Helen Callaghan, PhD


Research Projects


The Politics of Stock Market Demutualization

Over the past two decades, stock exchanges have become increasingly commodified. Historically, they were seen as organized markets for financial instruments. Recent years have seen increasing competition between those markets, the proliferation of a market for markets and a spreading perception of exchanges as firms selling the organization of a marketplace, rather than as markets themselves.
Changes in the ownership and governance structure of stock exchanges are central aspects of this commodification. Historically, most stock exchanges were owned and controlled by their direct users, namely banks, brokers, dealers and listed companies. They were governed through a mutual structure, with member-owners voting for the board of directors and contributing their time to governance and self-regulation. In recent years, many exchanges changed their legal form and governance structure by separating ownership rights from membership rights- a process commonly referred to as demutualization.
The project outlines the political and regulatory implications of stock market demutualization. These include the disruption of network-based coordination associated with changes in the composition of corporate ownership, tensions between commercial interests and public obligations associated with the transformation of exchanges into profit-oriented companies, and the political exploitation of insider-outsider dynamics for the promotion of “economic patriotism”.
By doing so, it supplements previous research on stock market demutualization- conducted mainly by economists- which has focused mainly on its economic causes and consequences, including above all the competitiveness pressures associated with innovative information technology and cross-border capital mobility.

Articles published or in progress:

Helen Callaghan and Paul Lagneau-Ymonet (2012): "The Phantom of Palais Brongniart: Economic Patriotism and the Paris Stock Exchange", Journal of European Public Policy, p. 388-404.

Helen Callaghan (2010): "Markets for Sale: Causes and Consequences of Stock Market Demutualization", presented at the SASE Conference in Philadelphia, June 23-26, 2010.

Helen Callaghan (2011): "Networks, Markets, Hierarchies and the boardroom coup at Deutsche Börse", prepared for the CES conference in Barcelona, June 19-21, 2011.

A special issue, co-edited with Paul Lagneau-Ymonet (Université Paris Dauphine), is envisaged.


Insiders, Outsiders and the Politics of Corporate Governance

This project explores the relationship between democratic politics, preference formation, and the structure of corporate ownership. Political economists have long recognized that the sources of corporate finance shape both production strategies and the scope for governing the economy, and recent work has started to search for political determinants of stock market development and varieties of capitalism. However, the mutual feedback effects between ownership patterns and political preferences remain underexplored. The project maps and examines the correlation at the level of both political parties and interest groups representing managers, workers and owners, paying close attention to the timing and sequencing of change. For example, must minority shareholders emerge as a sizable constituency before a political party will advance their cause? What cleavages are relevant inside employer federations beyond the conventional crude distinctions between city versus industry or insiders versus outsiders, and how do the various factions promote their interests in the political arena? Do trade union positions reflect the spread of share ownership among their members? What drives government efforts to influence the degree of ownership dispersion or the identity of the owners with goals as diverse as popular capitalism, employee funds or stable cross-ownership networks? Focusing on Britain, Germany, France and the US, the project covers variation across countries and over time.

Articles published or in progress:

Helen Callaghan (2009): "Insiders, Outsiders and the Politics of Corporate Governance: How ownership structure shapes party positions in Britain, Germany and France," Comparative Political Studies, Vo. 42, Issue 6 (June 2009), p. 733-762.

Helen Callaghan and Martin Höpner (2012): "Changing Ideas: Organized Capitalism and the German Left"; forthcoming with West European Politics, Vol. 35, Issue 3 (May).

A book manuscript, provisionally entitled "Capitalist Development and the Market for Corporate Control", is in progress.


European Integration and the Clash of Capitalisms

This project maps and examines the clash of capitalisms in the European political arena. It thereby bridges the literatures on Europeanization and Varieties of Capitalism, which still stand apart despite their common focus on convergence. Research in the Varieties of Capitalism tradition, concerned with examining whether distinct national varieties of capitalism can withstand the economic pressures resulting from globalization, has neglected the political pressures for convergence that emanate from Europe. Research on Europeanization, which does emphasize political, EU-induced convergence pressures, has neglected key battlegrounds in the clash of capitalisms.

Articles published or in progress:

Callaghan, Helen/Masanobu Ido (2012): Introduction: Varieties of Capitalism, Types of Democracy, and Globalization. In: Masanobu Ido (ed.) Varieties of Capitalism, Types of Democracy, and Globalization. Abingdon: Routledge, 3-16.

Helen Callaghan (2011): "Constrain-thy-neighbor effects as a determinant of transnational interest group cohesion", Comparative Political Studies, Volume 44, Issue 7 (July 2011), p. 910-931.

Helen Callaghan (2010): "Beyond Methodological Nationalism: How Multilevel Governance Affects the Clash of Capitalisms", Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 17, Issue 4, p. 564-580.

Helen Callaghan and Martin Höpner (2005): "European Integration and the Clash of Capitalisms: Political Cleavages over Takeover Liberalization" Comparative European Politics 2005 (3), p. 307-332.

Helen Callaghan (2006): "European Integration and the Clash of Capitalisms: British, French and German disagreements over corporate governance, 1970-2003", doctoral dissertation, Northwestern University.


Helen Callaghan, PhD - Research Projects | http://www.mpifg.de/people/hc/projects_en.asp [Last update 17.11.2014]