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Understanding financial globalization

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Understanding the nature, origins and consequences of global finance is a central task for contemporary political economy. This paper makes three arguments. First, contemporary levels of financial integration are high by historical standards, even if they are not absolutely as high as some believe. Second, it is now reasonably well-established that financial globalisation is not yet the great ‘levelling force’ implied in some IPE literature, where it is seen as an increasingly powerful structural constraint upon national policy autonomy in all countries. The extent to which financial globalisation constrains state policy varies considerably both across countries and by policy area, depending upon various national characteristics and institutional structures. Third, most of the costs and risks entailed by financial globalization fall upon developing countries.

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