Coalitions of consumer groups, NGOs, and trade unions have traditionally been considered politically weak compared to well-organized and resourceful financial sector groups which dominate or "capture" financial regulatory decisions. However, following the 2008 financial crisis civil society groups have been seen to exert much more influence with politicians successfully implementing financial reform in spite of industry opposition. Drawing on literature from social movement research and regulatory politics, this book shows how diffuse interests were represented in financial regulatory overhauls in both the United States and the European Union.
Four cases of reform in the post-crisis regulatory context are analysed: the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the US, the introduction of new consumer protection regulations through EU directives, the failure of attempts to introduce a financial transaction tax in the US, and the agreement of eleven EU member states to introduce such a tax, it shows how building coalitions with important elite allies outside and inside government helped traditionally weak interest groups transcend a lack of material resources to influence and shape regulatory policy. By engaging with a less well-known side of the debate, it explains how business power was curbed and diverse interests translated into financial regulatory policy.
Lisa Kastner is a policy advisor at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies. She completed her Franco-German doctorate from the University of Cologne and Sciences Po Paris in 2016 and holds a Master degree in European Studies from the University of Bath, the University of Washington, and Sciences Po Paris in 2011. Her research on the politics of financial markets in the United States and the European Union was awarded the Research Award by the Erasmus academic network on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe (PADEMIA).