When borders seem irrelevant: Global finance and the limits of capitalist variety

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The varieties of capitalism (VoC) framework holds that more organized forms of capitalism are charac- terized as bank-dominated as opposed to market-dominated in the case of more liberal market econ- omies. Yet in light of the financial crisis, and significant failures of financial institutions within the so-called coordinated-market economies (CMEs) and/or the revelation of complicity on the part of CME financial institutions, it is important to consider whether the theorization of finance and finan- cial systems within the VoC framework maintains empirical validity. It is shown, analyzing the quin- tessential CME Germany, that the German financial system and German firm financing has changed in contrast with the expectations of theory; moreover, the behavior of specific financial institutions, even those that do not rank among the large private banking groups, is not specific to that expected of institutions in a CME. Ultimately, this paper considers the problems with analyzing global finance from an approach based on methodological territorialism, arguing instead that attention should be placed on financial institutions and firms, and their multi-scalar practices. It is also argued that more focus is needed concerning similarities rather than differences.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationSPACES online
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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