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Everyday futures: the foundation of financial market stability in the performative social present

Journal article
Authors Erik Andersson
Published in real-world economics review
Issue 75
Pages 126-134
ISSN 1755-9472
Publication year 2016
Published at School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
Pages 126-134
Language en
Keywords financial stability, performativity, everyday life, futurity
Subject categories Globalization Studies, Peace and development research, Economics


This article argues that financial market stability ultimately rests on the performative realization of specific futures extrapolated and priced in by financial markets. It is a theoretical argument organized in two sections. The first section recounts the conventional explanation of how the prices of stocks, bonds and derivatives move in accordance with forecasts of the future, and how this financial future relates to everyday life. In the second section, Judith Butler’s concept of performativity is used to show how these projected futures become norms that regulate and produce everyday agency. The concluding section discusses how everyday life and politics secure financial market stability through disciplined reiteration of the norms and discourses inherent in financial forecasting and pricing. The main theoretical contribution of the article is an explanation of how the financial future influences everyday life and agency in the present, which adds to our understanding of the influence of global financial markets on everyday life.

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