The project team has recently produced two new papers presented at the Annual Convention of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics in Kyoto (University of Doshisha) in June 2018. The working papers will soon be available on our website.
The first paper, co-authored by Iosif Kovras and Stefano Pagliari, titled ‘Crisis and Punishment?: Explaining bankers Prosecutions in Post-Crisis Europe’, explores one of the key puzzles of the project, namely why were bankers successfully prosecuted in the aftermath of the recent financial collapse only in some European countries but not in others? While Iceland has been effective in prosecuting more than 40 bankers allegedly responsible for the meltdown, the authorities in Britain did not prosecute any executives of crisis-affected banks. There is limited theoretically informed and empirically driven research to account for this cross-country variation. To this end, the paper compares the puzzling experience of four European countries (Iceland, Ireland, Cyprus, UK) in the aftermath of the global recession. The paper draws on rich empirical data stemming from the projects’ database of criminal prosecutions following the crisis, coupled with interviews with prosecutors, defendants’ lawyers, policymakers and privileged access to court transcripts. The paper highlight the interplay between politicians’ appetite for retribution, in particular steps to facilitate criminal investigations, and the capacity of the state authorities to deliver prosecutions.
The second paper, co-written by Stefano Pagliari, Iosif Kovras, and Nadia Hilliard is entitled ‘Individual Accountability in International Economy Policymaking after the Financial Crisis’.
In the aftermath of the recent Global Recession, the design of accountability mechanisms has taken on renewed importance in academic and policy debates. In many countries, political elites have implemented reforms to hold the individuals responsible for the crisis accountable. Yet we know relatively little about the role of individual accountability in the agendas of international economic institutions. To address this gap, this paper surveys the policy frameworks of two major international organisations, the IMF and the FSB, in bringing accountability following financial crises. Our analysis reveals how these institutions have increasingly found themselves involved in designing policies designed to tackle the economic consequences arising from the illegal or unethical behaviour of individuals within government or the financial industry. We show that the agendas of these organisation are geared towards prospective/forward-looking regulatory frameworks, with very scant attention to retrospective forms of individual accountability.