• John G. Glenn
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This chapter introduces the main themes of the book. In so doing, it provides a brief synopsis of the crisis, arguing that, at the heart of the crisis, was the drive for ever-increasing profits via various financial innovations that facilitated vast increases in financial leverage. The challenge was how to increase the amount of credit available to consumers within the parameters of the regulatory framework that was supposed to limit the risk of financial collapse while at the same time ensuring a level playing field for competition within the financial world. The solution to this conundrum came in several forms, but the result was essentially the same—the displacement of risk away from the banks’ balance sheets to other investors and ‘off-book’ accounts in special purpose vehicles which were all too often located offshore.

The rest of the chapter provides an overview of the book. In so doing, it argues that this book adds to works on the financial crises, by placing these events alongside the attendant reforms of the financial system within a Foucauldian theoretical framework. In so doing, it provides a contemporary analysis of the two financial crises that have recently beset the global economy. But, it does so by providing an understanding of these events within an overarching Foucauldian framework; applying his insights into governmentality, biopolitics and discipline to the reforms that have been implemented in the aftermath of these crises.


Financial Crisis 2007/8 Securitization CDOs Foucauldian IPE Biopolitics Governmentality 


  1. Acharya, V., T. Cooley, M. Richardson, and I. Walter, eds. 2010. Regulating Wall Street: the Dodd-Frank Act and the New Architecture of Global Finance. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Amicelle, A. 2011. Towards a “New” Political Anatomy of Financial Surveillance. Security Dialogue 42 (2): 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arnold, G. 1998. Corporate Financial Management. Harlow: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Augar, P. 2009. Chasing Alpha: How Reckless Growth and Unchecked Ambition Ruined the City’s Golden Decade. London: Bodley Head.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, A. 2010. Restraining Regulatory Capture? Anglo-America, Crisis Politics and Trajectories of Change in Global Financial Governance. International Affairs 86 (3): 647–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Best, J. 2010. The Limits of Financial Risk Management: Or What We Didn’t Learn from the Asian Crisis. New Political Economy 15 (1): 29–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cerny, P. 2010. Rethinking World Politics: A Theory of Transnational Neopluralism. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chandler, D. 2014. Resilience: The Governance of Complexity. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, B. 1998. The Geography of Money. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Crouch, C. 2011. The Strange Non-Death of Neo-Liberalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dean, M. 1999. Risk, Calculable and Incalculable. In Risk and Sociocultural Theory: New Directions and Perspectives, ed. D. Lupton, 131–59. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Deuchars, R. 2004. The International Political Economy of Risk: Rationalism, Calculation and Power. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  13. Dillon, M. 2008. Biopolitics of Security in the 21rst Century: An Introduction. Review of International Studies 34 (2): 265–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Drezner, D. 2007. All Politics Is Global: Explaining International Regulatory Regimes. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Foucault, M. 2007. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the College de France 1977–78. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Germain, R. 1997. The International Organization of Credit. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. ———. 2010. Global Politics and Financial Governance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gilpin, R. 2000. The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The World Economy in the 21st Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  19. ———. 2001. Global Political Economy: Understanding the International Economic Order. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Helleiner, E., S. Pagliari, and H. Zimmermann, eds. 2010. Global Finance in Crisis: The Politics of International Regulatory Change. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Hoogvelt, A. 2001. Globalization and the Postcolonial World. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Joseph, J. 2013. Resilience as Embedded Neoliberalism: A Governmentality Approach. Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses 1 (1): 38–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kingsley, P. 2012. Financial Crisis: Timeline: The Financial Crisis, Five Years On: How the World Economy Plunged into Recession. The Guardian, August 7.
  24. Langley, P. 2008. The Everyday Life of Global Finance: Saving and Borrowing in Anglo-America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. ———. 2010. Liquidity Lost: Sovereignty, Security and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis. Stockholm: ECPR Standing Group on International Relations.
  26. Miller, P., and N. Rose. 1990. Governing Economic Life. Economy and Society 19 (1): 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mosely, L. 2010. Regulating Globally, Implementing Locally: The Financial Codes and Standards Effort. Review of International Political Economy 17 (4): 724–761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mosely, L., and D. Singer. 2009. The Global Financial Crisis: Lessons and Opportunities for International Political Economy. International Interactions: Empirical and Theoretical Research in International Relations 35 (4): 420–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pagliari, S., ed. 2012. The Making of Good Financial Regulation Towards a Policy Response to Regulatory Capture, June.
  30. Porter, T. 2005. Globalization and Finance. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  31. ———. 2014. Transnational Financial Regulation After the Global Financial Crisis. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Porter, T., and K. Ronit. 2006. Self-Regulation as Policy Process: The Multiple and Criss-Crossing Stages of Private Rule-Making. Policy Sciences 39: 41–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Singer, D. 2007. Regulating Capital: Setting Standards for the International Financial System. Ithaca, Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 2010. Uncertain Leadership: The US Regulatory Response to the Global Financial Crisis. In Global Finance in Crisis: The Politics of International Regulatory Change, ed. Eric Helleiner, Stefano Pagliari, and Hubert Zimmermann, 93–106. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Underhill, G., J. Blom, and D. Mügge. 2010. Global Financial Integration Thirty Years On: From Reform to Crisis. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tett, G. 2009. Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe. London: Little Brown.Google Scholar
  37. The Economist. 2008. Taming the Beast: How Far Should Finance Be Re-Regulated? The Economist: A Special Report on the World Economy, October 11–17, p. 10.Google Scholar
  38. ———. 2009. Three Trillion Dollars Later, May 16–22, p. 73.Google Scholar
  39. Vestergaard, J. 2009. Discipline in the Global Economy?: International Finance and the End of Liberalism New Political Economy. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Vlcek, W. 2007. Surveillance to Combat Terrorist Financing in Europe: Whose Liberty, Whose Security? European Security 16 (1): 99–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Glenn
    • 1
  1. 1.Politics and International RelationsUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

Personalised recommendations