Managing expectations in financialized capitalism : The comparative political economy of macroprudential regulation in residential real estate markets in Germany, France, the Netherlands and UK

Le projet

How do policy makers respond to the contradictions of financialisation, which produces benign political and economic conditions when the credit system is expanding and house prices are rising (Crouch 2009, Aalbers 2016, Fernandez and Aalbers 2016), but is prone to severe and damaging crises (Minsky 1977, Hellwig 2009)? How have the “expectational politics” (Wansleben 2018) of monetary regimes shifted in response to the (re-)emergence of financial stability as a policy objective? And what do the differences and commonalities between national regulatory systems tell us about the way policy makers govern financialised capitalism? This project explores the comparative political economy of macroprudential measures designed to regulate residential real estate in Germany, France, the Netherlands and UK. Given that residential real estate markets are not only the engine room of financialization, but also central to its crisis-prone dynamics, the proposed project develops a series of four case studies to comprehend how the technocratic governance of expectations and the domestic politics of financialization interact at the national level. It constructs a “comparative political economy of expectations” (Beckert 2016, p. 88), which tests the hypothesis that post-crisis central banking in Europe is characterised by “financial dominance” (Brunnermeier and Reis 2019, Diessner and Lisi 2019). In so doing, the project not only aims to contribute to scholarly discussions about the political economy of central banking in Europe (Braun 2018, Wansleben 2018, Brunnermeier and Reis 2019, Diessner and Lisi 2019, Thiemann 2019), but also to contribute to scholarship on wealth and inequality by focusing on regulatory efforts in residential real estate markets, which are central to the dynamics of wealth inequality and intergenerational wealth transfers in Western Europe (Fuller et al. 2020).

The Team

Matthias Thiemann

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