I am an economic sociologist interested in economic life in general and financial markets in particular. I have an academic background in sociology and have also gained experience as a researcher within a national development agency and later on in a central bank, two entities at the interface between the state and markets.
My current research investigates the social processes that shape both global financial markets and central banks' monetary policy. It relies mainly on in-depth interviews in investment banks, hedge funds and asset managers, as well as the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. I am currently conducting fieldwork in the financial centres of Edinburgh, London, Frankfurt, and New York.
PhD in Sociology, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom (ongoing)
MA by research in Sociology (Economic Sociology), University of Malta, 2016
BA (Hons.) in Sociology, University of Malta, 2014
Conferences and Lectures
"Charting markets: The material semiotics of an epistemic device in global financial markets." British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2021: Remaking the Future, April 13, 2021 [online].
“Down to (a) science: Epistemic struggles, political imperatives and the enacting of Quantitative Easing at the Bank of England.” First Doctoral Conference on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, March 24-26, 2021, International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy [online].
Warwick Critical Finance Group Manuscript Development 2.0, February 18, 2021, University of Warwick [online]
'Unintended Consequences: Quantitative easing and central bank legitimacy'. What’s Next? Critical Political Economy at the End of Neoliberalism?, Mid-Term Workshop, Critical Political Economy Research Network (CPERN) of the European Sociological Association, June 20, 2020, University of Limerick [online].
'Conditioning futurity in discourse and materiality: The case of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Report and the communicative framework of forward guidance'. Fourth International Conference on Cultural Political Economy, Postgraduate Workshop, January 8, 2020, Staffordshire University.
'Inscribing markets, shaping policy: A sociological investigation into the yield curve'. New Directions Conference, April 18, 2019, Department of Sociology, University of Edinburgh.
'Fordist or Post-Fordist?', Work in Progress in the Social Studies (20th Anniversary Year Public Lecture), January 10, 2017, University of Malta.
Cassar, D [under preparation]. Down to (a) science: Epistemic struggles, socio-technical configurations and the enacting of Quantitative Easing at the Bank of England.
Cassar, D (2020). Book review: Financial Models and Society: Villains or Scapegoats?, by Ekaterina Svetlova. Journal of Cultural Economy, 13(1), 132-135.
Cassar, D (2019). Book review: The Growth of Shadow Banking: A Comparative Institutional Analysis, by Matthias Thiemann. Economic Sociology: European Electronic Newsletter, 21(1), 61-63.
Cassar, D (2019). Book review: Uncertain Futures: Imaginaries, Narratives and Calculation in the Economy, Jens Beckert and Richard Bronk (eds.). British Journal of Sociology, 70(2), 650-653.
Awards and Funding
2020 - PhD Research Support Fund, School of Social and Political Science
2020 - Research Student-led Special Projects Grant for an interdisciplinary workshop 'Central Banking in Crisis? The problem of legitimacy in a context of shifting social and political landscapes'. Sociology department, School of Social and Political Science [postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic]
2019 - Graduate School of Social and Political Science PhD Award, University of Edinburgh.
2018 - Endeavour Scholarship. Endeavour Scholarship Scheme (Malta); part-financing European Social Fund (EU).
2020/2021, 1st semester: Rethinking Economics and the Financial Crisis (SCPL08013), 1st/2nd year Social Policy undergraduate course, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
2019/2020, 2nd semester: Sociology 1b: The Sociological Imagination: Private Troubles, Public Problems (SCIL08005), 1st year Sociology undergraduate course, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
2019/2020, 1st semester: Sociology 1a: The Sociological Imagination: Individuals and Society (SCIL08004), 1st year Sociology undergraduate course, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
Professional Research Experience
Social Researcher, Central Bank of Malta, (ongoing since June 2017)
Researcher, Economic Research and Policy Review Unit, Malta Enterprise (2015-2017)