Trevor Jackson, "Impunity and Capitalism: The Afterlives of European Financial Crises, 1690-1830" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

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Whose fault are financial crises, and who is responsible for stopping them, or repairing the damage? Impunity and Capitalism: The Afterlives of European Financial Crises, 1690-1830 (Cambridge University Press, 2022) develops a new approach to the history of capitalism and inequality by using the concept of impunity to show how financial crises stopped being crimes and became natural disasters.

Dr. Trevor Jackson examines the legal regulation of capital markets in a period of unprecedented expansion in the complexity of finance ranging from the bankruptcy of Europe's richest man in 1709, to the world's first stock market crash in 1720, to the first Latin American debt crisis in 1825. He shows how, after each crisis, popular anger and improvised policy responses resulted in efforts to create a more just financial capitalism but succeeded only in changing who could act with impunity, and how. Henceforth financial crises came to seem normal and legitimate, caused by impersonal international markets, with the costs borne by domestic populations and nobody in particular at fault.

This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

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