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The Political Economy of the Subprime Crisis

The subprime crisis and ensuing credit crunch has once again placed global finance and its (lack of) regulatory arrangements at the heart of mainstream political discourse. Straightforward media alarm at instability and contagion have confirmed faltering market sentiment and prompted the usual calls for transparency and accountability by politicians and central bankers. But the subprime crisis is also a signal event, highlighting deeper changes related to the ongoing financialisation of global capitalism and how this impacts upon people as they attempt to conduct their everyday lives. The unprecedented expansion of individual credit and debt has fostered a plethora of risk management techniques that point to urgent questions linked to the very sustainability of the global financial system in its current form. In this way the subprime crisis can be read as the fulcrum of wider shifts in the nature of debt, risk and expectations regarding (ir)responsible financial behaviour.

The Warwick Political Economy Working Group from the Department of Politics and International Studies organised a two-day workshop on the subprime crisis on September 18th/19th 2008. The workshop was made possible through generous support from the Economic and Social Research Council, GARNET, the Political Economy Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association, the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation and PaIS. The aim of the workshop was to provide a forum for critical and inter-disciplinary engagement on central issues raised by the crisis and the ensuing credit crunch. Scholars from across the social sciences in the UK interacted with a number of their European counterparts to produce two days of lively and intellectually stimulating debates.

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Roundtable Discussion of the Political Economy of the Subprime Crisis

14:44, Thu 25 Sep 2008

Participants - Ben Rosamond (Warwick, chair); Andrew Gamble (Cambridge); Robert Wade (LSE); Brigitte Young (Muenster). Including question and answer session.

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