Within the financialisation literature, a number of approaches identify the coexistence of financial expansion and productive stagnation. Yet there is no consensus on which direction causality operates between these two phenomena. This impasse has been widened by the lack of attention paid to the role of statecraft strategies in mediating possible causal mechanisms. This article contributes to rectifying this shortcoming by focusing on the governance advantages granted to states through financial deregulation. By presenting archival evidence on Britain’s 1971 Competition and Credit Control deregulation, this article lends support to financialisation accounts that argue that weaknesses in the productive economy spurred financial expansion, yet it also indicates that the state’s desire for depoliticised forms of governance played a crucial role in mediating this relationship. This further suggests that International Political Economy should focus on the strategic manner in which states relate to markets.
- Financialisation, depoliticisation, statecraft, financial deregulation, British politics, Competition and Credit Control