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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Marius Birk

Marius Birk
Marius Birk
Sociology School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK Edinburgh EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Social Studies of Finance, Central Banking, Financial Markets, Sociology of Finance, Sociology of Knowledge, Liquidity, Lender of Last Resort

PhD Title

Seeing like a Central Bank: Lender of Last Resort as Problem in the Sociology of Knowledge?

Hi, my name is Marius, and I am a first year PhD student in sociology at the University of Edinburgh. I am interested in financial markets, central banks and liquidity. I am supervised by Donald MacKenzie and Nathan Coombs.

My research project uses the case of the Lender of Last Resort (LoLR) to explore how central bankers see and intervene in markets. Since the financial crisis, central bankers have decided to broaden and update their LoLR facilities (CGFS 2017). Monitoring and evaluation practices seem to play a crucial part in determining the LoLR. For instance, as Flandreau and Ugolini (2014) show in the case of the Bank of England during the 19th century, the BoE's "recipe for financial stability (…) consisted neither in reliance on abstract market discipline, nor on automatic and anonymous lending of last resort. (…) Rather, it rested on a strict monitoring system" (p.88-89) and determined how the central bank saw the market. This research project uses the historical example to understand how (new) monitoring and evaluation practices of central banks contribute to an ‘updated LoLR'. 

Relevant Work Experience

Intern at Deutsche Bank Communications and CSR

Student Research Assistant at Gesellschaft für Kapitalmarktfoschung for "Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe" (SAFE) in Frankfurt am Main

Student Research Assistant in the Department of Sociology of Banking, Money and Finance, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


Master’s degree in Economic Sociology and Sociology of Finance, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Bachelor’s degree in Sociology (Minor: Philosophy), Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


Birk, Marius and Thiemann, Matthias. 2019. Open for business: entrepreneurial central banks and the cultivation of market liquidity, New Political Economy.

Thiemann, Matthias; Birk, Marius and Friedrich, Jan. 2018. Much ado about nothing? Macroprudential ideas and the post-crisis regulation of shadow banking, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie.

Thiemann, Matthias and Birk, Marius. 2015. The Regulation of Repo Markets: Incorporating Public Interest through a Stronger Role of Civil Society, Safe White Paper.