GEM PhD School

Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate

Benjamin BRAUN

Benjamin BRAUN

Thesis project: Governing (through) expectations: The making and unmaking of economic governability in the euro area during the ‘Great Moderation’


I am fellow of the Erasmus Mundus GEM PhD School, with the University of Warwick and the Université Libre de Bruxelles as my first and second institution, respectively. My supervisors are Professor Matthew Watson (Warwick) and Professor Amandine Crespy (ULB). Here's a link to my Warwick website

Academic Degrees

04/2005 - 11/2009: Studied economics at the University of Munich; final degree: Diplom; title of thesis: ‘Methodological Reflections on the Microfoundations of Modern Macroeconomics’

10/2004 - 07/2009: Studied political science (major) and international law (minor) at the University of Munich; final degree: Magister Artium; title of thesis: ‘From Securitization to Economization ­– The Economization of Immigration in Germany’

Work Experience

04/2011 - 09/2011 and 04/2010 - 09/2010: Worked as research and teaching fellow at the Chair of International Politics, University of Munich

10/2006 - 08/2007 and 09/2008 - 10/2009: Worked as student assistant to the Chair of International Politics, Department of Political Science, University of Munich

Specific Research Title, Area and Promotor(s)

Research Area: International Political Economy

Specific Research Title: “Governing Expectations: The Politics of Macroeconomic Management during the ‘Great Moderation’”

Promotors: Prof. Matthew Watson; Prof. Amandine Crespy

Description of research work

Debates about macroeconomic governance usually concern the best way to govern. In my PhD, I attempt to take a step back by questioning the concept of 'governability' itself. It is not obvious that a thing so complex as 'the economy' should be governable at all. In fact, macroeconomic governability is the product of a myriad of processes and interactions. My thesis focuses on what is arguably the crucial interaction in this context – that between the central bank and the private sector. Focusing on the case of the euro area, the project deals with the following research question: How is macroeconomic governability constructed, maintained, and undermined in the interaction between the European Central Bank and private market actors in different national settings?

Besides the PhD, I've been working on a paper on ideational and institutional change in the wake of the euro area financial crisis. The paper argues that in the context of explosive economic crises a phase of emergency crisis management precedes the phase of purposeful institution building. Decisions and actions that happen during that phase create their own path dependencies and therefore merit the attention of scholars of institutional change. This theoretical argument is illustrated by the case of the crisis experience of the euro area in general, and of the European Central Bank in particular.

Participation in Conferences and Seminars

The political economy of economic performativity: Agency, causality, and power, paper presented at the IPE Research Cluster Seminar at Warwick University, 5 December 2013.

Governing (through) expectations: Performativity, credibility, and overconfidence in monetary policy, paper presented at the Annual Conference of the European Sociological Association, Turin, 29-31 August 2013 and at the seminar of the Political Economy
research group (CITYPERC) at City University London, 12 November 2013.

Paradigms, contingency planning, and crisis management: The role of the ECB in the crisis of 20072012 (revised version), paper presented at the BISA-IPEG Conference on “The Future of Global Economic Governance”, Birmingham, 10 - 11 September 2012, Birmingham and at the CRESC Annual Conference, Session 8b: Capitalism – After the Great Moderation, Manchester, 5 - 7 September 2012.

Governing Expectations: Is the Economy what the Central Bank Makes of it?, paper presented at the MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, Workshop “Thinking the Economy", Manchester, 5 - 7 September 2012.

Paradigms, contingency planning, and crisis management: The role of the ECB in the crisis of 20072012, paper presented at the ECPR joint sessions workshop 'Economic Ideas and the PoliCcal ConstrucCon of Financial Crisis and Reform' in Antwerp, April 10­‐15, 2012.

Augmenting the nations human capital: Economization and the new politics of immigration, presentation given at the 23rd Annual Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) in Madrid, June 23-25.

How the European Union deals with its banking crisis, paper presented at the joint conference of the sections ‘Political Economy’ and ‘International Political Economy’ of the German Association for Political Science (DVPW) in Marburg, May 27-28, 2011 (co-author: Dieter Kerwer).

The economy is what macroeconomists make of it – how macroeconomics performs the economy, presentation given at the 5th ESRN Interim Conference in Bielefeld, December 3-5, 2010.

The construction of governability and the performativity of macroeconomics, paper presented at the EAEPE Annual Conference in Bordeaux, October 28-30, 2010.

Informal Institutional Change: Coping with the global banking crisis in Europe, paper presented at the 7th Pan-European Conference on International Relations in Stockholm, September 9-11, 2010 (co-author: Dieter Kerwer).

On the politics of economics: New Keynesian governability and the practice of inflation targeting, paper presented at the 7th Pan-European Conference on International Relations in Stockholm, September 9-11, 2010.

Overview of Publications

Preparedness, Crisis Management and Policy Change: The Euro Area at the Critical Juncture of 2008–2013, British Journal of Politics and International Relations (August 2013, Early View).