Financial centres as fields: Reflections on habitus and risk in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This article develops a new understanding of the financial centre as a unit of analysis. It draws on Pierre Bourdieu’s generative structuralism to argue that financial centres constitute fields that possess a distinctive habitus through which risk is judged. Furthermore, Douglass North’s New Institutional Economics is used to argue that this distinctive habitus is the product of a combination of "hard" and "soft" forces: economic and business structures, the role of states, social networks, and cultural factors. It pushes beyond a simple geographical understanding of the financial centre while asserting that the financial centre is indeed a critical level of analysis. Moreover, the approach taken strongly suggests the need for historians of finance to incorporate broader macro-level political, economic, social and cultural developments into their analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDecision Taking, Confidence and Risk Management in Banks from Early Modernity to the 20th Century
EditorsKorinna Schönhärl
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-42076-9
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2017

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in the History of Finance
PublisherPalgrave macmillan

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  • Cite this

    Dilley, A. R. (2017). Financial centres as fields: Reflections on habitus and risk in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In K. Schönhärl (Ed.), Decision Taking, Confidence and Risk Management in Banks from Early Modernity to the 20th Century (Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance). Palgrave Macmillan .