The economy as a discursive construction: The case of representation of indebtedness of the global financial market

Original scientific paper

Jakov Begić

Fulltext: english, pdf (324 KB) pages 7-30 cite
Fulltext: croatian, pdf (324 KB) pages 7-30 cite

This paper aims to demonstrate the significance and relevance of the poststructural gaze towards the economy by both tracing the conceptual commonplaces of this approach as well as practicing this theoretical position in the concrete analysis of indebtedness of the financial system. A brief and localized, but nonetheless significant tradition of the poststructural problematizing of the category of economy is here presented through three key disciplines: governmentality studies, economic sociology and international political economy. After portraying the contributions and limitations of those disciplines, the second part of the paper analyzes the apparatus of standardification and validification of credit risk within banks, namely the Basel Capital Accord and practices of securitisation. By offering a genealogy of those techniques, we interpret finance as a discursive space (re)articulated through an aggregate of normalized mechanisms and practices which collectively form a rationality of governance. In this way, we point out the importance of performative, symbolic, relational, decentered and contingent moments in the critical conception of (financial) economy, as well as show that the critique of economy does not necessarily have to be organized and conducted through the capital – class – ideology matrix.

Poststructuralism; Debt; Global Financial System; Basel Capital Accord; Securitisation

Hrčak ID: 169141