Opening the Black Boxes of Global Finance

  • Donald MacKenzie
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Banking and Financial Institutions book series (SBFI)


In this chapter, I shall describe and advocate a’ science-studies’ approach to global finance.1 ‘Science studies’ is the generic name for a collection of humanities and social-science specialisms that examine the contents and contexts of science and technology. These specialisms are diverse: some are historical, some philosophical, some sociological, some anthropological, some draw on literary theory.2 They have no simple overarching theory or methodology, so it must be emphasized that what I am discussing is a science studies approach, not the science studies approach. References to other authors studying finance from a science-studies perspective will be found in an endnote,3 but the topic is still a relatively new one for science studies, and the work done so far has only scratched the surface of what is possible. In advocating a science-studies perspective, in no sense do I wish to denigrate the contributions of other approaches. There is an exciting emergence or revival of interest in financial markets in economic sociology (e.g. Godechot 2001, 2007), anthropology (e.g. Zaloom 2006) and human geography (e.g. Leyshon and Thrift 1997); and of course international political economy has long been interested in finance (e.g. Mosley 2003). A science-studies approach is complementary to those of other disciplines, not in competition with them.


Financial Market Option Price Earning Management Hedge Fund Short Seller 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Donald MacKenzie 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald MacKenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.University of EdinburghUK

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