Special issue: Recentering central banks

Economy and Society, vol. 51 no. 4 (2022).
Edited by Nathan Coombs and Matthias Thiemann.

With contributions from the editors, Jacqueline Best, Edin Ibrocevic, Stephanie Mudge and Antoine Vauchez, and Hirokazu Miyazaki and Annelise Riles.

This special issue argues that to make sense of the increased prominence of central banks after the 2008 financial crisis and COVID-19 pandemic requires interrogating the sources of and limits to their governmental power. In a time in which the ‘big state’ has returned alongside new forms of financial speculation, the theoretical claim advanced by the introductory paper and developed by the subsequent papers is that the state ‘effect’ is in crucial respects conditioned by the economic governance arrangements set in place by central banks. The special issue shows how practices of boundary-making traverse the transformation of central banking expertise, enable the construction of supra-national economic statehood, potentiate and delimit central banks’ regulatory authority, and infuse their management of expectations and narrative governance of the financial sector.


(Coombs and Thiemann, 2022)