Models of Capitalism and Financial Crises


Dr Michel Goyer

Introduction and Aims

The module will consider the competing models of capitalism within the globalising world economy and the evolution of modern (financial) capitalism in the context of the 2007-09 financial crisis and the current Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. The module is organised around two themes: the institutional/regulatory diversity of capitalist economies and the importance of distinctive but interconnected types of crises within models of capitalism. The module will investigate the presence of diversity between capitalist economies in regard to corporate governance, takeovers, and innovation. The module will also analyse the occurrence of financial crises from the perspective of both the policy choices of governments and the different institutional models that they operate within. An important insight is that financial crises take a different character across different types of capitalist economies. Policy responses aimed at reducing the amplitude of cycles and the severity of financial crises will be examined in detail in light of the 2007-09 financial crisis and the current Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.

Objectives and Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Show a critical understanding of the nature of competing capitalisms within the globalising world economy
  • Explain analytically why global financial crises occur, with particular reference to the 2007-09 financial crisis and the role of competing models of capitalism
  • Identify and analyse the main differences across capitalist economies and their implications for the strategy of companies
  • Critically analyze and evaluate the different consequences of this crisis for countries, with particular reference to the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis


  • Individual Assignment 3,000 words (80%)
  • Group presentation - 15 minutes followed by questions (20%)

Reading list

  • Pepper Culpepper 2011, Quiet Politics and Business Power: Corporate Control in Europe and Japan, chapters 1 and 2 
  • Robert Shiller (2008), The Subprime Solution, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Read chapter 3, pp. 39-68. 
  • William Schneper and Mauro Guillen 2004, “Stakeholder Rights and Corporate Governance: A Cross-National Study of Hostile Takeovers.” Administrative Science Quarterly 49:263-295 
  • Michel Goyer (2010), “Corporate Governance”, in G.Morgan, J.Campbell, C.Crouch, O.K.Pedersen, R.Whitley (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Institutional Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press 
  • John L Campbell (2011), "The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons for Theories of Institutional Complementarity." Socio-Economic Review 9:211-34 
  • Peter Hall and David Soskice (2001) Varieties of Capitalism Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 1-68. 
  • Rafael Laporta, Florencio López-de-Silanes, Andrei Shleifer and Robert Vishny (2000), “Investor Protection and Corporate Governance, Journal of Financial Economics, 58: 3-27.