University of Sussex Business School

Geographies of Money, Finance, and Debt (012GAD)

Geographies of Money, Finance, and Debt

Module 012GAD

Module details for 2022/23.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

This module will provide students with a critical introduction to the role of money, finance, and debt in contemporary global crises of inequality, democracy, and environmental sustainability. It will position money, finance, and debt as an inherently political subject that has long been neglected by non-economists. It will also show how money, finance, and debt have distinctly geographical dimensions, with the power and wealth of cities such as London and New York contrasting with the decline of other regions in the UK and US, and the influence of financial centres in the Global North contrasting with regions in the Global South. Despite assumptions that finance is now a ‘de-territorialized’ global phenomenon, the module will also show how the impacts of finance and debt are nonetheless still spatially constituted and experienced by real people in real places. Topics will include: an introduction to where money comes from and the politics of money creation; the drivers and impacts of rising private household debt; the role of global financial institutions in fossil fuel investment and climate change; and the proliferation of cryptocurrencies and money reform movements. Against the assumption (often promoted by those who work in finance) that money and finance are ‘too difficult’ for ‘ordinary’ people to understand, the module will show how developing a better grasp of contemporary financial practices and patterns is critical in challenging inequality and injustice within society. Note that the module will be taught in a way that is accessible to all students and it requires no background in economics.

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