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

Call for papers 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.


Derisking the Zeitenwende
Daniela Gabor, UWE Bristol

From fintech to finlife
Karen Lai, Durham University

Finance and empire
Quinn Slobodian, Wellesley College

Author-meets-critics roundtables

Contributions are invited in two formats

  • Papers; abstract of up to 300 words
  • Panels; panel proposal plus 4-5 paper abstracts

Themes on which we encourage contributions include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial geographies
  • Financial infrastructures
  • Valuation regimes
  • Finance and inequality
  • Law and finance
  • Leverage and power
  • Assets, assetisation, and the asset economy
  • Financial dystopias and apocalypse
  • Finance and ecological crisis
  • Finance, sustainability, and sustainable capitalism
  • Racial capitalism
  • Finance and platform capitalism
  • Digital economy, AI, and the politics of fintech
  • Tokens, tokenisation, and encryption
  • Gendered finance
  • Finance, nationalism, and populism
  • Finance and growth regimes
  • Welfare states after financialisation
  • State-banking nexus
  • Finance and corporate power
  • Finance and development
  • Subordinate financialisation
  • Critical macro-finance
  • Central banking and monetary policy
  • Systemic risk and macroprudential governance
  • Public finance
  • Finance and security
  • Theory and philosophy of money
  • Histories of finance
  • Heterodox economics and finance theory
  • Temporality and futurity
  • Volatility cultures
  • Poststructuralism and finance
  • Gift, debt, tribute, pledge, claim
  • Contemporary regimes of credit, credibility, and reputation
  • Money, finance, and psychoanalysis
  • Aesthetics of finance
  • Financialisation and contemporary art
  • Finance and the occult

Please submit abstracts and proposals by 1 May 2023 to the following address: intersectionsfinancesociety-at-gmail-dot-com. The editors of Finance and Society are encouraging paper submissions from conference participants. For more information on the journal please visit:

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