Putting into Question the Imaginary of Recovery: A Dialectical Reading of the Global Financial Crisis and its Aftermath

Christian De Cock*, Sheena Vachhani, John Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this article, we put into question the discourses that emerged during the global financial crisis (GFC) and that coalesced around a particular socio-economic imaginary of 'recovery' over the period 2009-2012. Our reading of these discourses is very much guided by the notion of the dialectic as developed by Fredric Jameson, and as such this paper can be read as an attempt to put his theoretical ideas to work. Through our dialectical reading, we aim to create a certain estrangement effect that makes the imaginary of recovery seem very odd and unnatural. In order to achieve such an effect, we postulate four theses which are deliberately antagonistic: first, there has been no 'crisis of capitalism'; second, we must change the valence of the GFC from negative to positive; third, the relationship between finance capitalism and 'free markets' is deeply contradictory; and fourth, we must resist the regulation discourse.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCulture and Organization
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)396-412
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Dialectic
  • Finance capitalism
  • Global financial crisis
  • Imaginary
  • Fredric Jameson

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