Financializing space

French, Shaun, Leyshon, Andrew and Wainwright, Tom (2008) Financializing space. In: 53rd Association of American Geographers Conference; 15 - 19 Apr 2008, New York, U.S.. (Unpublished)


Financialization, it is argued, has agency at a number of scales, ranging from higher levels of instability within the economy as a whole, through pressure exerted on corporations by capital markets, to the equity effects of the financial system on individuals and households. The paper develops a sympathetic critique of the concept, arguing that the purchase of financialization on the nature of change within contemporary society has been relatively underplayed when compared to similar concepts such as neoliberalization. While the concept of financialization has the potential to unite researchers across cognate social science fields and so build badly needed critical mass and bring recognition to the social significance of money and finance, we argue that to date research has been insufficiently attentive to the role of space and place, both in terms of its processes and its effects. Research on financialization also tends to be characterized by an overly pessimistic view of the nature and future of financial markets. The paper explores a number of possibly fruitful directions for work on financialization to pursue, focusing in particular on the concepts of the financial ecology and financial citizenship.

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