Call for Papers of the special issue of the Swiss Journal of Sociology on the Transformation of Banking and Finance

Institute of Marketing and Communication Management

Call for Papers for a special issue of the Swiss Journal of Sociology “The Transformation of Banking from a Sociological Perspective”

Special issue editors: Philip Balsiger, University of Neuchâtel, [email protected] Léna Pellandindi-Simányi, Università della Svizzera italiana, [email protected]

Call for papers

With the financialization of our societies, banking has become one of the key sectors of contemporary capitalism. In recent years, however, the role of banks in finance has been increasingly undermined and the taken-for-granted aim of banks as solely financial actors have been put into question. In the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008, the traditional business model of banks came under pressure:

1. The political reaction to the crisis involved stricter regulation in areas such as capital requirements, consumer protection, anti-money laundering and tax evasion. At the same time, digital platforms and the proliferation of smart devices opened new avenues for the finance industry. These changes have shifted the advantage to emerging actors and business areas of the financial sector, such as fintech companies, alternative finance and crypto markets. The new actors of finance are smaller, rely on different organizational structures and champion future-oriented business models. While banks were the archetype of the large, bureaucratic and hierarchical corporation that nurtured stable and long-term relationships with the state, civil society and their clients, fintech and crypto firms are perceived as agile, lean and essentially digital firms that disrupt the traditional functioning of the financial system.

2. While previously banks were considered as primarily financial actors serving financial aims, the growing recognition of the impact of banks’ (and other investors’) investment decisions on climate change has placed them under increasing environmental scrutiny. Central to the sustainable finance debates is that civil society and state regulations are holding banks accountable for the climate change consequences of their investments. Responding to such criticism and to the rising demand to incorporate aims beyond finance into their business model, incumbent actors from the banking field have integrated sustainability criteria through ESG indicators.

We particularly welcome papers on the following dimensions:

a) Wealth management, inequality and taxation
b) The organization, management and regulation of financial activities
c) Changing relationships between financial institutions and their consumers and the everyday uses of finance
d) The political organization, political strategies and lobby activities of financial institutions

Please send your abstract to Philip Balsiger, [email protected] and Léna PellandindiSimányi, [email protected] by the 5th January, 2024.


5 Jan 2024: Deadline for the submission abstracts
25 Jan 2024: Notification of accepted abstracts
1 April 2024: Deadline for the full papers