Intersections of finance and society, 2023



Intersections of finance and society, 2023
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 14-15 September

Organisers: David Bassens, Reijer Hendrikse, Alex Rossiter
Keynotes: Daniela Gabor, Karen Lai, Quinn Slobodian
Sponsors: Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Full programme available here


With inflation and interest rates on the rise, the age of expansionary monetary policy is over. At the same time, the global pandemic and a war on the European continent demand new policy responses that will have major repercussions. These developments take place in a global financial system that has undergone radical transformations over the past decade. Finance has become intertwined with the logic of the platform economy and social media to an unprecedented extent, giving rise to new patterns of financial intermediation and shifts in the relative status of financial centres. As climate breakdown worsens, politicians and publics increasingly look to the financial sector to offer alternative, more sustainable ways of investing – a responsibility that the sector has so far largely failed to live up to. As German Chancellor Olaf Scholz put it, we are living through a Zeitenwende – a ‘turning point’.

Leaving the United Kingdom for the first time, the 2023 ‘Intersections of finance and society’ conference will take place in Brussels, Belgium, the heart of European multilateralism and transatlantic policymaking. Key intersections between finance and society are shaped in Brussels. It is here where economic and financial sanctions following the war in Ukraine were formulated and enforced through key financial infrastructures like the Brussels-based SWIFT.

Building on the success of previous conferences, this year we seek to interrogate established and emergent social, organisational, and political forms shaping finance and society. Besides providing a platform to discuss new theoretical and empirical research, contributors are expressly invited to propose and debate existing and novel solutions for improving financial stability, expanding fintech inclusion, mitigating climate breakdown, and tackling the inequalities associated with financialisation.

The conference is organised by David Bassens, Reijer Hendrikse, Alex Rossiter, and the Finance and Society Network, with support from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.


Author-meets-critics roundtables


  • Financial subjectivities
  • Asset struggles I and II
  • Geographies of finance
  • Financial cosmologies
  • Financial infrastructures I and II
  • Strategic finance
  • Finance and climate
  • Assets, tokens, games
  • Histories of finance
  • Banks in normative macro-finance
  • Valuation in the digital economy
  • Central banking
  • Interrogating financial governance
  • Financial rationalities
  • International money and finance
  • Historicising European financial regimes
  • Power in the digital economy
  • Real estate finance and society
  • Breaking down the finance-carbon nexus

The conference is organised through the Finance and Society Network (FSN), in association with Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and with financial support from the Regional Studies Association. For more information, please email: intersections-finance-society-at-gmail-dot-com.

David Bassens
Conference organiser

David Bassens is Associate Professor of Economic Geography at Cosmopolis: Centre for Urban Research at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is Treasurer of the Global Network on Financial Geography (FinGeo) and editor of the new journal Finance and Space.

Contact: david-dot-bassens-at-vub-dot-be

Reijer Hendrikse
Conference organiser

Reijer Hendrikse is a postdoctoral researcher at Cosmopolis: Centre for Urban Research at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His current research investigates the growing footprint of Big Tech in the financial centers of the Benelux.

Contact: reijer-dot-hendrikse-at-vub-dot-be

Alex Rossiter
Conference organiser

Alex Rossiter is a doctoral researcher at Cosmopolis: Centre for Urban Research at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research investigates the overlapping spaces and ideologies of offshore finance and cryptocurrency exchange.

Contact: alex-dot-rossiter-at-vub-dot-be