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International financial subordination: a critical research agenda

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Ilias Alami, Carolina Alves, Bruno Bonizzi, Annina Kaltenbrunner, Kai Koddenbrock, Ingrid Kvangraven, Jeff Powell

Original languageEnglish
Accepted/In press26 May 2022
Published19 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This work is the product of a collective research project generously funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation (flexible grant for small group 2019–2020). We also built on our experience conducting research on finance in DEEs over the past ten years, which between the authors included Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, South Africa, Senegal, Kenya and Ghana. Thanks are due to three reviewers for their generous feedback and to Randall Germain for excellent editorial guidance. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

King's Authors


Despite a varied picture in terms of their relative economic strength, Developing and Emerging Economies (DEEs) remain in a subordinate position in the global monetary and financial system. While the IPE and economics literatures provide rich insights about the significance of this phenomenon, research efforts remain fragmented. To address this problem, we offer an umbrella concept—international financial subordination (IFS)—to channel research efforts towards cumulative theory-building. IFS is about unearthing why the structural power of finance takes a particularly violent form of expression in DEEs. To provide structure to IFS as a scholarly field, we first assess the contributions of IPE in analyzing various factors that reproduce IFS. To better ground these efforts in processes of accumulation and the histories of the relation between finance and (post)colonial development, we then offer a critical synthesis of three heterodox traditions—dependency theory, post-Keynesian economics, and Marxism. Next, we develop a pluridisciplinary research agenda organized around six analytical axes: the historical analysis of financial relations, the relations between financial and productive subordinations, the constitutive role of monetary relations as expressions of power, the role of the state, the actions and practices of non-state actors, and the spatial relations of financial subordination.

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