Current Research Projects

Central Banks and Public Confidence after the Global Financial Crisis

Central banks attempt to build public trust through the strategic use of a stability narrative asserting that they can maintain the value of money, can maintain the security of money, represent the nation, and have grown increasingly professional and sophisticated over time. This project explores the stability narrative by studying its expression in central bank museums. Museums tell stories; they distill, teach, and privilege the beliefs of their creators. As such, museums represent an excellent vehicle for understanding the ways in which central banks describe and promote their ability to govern money. The project is based on multiple site visits to key central bank museums, interviews with museum staffers, and an original database that gathers and systematizes publicly available information on central bank museums worldwide.

Financial Nationalism in Post-Communist Europe

Financial nationalism is an approach to a state’s monetary sector—its central and commercial banks, its fiscal and monetary policies, and its currency—that seeks to promote national wealth and sovereignty.  It can take several forms, but its advocates all see it as a way to circumvent the constraints of a Western-dominated international system. This research, conducted with Kent State political scientist Andrew Barnes, examines Hungarian, Polish, and Russian financial nationalism. It explores how these states can pursue such policies—including politicizing their central banks, attacking foreign lenders, and promoting domestic financial actors—despite opposition from global economic powers, notably the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

Strategic Discourse among Central Bank Leaders  

What do central bankers claim to have learned from the global financial crisis, and why? How, when, and why do central bankers talk about women and gender in their public speeches? To what extent has their public discourse on learning evolved over time and differed across regions? University of Montreal political scientist Vincent Arel-Bundock and I investigate these questions through innovative automated textual analysis techniques that document and investigate patterns in central bankers’ strategic speech using a BIS database of over 14,000 speeches by high-ranking officials from 1997 to the present.

The Post-Communist Monuments Project

Along with McGill geographer Benjamin Forest, I conduct research on national identity in post-Communist states by examining political struggles over Soviet- and post-Soviet-era monuments and memorials. The project includes a database with information on monuments and memorials from 1989 to 2010 in twenty-six post-Communist states, as well as studies of individual sites and countries. The entire database, as well as a news feature, is available on our project website.

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