The Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Finance in the 21st Century: From Hubris to Disgrace (Paperback) book cover

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Finance in the 21st Century

From Hubris to Disgrace

Edited by Patrick O'Sullivan, Nigel F. B. Allington, Mark Esposito

© 2015 – Routledge

516 pages | 45 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415859011
pub: 2015-04-20
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9780415859004
pub: 2015-04-20
SAVE ~$40.20

FREE Standard Shipping!
Look Inside e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Since 2008, the financial sector has been the subject of extensive criticism. Much of this criticism has focused on the morality of the actors involved in the crisis and its extended aftermath. This book analyses the key moral and political philosophical issues of the crisis and relates them to the political economy of finance. It also examines to what extent the financial sector can or should be reformed.

This book is unified by the view that the financial sector had been a self-serving and self-regulating elite consumed by greed, speculation and even lawlessness, with little sense of responsibility to the wider society or common good. In light of critical analysis by authors from a variety of backgrounds and persuasions, suggestions for reform and improvement are proposed, in some cases radical reform. By placing the world of finance under a microscope, this book analyses the assumptions that have led from hubris to disgrace as it provides suggestions for an improved society.

Rooted in philosophical reflection, this book invites a critical reassessment of finance and its societal role in the 21st century. This book will be of interest to academics, politicians, central bankers and financial regulators who wish to improve the morality of finance.


This is a timely set of essays that raise issues that are essential for understanding how finance ought to work in the 21st Century. The authors set finance squarely in the middle of society and its institutions. The analysis is superb.

R. Edward Freeman is University Professor and Olsson Professor, The Darden School University of Virginia, USA.

This book is an important contribution to the critique of social theory…. Perched on a fundamental question of legitimacy, this impressive new volume clarifies why the financial paradigm is flawed and how it is based on a profound intellectual fallacy that has caused so much instability in modern societies. Well balanced between inquiry and advocacy, this book is a modern must read for a wide range of readers.

Bruno S. Sergi, University of Messina and Harvard University, USA.

A thought-provoking collection of essays that ask many intriguing questions about how we got to where we are and how we can move to a better place. An essential read for those who are not satisfied by orthodox thinking about the current financial recession, and how we best respond to it.

Professor Keith Whitfield, Professor of Human Resource Management and Economics, Cardiff University, Wales.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: The Nadir of 2008 and its Aftermath 2. Asset Management: Some Considerations on Performance 3. Risk in the Age of Crises 4. Financialisation 5. Is Islamic Finance a Complement to Conventional Western Finance? Underlying Principles and Viability 6. We’re Still Dancing: Stakeholder Expectation and its role in Decision Making in the Financial Sector 7. The Impact of the Subprime Financial Crisis on the Eastern European Transition Economies and Why Poland is an Outlier? 8. China as cause and victim of the US subprime financial crisis 9. Default Invariance: A Naïve Category Theory of Law and Finance 10. Europe Needs the Liberal Keynes 11. Neologism as Theoretical, Innovation in Economics: The case of ‘Financialisation’ 12. Ethics: From Negative Regulations to Fidelity to the Event 13. The Bank, its Societal Functions and its Practices: Conflictual Relationships between an Economic Agent and Democracy 14. The Sufficiency Economy: a Thai Response to the Asian Financial Crisis 15. Ethics should not Cloud Business or Financial Decisions: or the enduring power of the Neo-classical Paradigm 16. The state as a potentially immoral catalyst in financial crises 17. The Psychology of Unethical Behavior in the Finance Industry 18. Financial Liberalism and New Institutional Environment: The 2007-08 Financial Crisis as a (de)Regulatory Deadlock 19. Naturalising Techniques and Naturalised Discourses: Thoughts on the Media’s Role in the Great Recession 20. The All-encompassing Hijack 21. Heated Debates and Cool Analysis: Thinking well about Financial Ethics 22. Developing Country Perspectives: A look at the Nigerian Banking Sector Crisis 23. Theological and Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Accounting 24. Whither Finance now?

About the Editors

Mark Esposito

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Learn more about Mark Esposito >>

Patrick O’Sullivan is Professor of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility at Grenoble École de Management, France, and University of Warsaw, Poland.

Nigel F.B. Allington is Professor of Applied Macroeconomics at the Grenoble École de Management, France, and Fellow and Director of Studies in Economics at Downing College, University of Cambridge, UK.

Mark Esposito is Associate Professor of Business and Economics at Grenoble École de Management, France, a member of the teaching faculty at the Harvard University Extension School, and Senior Associate at the University of Cambridge-CISL, UK.

About the Series

Economics as Social Theory

Social Theory is experiencing something of a revival within economics. Critical analyses of the particular nature of the subject matter of social studies and of the types of method, categories and modes of explanation that can legitimately be endorsed for the scientific study of social objects, are re-emerging. Economists are again addressing such issues as the relationship between agency and structure, between economy and the rest of society, and between the enquirer and the object of enquiry. There is a renewed interest in elaborating basic categories such as causation, competition, culture, discrimination, evolution, money, need, order, organization, power probability, process, rationality, technology, time, truth, uncertainty, value etc.

The objective for this series is to facilitate this revival further. In contemporary economics the label “theory” has been appropriated by a group that confines itself to largely asocial, ahistorical, mathematical “modelling”. Economics as Social Theory thus reclaims the “Theory” label, offering a platform for alternative rigorous, but broader and more critical conceptions of theorizing.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Free Enterprise
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Macroeconomics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Money & Monetary Policy
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / Economics