International Financial Subordination: A Critical Research Agenda

Ilias Alami, Carolina Alves, Bruno Bonizzi, Annina Kaltenbrunner, Kai Koddenbrock, Ingrid Kvangraven, Jeff Powell

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


The rise of the so-called Developing and Emerging Economies (DEEs) has been one of the most fundamental changes to the global economy in recent years. However, despite their rising economic power, DEEs remain in a subordinate position in global financial markets and the international monetary system, which shapes and constrains domestic economic actors’ opportunities and exposes them to recurrent crises and vulnerabilities. This paper argues that International Financial Subordination (IFS) is a persistent and structural phenomenon related to DEEs’ integration into a hierarchical world economy. To develop this argument we identify the main conceptual and methodological tools offered by Dependency Theory, Post-Keynesian economics, and Marxist scholarship which have contributed most to this new agenda. All three schools of thought provide important insights into the structural features of IFS, but also suffer from important limitations. Speaking to these limitations we offer six analytical axes around which to organize the future study of IFS: History; social relations of production; money; the state; non-state actors; and finally the importance of geography and spatial relations for understanding IFS.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGreenwich Papers in Political Economy
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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