The Negotiation of Basel III: Postliberalism in the Making?

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    While the Basel Accords of 1988 and 2004 (Basel I and Basel II) ostensibly set out to regulate bank risk at the international level, they were effectively in the grip of neoliberal beliefs in the self-regulating potential of free markets. In 2009–2011, the Basel Accords were revised once more with the intent of establishing financial regulations that would prevent future stampedes on the financial markets. This could be seen as the introduction of a new order in which markets are, indeed, governed through standards. However, this paper argues that Basel III is, like its predecessors, caught in rhetorically charged performation struggles in which neoliberal principles continue to hold sway, and may, at best, be seen as postliberalism in the making. Beginning from a reconceptualization of the theory of performativity of economics that highlights the contingent and political nature of performative agency, the empirical argument is substantiated through textual–intertextual analysis of the rhetorical circulation of affective signs in the Basel III negotiations.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)25-41
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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