Skip to content

Finance and society


Join the Finance and Society cluster!

For better or worse, the financial sector plays a critical role in modern market economies: financial institutions and markets are a critical sector for supporting households, enterprises and governments with payment, saving, credit and risk management services; however, they have also been at the core of recent crises, such as the Global Financial and the Eurodebt crises. The financial sector is also at the centre of several societal challenges of the 21st century: first, digitalisation affects economies and societies, including with the emergence of new financial service providers (fintech) and platform firms, such as Facebook, Google, Paypal, Alibaba and Tencent expanding into financial service provision, creating new challenges for consumers, regulators and competition authorities.

At the same time, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence have an important impact on how financial services are being provided and important repercussions for financial stability and raises important questions on the ownership of personal data that are being provided on the Internet. Second, climate change is no doubt the most important challenge for humanity in the next decades. Financing the transition to a net-zero society will involve a mix of public and private resources, which points to the critical role of the financial sector. At the same time, financial institutions and markets face higher risk due to climate change (physical risk) and regulatory changes as its consequence (transition risk). 

The evolution, role and risks of financial services are being researched by a number of academics across departments of the EUI, including economics, law, political science and history.  Economists and political economists often focus on institutions and policies underpinning an effective and stable financial systems, while legal scholars focus on the development and enforcement of legal rules and norms. Political scientists disentangle the political and partisan interests underlying financial sector reforms and analyse conflicts around policy reforms and financial structure, while historians study past financial structures, flows and crises to inform the current debate. 

Researchers from different disciplines use different methods and data; more importantly, they have very different approaches to financial service providers that are complementary to each other. Encouraging interaction between different disciplines on this critical topic will enrich the debate, provide everyone with new insights and ultimately sharpen the message that research in this area provides to policy makers and society. An interdisciplinary research cluster can help further improve the policy dialogue and sharpen the policy messages. 

Finance and Society cluster library information specialist:  Thomas Bourke 


We have two key activities planned for 2024: a research conference on the political economy of finance and banking on 21-22 October and regular brown-bag lunch seminars. Conference details will be shared soon, with a significant role foreseen for young researchers. Regarding the brown-bag lunch seminar series, we aim for monthly (or more frequent) sessions, inviting researchers at all levels to step forward and present their work.


Go back to top of the page