The Research Network on Geographies of Finance and Post-Socialist Transformations was originally established in 2010 as an informal international network of scholars interested in geographies of finance and post-socialist transformations in East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union. Later that year we have received an official recognition from the Regional Studies Association (RSA). Since then, we have a status of an RSA Research Network. We have also been awarded an RSA grant to support our activities via international seminars (see more in Events).
The network brings together researchers and specialists on finance, post-socialism and regional studies; from both the ‘West‘ and the ‘East’. Currently we have more than 90 members from across Europe, USA and China (see more in Members).
A driving force behind the creation of the network was recognition that the understanding of finance and financial geographies is incomplete without taking into account the implications of the collapse of state-socialism in Central and Eastern Europe and subsequent neo-liberal transformations in the region. Equally, the understanding of post-socialist transformations is incomplete without taking into account the way in which finance (in various forms and at various scales) has been partaking in transforming state-socialist societies into market-driven economies.
Currently, there appears to be a noticeable lacuna in the research landscape in this particular regard. Indeed, there is very little evidence of an interaction between studies of finance and financial geographies on the one hand, and post-socialist studies on the other.
The aim of the network is thus to overcome barriers between these two research communities and to encourage a mutual, and mutually beneficial, engagement between them. In doing so, the network aims to contribute to the debate on the nature of contemporary societies and economies in the enlarged European Union (EU) and beyond. In particular, the network aims to explore the processes that are unfolding with direct or indirect involvement of finance. Among the themes that the network is keen to engage with are (it is expected that other themes may arise from future discussions within the Network):
- Causes and consequences of the crisis
- Impact of the crisis on regions, countries, sectors and households
- Responses to the crisis at national and regional levels
- Fiscal crisis of the state and regions
- Credit and debt at the household, company and national levels
- Circuits of finance
- Finance and regional development
- Finance, financialisation and post-socialism
- Investment banking in Eastern Europe and emerging markets
- Geographies of banking (including locally embedded structures, such as co-operative banks)
- Financialisation, migration and crisis
- Financial services, social exclusion and poverty
- Finance and housing
- Finance and city-regions
- Emerging international financial centres
- Global finance and endogenous regional financial and banking structures
- New financial infrastructure
- Alternative finance and economies
- Alternative economic development models