2019/11/26-28: Financialization and Development in the Global South, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Call for papers: Financialization and Development in the Global South

Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 26 to 28 November 2019

From 26 to 28 November 2019, SOMO, Centro Cultural de la Cooperación Floreal Gorini and the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), with scholars from the University of Buenos Aires and the University of San Martín organise a conference titled ‘The Financialisation and Developement in the Global South’. This is a call for papers.

We are interested in the following questions:

  • What are the main features of financialization in developing economies?
  • How do we conceptualize the development of underdevelopment under conditions of finance-led capitalism?
  • How does financialization alter prospects for development?
  • How does a comparative analysis of financialization across different institutional models in the developing world look like?

Keynote Speakers for the conference are


Studies of the multidisciplinary concept financialization have multiplied in recent years, covering a growing range of topics. The principal focus, however, was largely on developed economies – first within the Anglo-American heartlands, then comparatively broadening towards Europe, exposing the workings of finance-led capitalism in a context of large, diverse and sophisticated bank- and market-based financial systems. The uneven nature of the finance-dominated regime, and particularly the subordinate integration of developing countries into global financial and monetary circuits, received far less attention. This conference aims to bridge this lacuna, by opening up an interdisciplinary exchange among scholars, policymakers and civil society organizations studying financialization in developing countries.

The mounting power of global financial interests over developing economies is expressing itself in myriad ways. For example, ever since the North-Atlantic financial crisis of 2008 loose monetary policies in advanced economies have spurred a tidal wave of footloose capital seeking returns, resulting in the build-up of unprecedented levels of private and public debt across developing economies. As the age of ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) is coming to an end, a shift in global capital flows reversing from periphery to core is threatening to re-create the very dynamics that led to major debt crises in the past.

Alternatively, as the age of the Washington consensus and its structural adjustment programs is over, the World Bank has commenced a new grand project. Supported by the G20 and a host of other international organizations, this new project called the Maximizing finance for development revolves around the securitization of infrastructure, healthcare and education projects to build new asset classes for institutional investors, allowing developing economies to tap into global liquidity. This mechanism of financialization coming with the slogan ‘from billions to trillions’ aims to facilitate development, or at minimum the assetization thereof, creating new opportunities for institutional investors and dependencies.

Another issue is a rising level of corporate concentration and control over global production chains, heralding a new epoch of monopoly capitalism. Global trade and investment became increasingly tied into integrated corporate structures in the process of three decades of cross-border borders mergers and acquisitions. The ensuing financialization of these corporate conglomerates manifests itself through growing financial reserves, a decline in fixed capital formation and a growing reliance on offshore incorporation strategies, enabling regulatory arbitrage, tax avoidance and flat-out corruption to maximize shareholder value. Resultantly, the world’s largest corporate conglomerates have become rent-seeking financialized behemoths, effectively exploiting their excessive market power.

Developing countries face variegated combinations of these and other trends. There is a need for a dedicated focus on the place of developing economies within the global finance-led regime. Structural shifts within the global economy unevenly impact political-economic conditions and capabilities at national and local scales, reinforcing structural barriers whilst creating novel dependencies, which vary from core to periphery.

For whom?

This conference will bring together different academic communities, policymakers and civil society organizations. In particular, we invite scholars from disciplines that range from economics, political economy, geography, development studies, political science, urban studies and law. Representatives of civil society organizations are invited to present research and projects and to join the conversation. The conference will be bilingual (with simultaneous interpretation), Spanish and English, to encourage civil society organizations from across Latin America to participate. The aim is to discuss different expressions and domains of financialization in the developing world in order to build a coherent and integrated picture.


Global financial structure

  • The international monetary system, hierarchies of money and the periphery
  • Debt crises in historical perspective: what is new?
  • Global financial cycle, global liquidity and systemic risk
  • Revisiting core periphery theories in the age of financialized capitalism.
  • Tax havens, the offshore world and the political economy of development.

Objects and domains of financialization:

  • Financialization of housing, infrastructure, land and urban projects
  • Financialization of public services (transportation, education and healthcare)
  • Financialization of nature and the political economy of climate change

The politics and governance of financialization in developing countries

  • From the Washington consensus to the Wall Street Consensus: finance for development
  • Political dynamics, electoral preferences and the rise of authoritarian neoliberalism
  • State-led development and financialization of the State.


Conference Committee

Martín Abeles (CEPAL-Argentina), Eelke Heemskerk (UvA – Netherlands), Mariana Fix (UNICAMP-Brazil), Manuel Aalbers (KU Leuven – Belgium),  Ernesto Lopez Morales (UCh-Chile), Ewa Karwowski (Hertfordshire – UK), Beatriz Rufino (USP-Brazil), Daniel Sanfelici (UFF-Brazil), Juan Santarcangelo (CONICET/UNQui-Argentina), MartínSchorr (CONICET/UNSAM-Argentina), Lúcia Shimbo (USP-Brazil).

The process

  • Send an extended abstract of 500-800 words
  • Deadline for abstract: August 1st
  • Deadline for draft of paper or draft presentation: November 3rd
  •      A conference fee of 135 US$ will be charged to participants coming from the Global North. Reductions to this fee can be made on a case by case basis. Please explain your case when you submit your abstract
  • For submissions and questions please contact: FinancializationAndDevelopment@somo.nl


Centro Cultural de la Cooperación
Av. Corrientes 1543
Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

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