New version of the class for the 2013-2014 academic year

New course title: Power, Ideas and Money: The Politics of Global Finance



How has the evolving nature of international finance constrained and/or enlarged the possibilities of economic prosperity? Under what conditions does the financial sector contribute to inclusive growth? Given the power of the bond market, what roles can states still play in economic development? How do states finance wars and how do insurgents fund insurgencies? Is the ongoing crisis exceptional and what should one expect to find in its debris? Do Islamic finance or the BRICs challenge the financial status quo? Is microfinance a good answer to the crisis of international development? Is austerity the inevitable outcome of financial crises? How can we fix the problems of contemporary finance?

This course attempts to address these questions by exploring the patterns of stability and change in the world economy from the perspective of the role of the financial sector. While some of the readings cover historical developments, the main focus remains on developments from the past two decades and the post-Lehman crisis.

The readings used in the class are intended for a general audience, rather than a readership endowed with a specialist training in economics.

Syllabus here:

IR759 Power and Money-aug 4


Personal favor to ask.

Take a look at the syllabus and bring tomorrow a hate list, with reading that you found to be of low value to your learning experience in this class. Also, please draft a list of books/articles that were of high value to your learning experience. This is of immense value for producing a polished syllabus for this class in the future.

Thank you.

Questions for Friday

1. Compare Helleiner and Eichengreen’s conclusions about what enabled the unprecedented rise of financial capital.

2. Given what we discussed in class and given the post-Lehman events, what would you add to Helleiner and Eichengreen’s conclusions?

3. Given Helleiner and Eichengreen’s conclusions, what would be the policy lessons one should advocate?

4. China is a new emerging banking power in Latin America. How is is different from “Western” finance?

5. Are Volker’s ideas too aggressive or too modest considering the predicaments of global finance?




1. Is the fragmentation of global finance a challenge to global (but Western-led) finance?

2. Have the Asian countries learned the right lessons from the crisis of 1998?

3. What difference does East Asian monetary regionalism make?

4. What lessons of European integration can travel to Mercosur and which don’t?

5. Are there opportunities for “better finance” in Islamic finance?

6. Are there lessons for Europe coming from Islamic and Asian finance?