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14th annual critical finance studies conference

Critical Finance Studies

21-23 June 2023

                     ‘BUILDING BACK BETTER? FINANCING A RESILIENT,                                                             SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE GLOBAL RECOVERY’ 

                                                Online conference

We are delighted to announce that the 13th Critical Finance Studies Conference will be held in an online format from the 6th to the 8th of September 2021. The conference – co-organised by the University of Leeds, Tilburg University and the University of York – is part of an ongoing project that seeks to engage with finance in critical and creative ways.  Building on the successful online version of the conference delivered by our colleagues and friends at Goldsmiths, University of London last year, the 2021 event will include three online keynote sessions alongside traditional online paper presentations. In keeping with the critical financial studies community’s support for early career researchers, we would like to encourage graduate students that are keen to receive constructive feedback on their ongoing work in the light of increasingly limited opportunities to present and network during the pandemic.


Shedding light on the limitations of current economic systems, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to demand the development critical financial insights, drawing from a range of disciplines – from economics to law, sociology, accounting, arts and culture, philosophy, and politics, to name a few.

This year  three invited keynote speakers will speak to the issue of ‘Building Back Better? Financing a Resilient, Sustainable and Inclusive Global Recovery.’

We are delighted to announce three keynote lectures from:

Professor Jayati Ghosh (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi).

Professor Daniela Gabor (University of the West of England, Bristol).

Professor Brett Neilson (Western Sydney University).

A year into the global pandemic, international organizations and national governments have declared their intentions to ‘build back better’ from the unprecedented health, socioeconomic, and humanitarian crisis triggered by Covid-19, which has caused a multi-scalar global financial meltdown. Not only are populations being offered a recovery, but vision of a more equitable and sustainable post-pandemic world. This is unlikely to be simply a case of building a new consensus on how to govern or rebuild the global economy. As such, in a world dominated by the imperatives of financial accumulation, we might well ask: building back better for whom?

Critical finance scholars are accustomed to questioning the dominant narratives that surround finance, the global spread of financial flows and the penetration of the logics and devices of finance into many aspects of everyday life. Thinking critically about finance yields a number of concerns about building back better. The last decade has seen a concerted shift in the governance of crisis whereby a vast array of financial ‘theories, concepts and calculative devices’ have been enlisted to provide ‘governance through economy’ (Langley, 2017).  The inevitable question of funding this recovery raises the very real prospect that private portfolio gluts and managed money will be the driver of the great rebuild in many parts of the world (Gabor, 2021). Consequently, from the vantage point of critical finance studies, one might well question the ability to address historical condition of inequity through financial market practices and mechanisms that necessarily cultivate hierarchies of ‘risky populations’ and offer only the illusion of safety and equity (Kear, 2012).

Conference registration is now open here

This conference is being organized by John Morris (University of Nottingham),  Karina Patricio Ferreira Lima (University of Leeds), Tim Christiaens (Tilburg University) and Philip Garnett (University of York).

We are extremely grateful for the assistance of Andrew Mailing, Emily Rosamond and Paula Bejarano Carbo.