FS2015: Philip Mader, "Financialisation North/South"

Instructor: Dr. Philip Mader, University of Basel

Time: April 27+28, May 4+5, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm

Place: Kollegienhaus, Room 035

Registration:   Please send an email to guenter.schmidt@unibas.ch if you are interested in taking this course.




Financialisation has become a widely-employed descriptor for a host of transformations in the way capitalist economies operate and are organised. The term describes diverse processes such as the overall growth of financial assets, the increasing economic and political power of financial institutions and intermediaries, manifold transformations in the way firms and markets are governed, and societal changes in attitudes, values and behaviours.

Many research projects (empirical and theoretical) today find themselves needing to address or acknowledge the expanded role of finance and its effects on their field of investigation. This intensive course seeks to render the increasingly diffuse concept of financialisation useful for researchers in the social sciences by systematising the broad conceptual literature and discussing empirical studies. In keeping with the graduate school’s topical focus, the course moves beyond the literature’s customary focus on advanced capitalist economies, and highlighting the transnational aspects of financialisation and particularly the processes affecting the global periphery. It addresses, among others, the following questions: How new/novel is contemporary financialisation? What forms does it take, what levels does it operate at, which logics does it follow, and which driving forces are at work? What are the effects for different societies? Where are the limits to financialisation?

The course is addressed to doctoral students and graduate students in the social sciences and is limited to 25 people. In case of full occupancy, members of the G3S graduate school will be given priority.

About The Instructor:

Philip Mader is a political economist and sociologist at the University of Basel. From 2008 to 2013 he worked at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany. He previously studied Economics in Sussex and Development Studies in Cambridge, and 2010-11 was a visiting fellow at Harvard. For his research on microfinance he did fieldwork in Andhra Pradesh (India). Currently, he is teaching sociology and developing a research project on the politics of “financial inclusion”, focusing on financial literacy education as an element of development promotion efforts.


Fotograf: David Ausserhofer