Financialization and the Uses of History

Authored by: Mareike Beck , Samuel Knafo

The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138308213
eBook ISBN: 9781315142876
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reflects on the uses of history for understanding financialization. By referring to “uses,” we are primarily interested in the ways in which history has offered a resource for scholars to conceptualize or theorize financialization. The value of history partly lies in the opportunity it affords us to gain critical distance from the present. It makes it possible to relativize current financial developments in order to challenge assumptions we might have about what we take to be the salient features of financialization. In that respect, it is an invaluable resource to specify further what really stands out about recent financial developments and help us conceptualize it.

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