From Big Bang to Brexit: The City of London and the discursive power of finance

James, Scott, Kassim, Hussein ORCID: and Warren, Thomas (2022) From Big Bang to Brexit: The City of London and the discursive power of finance. Political Studies, 70 (3). pp. 719-738. ISSN 0032-3217

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This article aims to generate new insights into the City’s influence during the Brexit negotiations. Integrating theories of discursive institutionalism and business power, we set out to analyse the dynamic ‘discursive power’ of finance. From this perspective, a key source of the City’s influence historically has been a powerful strategic discourse about London’s role as Europe’s leading global financial centre. This was strengthened following the financial crisis to emphasise its contribution to the ‘real’ economy and emerging regulatory threats from the EU. We argue that Brexit challenges the City’s discursive power by removing ‘ideational constraints’ on acceptable policy discourse, and undermining the ‘discursive co-production’ of financial power by government and industry. By encouraging financial actors to re-evaluate their interests, this has contributed to increasing discursive fragmentation and incoherence. Evidence for this comes from the City’s ambiguous policy preferences on Brexit, and the emergence of a rival pro-Brexit ‘discursive coalition’.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This article was written as part of the ‘Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) Choices’ project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 649532.
Uncontrolled Keywords: brexit,city of london,discursive institutionalism,financial industry,sociology and political science ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3312
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Policy & Politics
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Competition Policy
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2021 00:57
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:56
DOI: 10.1177/0032321720985714

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