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Sexy money: the hetero-normative politics of global finance


The article develops a critical analysis of gendered narratives of global finance. The post-subprime crisis equation of unfettered global finance with the excessive masculinity of individual bankers is read in line with a wider gender narrative. We discuss how hetero-normative relations between men and women underpin financial representations through three historical examples: war bond advertising, Hollywood films about bankers, and contemporary aesthetic representations of female politicians who advocate for austerity. A politics emerges whereby gender is used to encompass a/the spectrum between embedded and disembedded finance, approximate to the divide between oikonomia and chrematistics. The apparently desirable ‘marriage’ between the state and finance that ensues carries several ambiguities – precisely along gender lines – that point to a pervasive limit: the myth of embedded liberalism in the imagination of global finance.

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Review of International Studies
  • ISSN: 0260-2105
  • EISSN: 1469-9044
  • URL: /core/journals/review-of-international-studies
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