Social sources of large-scale fiscal-monetary federations: A comparative historical analysis of the United States and the European Union

Christakis Georgiou, University of Geneva
Comparative Politics, Economy and Society, Historical and Comparative Sociology, Political Economy, Politics and Society, Political Science
Keywords - European Integration, American Political Development, Macroeconomic policy institutions, comparative political development, Corporate power and elites

In this project, I aim to develop a comparative historical analysis (CHA) of the development of federal macroeconomic government institutions (central banking and fiscal federalism) in the United States and the European Union. The project is based on a working hypothesis I derived from my previous work on the political economy of European integration and from an initial reading of the historiography of the Federal Reserve System and the New Deal: both historical trajectories are idiosyncratic manifestations of a common macro-historical process, namely the advent of corporate capitalism and the subsequent reorganization of government institutions that this entails. In both processes, corporate elites have been at the vanguard of attempts to fashion federal macroeconomic governmental institutions designed to ensure the stability of the respective continental-scale corporate economies that came into being after a prolonged period of microeconomic market integration.
This project stands at the intersection of three developments in the literature: the debate on the political economy of the Eurozone crisis that has given rise to policy-oriented comparative analyses focused on the American case; a broader trend in EU studies of applying the lens of political development to European integration (as opposed to the established IR-derived theories of integration); finally, a resurgence since the 2008 financial crisis of research on structural business power.
The project builds on two previous research projects. The first was my PhD project, which examined the involvement of French corporations in European integration in the post-SEA period (this was later published as a book in French in 2017). After my PhD (obtained in 2015), I researched the political economy of the Eurozone crisis using insights from corporate power research.
This project is currently being financially supported by a research grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (
In terms of output, I have published over the past 18 months two articles laying out my conception of how to compare politico-fiscal development in the United States and the European Union (in Comparative European Politics and Economy and Society). I am now working on two other theoretically-oriented journal articles. Finally, I am preparing a book proposal for major university publishers. I also aim to create an oral history database with recorded interviews with corporate executives and policymakers.