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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Bryce Zedalis

Bryce Zedalis
Bryce Zedalis
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Financial Regulation, Cultural Political Economy, Financial Fragility and Instability, US Administrative Agency Rulemaking, Energy Policy and Regulation, Influence of US (Independent) Administrative Agency Chairpersons on Regulatory Outputs, Multi-level and Multi-dimensional Rulemaking Analysis, Assemblage Theory, Object-oriented Ontology (OOO)

PhD Title

OTC Commodity Derivative Rulemaking at the CFTC, 2010-2016: A Cultural Political Economy Approach

PhD Thesis Overview:

The study examines the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) rulemaking for over-the-counter (OTC) commodity derivatives (i.e., a type of financial instrument, or contract, in energy or metals) between 2010 and 2016. More specifically, this research project analyzes how the CFTC determined which OTC commodity derivatives it would regulate under the post-financial crisis reforms of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. This is accomplished by assessing rulemaking for the regulation of 'commodity' and 'trade options' as well as for the so-called 'forward contract exclusion'. Together, these rule-makings define which OTC commodity derivatives the CFTC elected to regulate pursuant to the new Dodd-Frank regulatory regime. This study, guided by its Cultural Political Economy approach, explicates how the CFTC policymakers constructed the regulation of OTC commodity derivatives, and analyzes the influences that conditioned regulatory formation and, thus, the selected regulatory approach(es) for determining which OTC commodity derivatives would be regulated.

PhD Supervisors:

Dr. Jay Wiggan (University of Edinburgh, UK) and Dr. Donald MacKenzie (University of Edinburgh, UK)

PhD Examiners:

Dr. Jan Eichhorn (University of Edinburgh, UK) and Dr. Colin Provost (University College London, UK)

Academic Qualifications:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh, July 2020, Concentration: Social Policy; Thesis: OTC Commodity Derivative Rulemaking at the CFTC, 2010 – 2016: A Cultural Political Economy Approach

Master of Science (MSc), University of Edinburgh, November 2015, Concentration: Policy Studies; Dissertation: The Financial Instability Hypothesis: The Influence of Cognitive Perceptions of Economic Stability on the Character of Financial Regulatory Regimes (Synopsis: In this dissertation, the theoretical frameworks of three cognitive biases (confirmation bias, overconfidence bias, and status quo bias) and of Prospect Theory (PT) were integrated into economist Hyman Minsky's Financial Instability Hypothesis (FIH) in order to understand the influence that periods of prolonged economic stability have on the perpetuation of lax financial regulatory regimes. An application of these frameworks to the empirical example of the U.S.’s economic and financial regulatory experience during the period of stability known as the Great Moderation was then undertaken.)

Masters of Business Administration (MBA), University of New Mexico, July 2012, Concentration: Policy Analysis & Public Affairs

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.), University of Tulsa, May 2010, Major: Finance Minor: Economics

Recent Professional Experience:

University of Edinburgh Tutor: Political Issues in Public Policy (Graduate-level; Autumn 2019); Rethinking the Financial Crisis (Undergraduate-level; Autumn 2019); Research Design (Graduate-level; Spring 2020); Evidence, Politics, and Policy (Undergraduate-level; Spring 2020)

European Journal of Social Security; Editorial Assistant (2016 - Present)

SemGroup Corporation (now part of Energy Transfer, L.P.), a U.S. midstream oil and gas company; Cross-functional position under the General Counsel working between the Legal Department and the Land and Business Development Departments on contractual, regulatory, business development, and land management-related matters (2012 - 2014)


'The Vale of Soul-Making':

'In Praise of Subtlety':

'Health care in America: On single-payer systems':

'Consider idea of student loan "debt jubilee"':

'Love and imagination - the heart of wedding season':

'Reconstituting an American mythology':

'Trapping no longer necessary':

'Complex problems need honesty':