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.
|Title of host publication||Decision Taking, Confidence and Risk Management in Banks from Early Modernity to the 20th Century|
|Place of Publication||Basingstoke|
|Publication status||Published - 17 Jan 2017|
|Name||Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance|
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 .