Drawing on the ‘logics approach’ to advance critical policy studies (Glynos & Howarth 2007), we contribute to our understanding of the banking reform process in the wake of the financial crisis. We focus on the political and ideological dimensions of this process, paying particular attention to the way the narrow character of associated debates is produced and maintained. We operationalize the logics approach by invoking a ‘nodal framework’ that apprehends the banking service chain in terms of the nodes of provision, distribution, delivery, and governance. Using this logics-cum-nodal framework, and focusing on the work of the Independent Commission of Banking and two left-wing think tanks during 2011 and beyond, we suggest that the master signifier 'stable competition’ has served to organize a range of interventions, both organizational and rhetorical, that have marginalized progressive efforts to articulate and promote alternative visions of finance and banking; and that the dynamic interaction between diverse interventions can be grasped – at least in part – in terms of their capacity to act as a hinge between concrete visions on the one hand (understood in terms of projected norms and values), and potent affective investments on the other hand (understood in terms of fantasmatic desire).
- logics, nodal analysis, banking reform, stable competition, marginalization, social logics, political logics, fantasy