Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FESSUD Report Summary

Project ID: 266800
Funded under: FP7-SSH
Country: United Kingdom

Periodic Report Summary 3 - FESSUD (Financialisation, economy, society and sustainable development.)

Project Context and Objectives:
The research programme of FESSUD integrates diverse levels, methods and disciplinary traditions with the aim of developing a comprehensive policy agenda for changing the role of the financial system to help achieve a future which is sustainable in environmental, social and economic terms. The programme involves an integrated and balanced consortium involving partners from 14 countries that has unsurpassed experience of deploying diverse perspectives both within economics and across disciplines inclusive of economics. The programme is distinctively pluralistic, and aims to forge alliances across the social sciences, so as to understand how finance can better serve economic, social and environmental needs. The central issues addressed are the ways in which the growth and performance of economies in the last 30 years have been dependent on the characteristics of the processes of financialisation; how has financialisation impacted on the achievement of specific economic, social, and environmental objectives?; the nature of the relationship between financialisation and the sustainability of the financial system, economic development and the environment; the lessons to be drawn from the crisis about the nature and impacts of
financialisation ; what are the requisites of a financial system able to support a process of
sustainable development, broadly conceived? The original contributions of the project come from:
(i) seeking to explore fully the interrelationship between the financial sector and the rest of the economy and of society;
(ii) the adoption of a pluralistic approach to economics drawing on the full range of economic theories and approaches;
(iii) the stress on an interdisciplinary approach (also consonant with pluralism) where a range of social sciences are integrated into all work packages;
(iv) the perspective that multiple methods of analysis have to be used;
(v) putting the concept of sustainability at the heart of the project, with reference to the sustainability of the environment, of the social, economic and financial systems;
(vi) integration into systemic analysis, and yet also country and sector specific analysis
Partners involved:
(1) University of Leeds, U.K
(2) University of Siena, Italy
(3) School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, U.K
(4) Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, France.
(5) Pour la Solidarite, Belgium
(6) Poznan University of Economics, Poland
(7) Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
(8) Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
(9) Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
(10) University of Pannonia, Hungary
(11) National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
(12) Middle East Technical University, Turkey
(13) Lund University, Sweden
(14) University of Witwatersrand Johannesburg, South Africa
(15) Universidad del Pais Vasco EHU, Spain

Coordinator Contact Details:

Scientific Coordinator Project Manager

Prof. Malcolm Sawyer Ms Helen Evans

Leeds University Business School Leeds University Business School
Maurice Keyworth Building Maurice Keyworth Building
University of Leeds University of Leeds
Email: Email:
Tel:+44 (0)113 3434484 Tel: +44 (0)113 3434125

Project Results:
Organisation of kick-off meeting, 4 annual conferences, co-ordination of work plans and management meetings.
WP2 includes research results from 15 reports on the financial systems of EU countries and others, impacts of processes of European integration on each financial system; surveys on theorising on finance and on financialisation from a wide range of perspectives.
WP3 completed reviews of theories of financial crisis, on previous financial crises, changes in the relationship between financial and real sectors of the economy. 15 country and 3 sector studies on the relationships between financial and real sectors. Responses to crisis show tendencies towards export-led mercantilism, stabilisation of aggregate demand through government deficits and through rising private debt. Policy agenda for re-regulating and downsizing of financial sector, re-distribution of income, stabilizing domestic demand at full employment, and re-creation of international monetary and economic policy coordination
WP4 completed comparative assessment of national regulatory regimes, focussing on national experience of EU countries transposing and implementing EU directives. Analyses of institutional setting for financial regulation and supervision undertaken. Interest rate policies of the ECB examined; papers on effectiveness of financial taxes.
WP5 produced reports on financialisation and well-being, on material and cultural aspects of financialisation and on household financial behaviour. Report summarizing the results of the surveys on financialisation and well-being.
WP 6 :Review of changing impact finance on development: report on scenarios for future global engagement; mapping of issues on financialisation and development. Assessment of financial flows between the EU and developing countries. Analysis of roles of developing countries in provision of finance in Europe, and financial implication of new relationships. Country studies on the impact of financialisation on development.
WP 7: Work completed on impacts of financial crisis and recession on progress towards low carbon economy; analysis of energy crisis; exploring investors’ requirements in the energy sector from sustainability perspective; exploring conditions for financial markets to promote investments to accelerate the transition to a low carbon society; impact of growing use of financial instruments on energy commodities; investigation of relations between financialisation of the built environment and urban regeneration in European cities.
WP 8 Work competed: analysis of effects of financialisation on re-structuring of the real economy; of the changing forms of ownership in the financial sector and impact on the ownership, governance, and behaviour of firms; analysed main factors influencing the supply of financial services; analysis of diverse types of financial institutions to identify their effects on re-structuring, economic performance and stability; analysis of roles and impacts of finance on the achievement of key goals of corporate social responsibility; investigation of structural linkages between financialisation and the real economy focused on housing and water provision.
WP 9 surveyed nature of financial stability, with empirical investigations on relationships between financialisation, financial stability and economic policies, encompassing analyses on the management of public debts. Studied consequences of global financial crisis in new EU member states and in candidate countries, on the management and effectiveness of monetary and fiscal economic policies, finding ECB policy has been detrimental to the monetary system of new EU member states.
WP 10: Web-site developed; Published 34 FESSUD studies in financial system, 120+ working papers. Communication and dissemination strategy developed. Dissemination of results of research in conferences, journals, books, other publications. Issued 7 newsletters and publication of video interviews from FESSUD conferences.
WP11: Examination of future regulation in light of technological innovations. Near completion of Delphi foresight study to analyse experts’ opinions on the future of finances with purpose of evaluating the future expansion and proliferation of finance and financial products.
WP12:Preliminary syntheses largely completed, including reflections on developments of the economics discipline; an account of, and proposals for, a better alternative to the current financial and economic regime; an overarching analysis of existing energy system and financialisation of built environments, emphasising need for rapid transition to a low carbon economy.

