Financial Citizenship: Towards a New Collaboration Between Experts and Publics in the Regulation of the Global Economy
Central banks are now suffering from a crisis in public confidence and public legitimacy. New populist and nationalist movements have made a target of central banks and central bankers as a source of popular malaise. Consumers and workers anxious about future economic risks are increasingly skeptical about the “science” of monetary policy and suspicious that central bankers serve the interests of a few at the expense of the rest. On the right and on the left, new civil society groups are challenging the notion—accepted by most for a generation—that when it comes to the regulation of the economy, expertise confers legitimacy. Addressing this legitimacy crisis is as urgent a macro-prudential matter as any other on the agenda of central banks today.
As an anthropologist and a lawyer who has studied the culture of central banking and the social relationship between financial regulators and other market participants for twenty years, I see this crisis of legitimacy as a problem of culture as much as it is a problem of law. To address this crisis we need a new concept of financial citizenship and a new collaboration between experts and publics. This lecture will explore steps towards a more collaborative relationship between financial regulators and the citizenry at large.
Annelise Riles is Executive Director of the Buffett Institute for International Studies and Associate Provost for International Affairs, as well as Professor of Law and Professor of Anthropology (by courtesy) at Northwestern University. She is a recipient of the Humboldt Foundation's Annelise Maier Prize. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, a J.D from Harvard Law School, an M.Sc. in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and an A.B. from Princeton University. Her research concerns the culture of legal institutions and she has conducted extensive field research in international organizations and in the global financial markets. She writes about subjects ranging from human rights to financial regulation, and her work spans the disciplines of law and anthropology. Her most recent book is Financial Citizenship: Experts, Publics, and the Politics of Central Banking (Cornell University Press).
The event is part of #wissenschaftsfreiheit, an initiative by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany to mark the 70th anniversary of the Grundgesetz.
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