Category Archives: Publications

Book Review: The Ascendancy of Finance

I have written a review of Joseph Vogl’s book The Ascendancy of Finance (Polity, 2017). Read it here or below:

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Filed under Financialization, MPIfG, Publications

New Milestone

Today I am celebrating that my article “Making Sense of Financialization” reached 500 citations on Google Scholar. It’s exhilarating and deeply flattering to see this appreciation for what originated as Chapter 2 from my dissertation.  Many thanks for all the support that I have received over the past few years! Making Sense

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Filed under Financialization, Publications

Valueworks Workshop

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.



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Filed under Events, Financialization, Out and About, Publications

Fellowship at NIAS


I am very pleased to announce that I have been awarded an Instituut Gak Fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences. I will be joining the NIAS in Amsterdam from early September 2018 until the end of January 2019. While at NIAS, I will be completing my book manuscript on the financialization of the Dutch pension system.

From my proposal: The project is a historical political economy of the Dutch pension system that investigates how the mutually constitutive relationship between the welfare state and the financial system shaped its development. Despite the international prominence of this case in academic scholarship and policy circles, a historical account of the Dutch pension system that integrates the study of social and financial policy has not yet been written. Five case studies of selected historical episodes from the early 20th century to the current period show how state, business and labor actors sometimes opposed, sometimes advanced financial development in order to achieve their social policy goals. This historical account of the Dutch pension system advances theoretical understandings of financialization in relation to the welfare state. The United States and Germany serve as shadow cases. Evidence is collected from national and international historical archives. The fellowship period would be used for the final write-up of the manuscript.

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Filed under Financialization, Germany, Instituut GAK, Nederland Pensioenland, NIAS, Pension Funds, Publications, United States

New Article on Financialization and the Pension System

My article “Financialisation and the Pension System: Lessons from the United States and the Netherlands” was recently published in the Journal of Modern European History (Vol. 15, No. 4). The article explores the financialisation of private pensions in the United States and the Netherlands. It proposes two distinct arguments. First, the article shows that both the American and the Dutch pension systems stand out internationally for their high degrees of capitalisation and the absence of substantive investment restrictions for pension funds. The article posits that both pension systems are highly financialised, yet the process of financialisation has proceeded along different historical paths and within different institutional contexts.

Second, the article maintains that the financialisation of pension systems is accompanied by its own political dynamics. In both political economies, different groups of actors (employers, labour unions, financial professionals) have made claims over the growing concentration of pension assets. Here, particular emphasis is given to the role of the state. It shows how since the mid-1970s, both American and Dutch pension funds have altered their investment strategies, abandoning public debt as the dominant investment category.

The article explains this change in terms of the rising popularity of modern portfolio theory and the immense growth of pension capital in need of new investment options. As austerity politics have made governments more dependent on financial markets, pension funds have become more assertive in leveraging their assets and demanding political reform which are in the interest of the financial industries. Financialisation has thus fundamentally altered the balance of power between the state and financial market actors.

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Filed under Financialization, Netherlands, Pension Funds, Publications, United States

Nog steeds een pensioenmirakel?

Hoe miraculeus is ons pensioenstelsel? Nieuw hoofdstuk verschenen in deze mooie bundel over het Nederlandse poldermodel in de 21e eeuw. Verkrijgbaar in druk via Amsterdam University Press of gratis te downloaden via


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Filed under Nederland Pensioenland, Publications

Nieuw boek over pensioen

Mijn nieuwe boek, met Sijbren Kuiper, over het Nederlandse pensioenstelsel verschijnt 15 september 2016 bij Amsterdam University Press.

Veel Nederlanders maken zich zorgen of zij later nog wel kunnen rekenen op een behoorlijk pensioen. Het antwoord op die vraag is helaas niet eenvoudig: de hoogte van het pensioen is afhankelijk van allerlei factoren, waaronder het overheidsbeleid, het overleg tussen sociale partners en de veranderingen op de financiële markten. Het pensioen is dan ook een uitermate complex onderwerp. Hoog tijd dus voor een overzichtelijke en toegankelijke uitleg!

Dit boekje beschrijft hoe de pensioenen in Nederland zijn geregeld en bespreekt de belangrijkste thema’s uit het huidige politieke debat over de toekomst van het Nederlandse pensioenstelsel. De auteurs bespreken het pensioen aan de hand van vragen waar iedereen mee zit:
– Hoe is mijn pensioen geregeld?
– Waar heb ik recht op?
– Tot welke leeftijd moet ik doorwerken?
– En mag ik zelf beslissen hoe mijn premie wordt belegd? 

Nederland Pensioenland

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Filed under Nederland Pensioenland, Publications