Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis
Together with Daniel Mertens, I am co-organizing one of the panels at the 2019 ECPR General Conference in Section 11: Changing Political Economies and Welfare States. Our panel aims to analyze comparatively how the welfare state and the financial system are mutually intertwined, adopting a broader conception of finance which includes not just financial actors and their interest organizations, but also financial ideas and narratives.
From the CFP: “Scholars of the welfare state have shown how traditional welfare arrangements are challenged by new kinds of risks that have emerged in the late twentieth century. Among these risks is the process of financialization. It refers to the growing influence of financial markets and financial actors over the productive economy and over society at large, affecting the welfare state in several ways. For instance, welfare provisions may rely on financial market investment for funding while financial arrangements have also been touted as alternative sources of welfare (e.g. through asset-based welfare) and governments have developed new financial activities in order to maintain current welfare provisions. Furthermore, several indirect effects of financialization affect the sustainability of mature welfare states, such as growing indebtedness and social-economic inequalities.
Against this background, the panel has two aims: First, it hopes to reintegrate scholarship on welfare and finance to come to a better understanding of how the welfare state and the financial system are mutually intertwined, both historically and comparatively. Furthermore, we hope to approach the panel theme using a broader conception of finance: to include not just financial actors and their interest organizations, but also financial ideas and narratives, norms and practices that interact at different scales of the modern polity.”
Check out the CFP here!
This Thursday, I will be presenting new research in the seminar series of the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies.
My paper presents a historical case study of the investment politics of Dutch pension fund for public employees, ABP (Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioenfonds). Combining both quantitative and qualitative analysis, the research maps the financial flows between ABP and the broader political economy before and after WW2, while at the same time shedding light on the political considerations that informed the fund’s investment policies. I show how over time ABP’s investment politics became increasingly caught between the political interests of the state on the one hand and the dictates of dominant financial theories on the other hand.
The history of the ABP is indicative of the centrality of pension funds to the Dutch political economy. Contrary to traditional bank-based or stock-market based systems, the presence of these large funds have allowed the Netherlands to combine a generous welfare state with high financial development. Still, as the case study shows, the ongoing financialization of the welfare state has coincided with a depoliticization of pension investment. The result is a loss of public control over the flows of capital that emanate from the Dutch pension funds on the one hand and growing instability within the private pension system on the other hand.
This is unpublished work. Please e-mail, if interested in the paper.
Source: H.W. Groeneveld, “De kosten onzer sociale verzekering,” De Werkgever, February 1925, p.37.
I am very excited to be part of this great panel on financialization and inequality at the “Money as a Democratic Medium” conference at Harvard Law School in December. Come check out this fantastic conference, if you’re in the Boston area!
I am very excited to be participating in the workshop on “Making Sense of the Copper Value Chain: Mapping the conceptual landscape of the anthropology of extraction in the context of financialization” at the University of Zurich over the next few days. The workshop is part of the Valueworks project on the effects of financialization along the copper value chain (project coordinators: Rita Kesselring and Stefan Leins). Read more about this project here. In my presentation, I will revisit some of the arguments made in my 2014 article “Making Sense of Financialization” (Socio-Economic Review) and suggest new avenues for future research on financialization.
Hoe is pensioen eigenlijk geregeld in Nederland? Wat gebeurt er met de premies die werknemers betalen? En is er later nog wel geld voor de pensioenen van de huidige generatie jongeren? Experts Sijbren Kuiper en Natascha van der Zwan leggen het uit, en gaan met het publiek in gesprek.
Naar aanleiding van het verschijnen van Nederland Pensioenland. Wat je wilt weten over pensioen (Amsterdam University Press, 2016) bespreken advocaat Sijbren Kuiper en onderzoeker Natascha van der Zwan alle ins en outs van het Nederlandse pensioenstelsel, en buigen zich over de vraag of en hoe het pensioenstelsel stand zal houden in de toekomst. Daarnaast zal de kennis van het publiek getest worden en is er ruim tijd voor vragen uit het publiek. De jonge politicoloog Jasper Simons modereert. Dit alles gebeurt op zeer toegankelijke wijze: je hoeft dus niet al veel te weten over pensioen om aan deze avond deel te nemen.
U kunt zich hier aanmelden voor deze avond.