Opening the black boxes of global finance

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This paper advocates the application to global finance of one of the central heuristics of science studies: open the black box. Black boxes are devices, practices, or organizations that are opaque to outsiders, often because their contents are regarded as ‘technical’. The goal of opening black boxes is to discover how they are kept opaque; how they structure their ‘contexts’; and how those contexts are inscribed within them. Four types of black box in finance are discussed: option pricing theory; arbitrage; ‘ethnoaccountancy’; and regulation. The limitations of the opening of black boxes as an oppositional strategy are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-576
JournalReview of International Political Economy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


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