Matthias Thiemann

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2016/2017
discipline Political Science
Assistant Professor of Sociology of Finance, Banking and Money, Goethe Universitaet Frankfurt am Main

Research project

Controlling Systemic Risks: Macroprudential Regulation as a Cognitive and a Political-Economic Project


How do economists’ ideas regarding financial markets influence financial market regulation? We know little about the causal pathways by which academic discourses influence policy making and how they interact with interests and institutional design. This project seeks to address this knowledge gap. It does so by exploiting the fact that the reorientation towards a new approach to financial regulation post-crisis are still in the making in the European Union, at the national and at the European level.


The regulatory failures in banking regulation, which became evident with the outbreak of the financial crisis, led to a virulent questioning of the then pre-dominant policy paradigm. Since then, a new macroprudential approach to financial regulation has taken hold. This new approach attempts to maintain the financial stability of the financial system as a whole through controlling systemic risks in the "time-dimension" (pro-cyclicality) and the "cross-sectional dimension" (the interdependence and interaction of the institutions).


In the meantime, following the adoption of Basel III through CRD IV, policy makers have been implementing first macro-prudential measures in the Euro-Zone and in the UK. The goal of this research project is to understand how the measures adopted in the Basel III framework as well as in in different legislations relate to the discussion in the academic literature, thus to understand under which conditions academic ideas get translated and transformed into policy tools.


Financial market regulations are based on cognitive models, which compete for their validity within the academic field. At the same time, they imply changes in the jurisdictional claims by regulators and threaten the interests of market actors. In order to do justice to these two aspects, the project approaches the formulation of financial market regulation after the crisis based on an ideational approach to public policy and employs a comparative political economy perspective to investigate the implementation of macroprudential policies in the different national/transnational policy settings. By providing a clear definition of the ideational variables related to systemic risk and macroprudential regulation, a careful study of the implementation process and the direct influence these ideas exert on actors, I seek to directly observe the interaction of cognitive work and the political economy within which it is embedded.




Matthias Thiemann is Assistant Professor of Sociology of Finance, Banking and Money at Goethe University Frankfurt. He holds a Ph.D in Sociology from Columbia University. His research focuses on the capacity of nation states to limit the rule bending activity of banks and financial market actors in an era of globalized finance. He has worked as a consultant for the United Nations on regulatory reform in financial markets and its impact on developing countries (2011).


Selected publications


'Stitched on the Edge: Rule Evasion, Regulatory Networks and the Evolution of Markets', with J. Lepoutre, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 122, no. 5, March 2017. [forthcoming]


'In the Shadow of Basel: How Competitive Politics Bred the Crisis', Review of International Political Economy, vol. 21, no. 6, 2014, pp. 1203-1239.


'Securitization Revisited (1): Inside the Shadow Banking System', in L. Dobusch, P. Mader & S. Quack (eds), Governance Across Borders. Transnational Fields and Transversal Themes, Epubli, Berlin, 2014, pp. 53-59.


'The Role of Trust in Interactive High Tech Work: The Case of Freelance Web-Designers in NYC', in A. Gerbasi & D. Latusek (eds), Trust and Technology in a Ubiquitous Modern Environment, IGI Global Publisher, Hershey, 2010, pp. 107-122.



senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2012/2013
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Philosophy