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Democratizing Money?
Debating Legitimacy in Monetary Reform Proposals


  • Date Published: May 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107195813

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About the Authors
  • A lack of confidence in monetary institutions after the recent financial crash has led to a resurgence of public debate on the topic of monetary reform, reaching a level of political prominence unprecedented since the period after the Great Depression. Whether privatizing money with Bitcoin, regionalizing it with regional currencies, or turning it into a state monopoly with either sovereign money or 'Modern Monetary Theory, the only economic utopians able to draw public attention in our post-crash world seem to be monetary reformers. Weber provides the first proper economic analysis of these modern monetary reform proposals, exposing their flaws and fallacies through critical examination. From academics studying the political economy of finance to economic sociologists studying financial institutions, this book will appeal to scholars and students interested in monetary reform proposals and the viability of alternative currency systems, and more broadly, readers seeking a contemporary understanding of what money is and how it works today.

    • Provides an introductory explanation of how the monetary system works - how money is created, circulated and administered - whilst also highlighting concerns about potential issues in the system
    • Gives the reader a better understanding of the post-crash financial landscape, and an academic grasp of the new concepts driving the headlines
    • Offers a presentation, comparison, and critique of each of the major contemporary monetary reform proposals, rather than a weighted focus on one particular concept
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Weber's book is a must read for all concerned about the currently defunct monetary system. Applying a sophisticated understanding of the character of money, Weber rigorously assesses the potential alternatives to the status quo, with surprising results.' Christoph Scherrer, Executive Director of the International Center for Development and Decent Work, University of Kassel, Germany

    'This book offers a concise overview of theories on money and money's relation to states, sovereignty, and democratic self-governance. Weber situates the role of money and monetary policy within the history and economic organization of capitalism. He cautions against asking too much of monetary policy and redirects demands for greater input legitimacy to tax and similar classic state policies. Students of modern financial systems will find the book a hugely informative and valuable read, whether or not they will agree with all its conclusions.' Katharina Pistor, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law, Columbia Law School

    'This book gives an excellent overview of the latest developments of monetary systems, including cryptocurrencies. It brings clarity to the debate, showing to what extent state money and central banks can be substituted by private money. A must-read.' Hansjörg Herr, Berlin School of Economics and Law

    'Weber's book provides an excellent overview of these issues and should be required reading for central bankers dealing with cryptocurrencies, central bank digital currencies and, more generally, payment system design.' Thorvald Grung Moe, Central Banking Journal

    'This is a well written, informative book, which presents a clear argument about a highly relevant and actual topic.' Christoph Deutschmann, Economic Sociology: The European Electronic Newsletter

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107195813
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 155 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. What makes money legitimate?
    2. Current monetary systems
    3. The political economy of monetary reform
    4. Bitcoin
    5. Regional money
    6. Sovereign money
    7. Modern Monetary Theory
    8. Money and democracy in perspective.

  • Author

    Beat Weber, Oesterreichische Nationalbank
    Beat Weber is an Expert at the European Affairs and International Financial Organizations Division of the Austrian National Bank, and a Ph.D. candidate in political economy at Universität Kassel, Germany. He co-edited and authored The Political Economy of Financial Market Regulation (2006), as well as publishing a number of books and articles in German on the political economy of finance, and now devotes his research to investigating monetary reform and alternative currencies.

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