Potential Impact:
The following highlight a range of expected final results:
• Major studies on financial systems and financialisation and development of comparative materials on the nature and performance of financial systems;
• Reviews and synthesis of theories of finance and of financialisation;
• Potential impact and use (PIU):The studies provide a comprehensive coverage of European countries as material for comparative studies on structures and on performance and for the development of typologies.

• Critical evaluations of explanations of the causes of the financial crises 2007/9; Comprehensive studies on the causes and consequences of the financial crises in European countries and USA.
• PIU: contributions to understanding the financial crisis, and to the development of alternative perspectives and policies to alleviate future crises;

• Reviews of financial regulation and de-regulation over the past three decades and investigation of the involvement of de-regulation in the genesis of the financial crisis.
• Development of more effective financial regulation, and the evaluation of the influences of monetary policy and bank supervision on the structure and behaviour of the financial sector.
• PIU: on the design and development of regulatory frameworks.

• Comparative perspective on the impact of financialisation and of the financial crisis on dimensions of social well-being;
• Cross-national comparative analysis of survey data to assess household well-being;
• PIU: on understandings of relationships between financialisation and social well-being, and on policy debates on the role of the financial sector.

• Systematic examination of global financial flows, centred upon those driven by policy and the accommodating balance sheet effects of those flows.
• Assessment of the changes in the global financial and monetary system on developing countries and analysis of the changing role of the EU in global financial governance:
• PIU: on understanding of global financial flows and input into policy debates

• Exploration of relations between finance and the environment and the production of nature as well as natural resources;
• Analysis of sector specific environmental impacts of financialisation and investigation of how the financial system may promote sustainable development.
• Clarification of the nexus between financialisation and real economy;
• PIU: on the design and implementation of long-run policy strategy to accelerate the transition to sustainable development

• Analysis of the effects of financialisation on the re-structuring of the real economy and of the changing forms of ownership in the financial sector and impact on the ownership, governance, and behaviour of firms in the real economy;
• Analysis of impacts of finance on the achievement of corporate social responsibility;
• Analysis of private equity, hedge funds, investment banks and sovereign wealth funds to identify the costs and benefits of the effects of their operations;
• Investigation of structural linkages between financialisation and real economy with specific reference to housing and water.
• PIU: Better understanding of the influences of financialisation on the evolution of financial system and on the performance and restructuring of the real economy;

• Investigation of relationships between price stability and financial stability and of the abilities of fiscal and monetary policies to promote financial stability. Analysis of the macroeconomic policy responses within EMU and other EU countries to the financial crisis and its aftermath.
• PIU: development of reform proposals on monetary and fiscal policies with particular reference to EMU and its policy framework.

• Foresight exercises on future expansion and proliferation of finance, the regulatory future, relationships between finance and industry, financialisation, debt and inequality and finance and economic and social reproduction
• PIU: insights into the future prospects of the processes of financialisation and policy responses

• An overall synthesis of the FESSUD project and its work on inter-disciplinarity, the causes and consequences of the financial crisis, policy recommendation, financialisation and sustainability, and the nature of the economics discipline
• PIU: reinforcing impacts as above.

List of Websites:

Related information


Kathy Brownridge, (Director of Research Support)
Tel.: +441133436050
Fax: +44 113 343 4058
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