support an argument that responds to an essay question related to the political economy of money and finance. Alongside a basic understanding of the political economy of money and finance, students will develop research and writing skills at the MA level that will be useful in future research, study and/or employment.