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Title: Freedom – what's in a name? : an analysis of the construction of the UK mortgage market in the light of the global financial crisis
Author: Klimecki, Robin Patrik
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 2320
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis offers a detailed analysis of the politics of neoliberalism and financialization in the context of the UK mortgage market. The analysis addresses an often implied but conceptually and empirically neglected feature in the otherwise booming social sciences literature on financial markets and the global financial crisis: how political struggles shape economic space. It does this against the background of the construction of the UK mortgage market which, as opposed to its American counterpart, is still underresearched. The thesis addresses these shortcomings by engaging the theory of Ernesto Laclau and the associated logics approach of the Essex School of Political Discourse Theory. It provides a detailed genealogical analysis of the transformations in the mortgage market during the three decades leading up to the financial crisis emphasising the significance of hegemonic struggles and ideology in its constitution. Empirically, the thesis investigates the transformation of the mortgage market from a ‘sheltered circuit’ dominated by a building society price cartel in the 1970s to a sphere that is increasingly driven by global financial markets. It is argued that at the heart of these transformations was the neo-liberalist deregulation in the name of the signifier ‘freedom’ which, in the neoliberalist age, became almost exclusively equated with ‘free markets’. The demutualisations of the 1990s are presented as an outcome of neoliberalist deregulation leading to a fundamental shift of power in the market. In return for improved access to capital markets and powered by ideological discourses, the demutualisation of 10 societies resulted in a massive transfer of mortgage assets to the stock market and contributed significantly to the financialization of mortgages. The struggles and resistance surrounding these events illustrate their contingent nature. However, the proposed re-mutualisation of Northern Rock had been squandered amidst a re-affirmation of neoliberalist ideology centring on the market as the best provider of mortgages.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HG Finance