School of Social and Political Science

Dr Nathan Coombs

Job Title

Lecturer in Economic Sociology, School Academic Misconduct Officer

Photo
Nathan in office

Room number

6.20

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)

Edinburgh

Country (Address)

UK

Post code (Address)

EH8 9LD

Research interests

Research interests

Research grants

'Governing Financial Algorithms: A Social Study of Regulation and Compliance', Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship Scheme, 2014-17.

Background

After receiving a PhD in Political Theory, published as History and Event by Edinburgh University Press, I was awarded a research grant from the Leverhulme Trust (2014-17) to investigate the regulation of financial trading algorithms. Since then I have specialised in examining post-crisis financial regulation by combining social theory with a fine-grained, technically-oriented approach to empirical research. My work has been published in Economy and Society, The British Journal of Sociology, Theory & Event, The European LegacyJournal of Political Ideologies, and International Review of Economics Education, among others. In 2015 I co-founded the journal Finance and Society, which has emerged as an influential journal in the interdisciplinary field of finance studies. With Matthias Thiemann, I recently guest edited a special issue of Economy and Society titled 'Recentering central banks' (2022), which explores how the governance techniques of central banks condition the limits of state sovereignty. I am currently working on a second book, The Performance of Financial Stability, organised around the thesis that financial stability is a necessarily fictional performance which requires a complex staging of sociotechnical rituals and representations. From June 2022, I am co-director of the Centre for Science, Knowledge and Policy (SKAPE). I am the course organiser for two undergraduate honours courses (Economic Sociology and Sociology of Freedom), Sociology's Senior Personal Tutor, and the School of Social and Political Science's Academic Misconduct Officer. 

Selected Publications

(see full list on Google Scholar)

Book

Coombs, N. (2015) History and Event: From Marxism to Contemporary French Theory, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 

Edited collection

Coombs, N. and Thiemann, M. (Eds.) (forthcoming 2022) Special issue: Recentering central banks. Economy and Society, 51(4).

Articles and chapters

Coombs, N. (forthcoming 2022) The dangers of central bank planning for freedom and democracy. Accounting, Economics and Law.

Coombs, N and Thiemann, M. (forthcoming 2022) Recentering central banks: theorising state-economy boundaries as central bank effects, Economy and Society, 51(4).

Coombs, N. (forthcoming 2022) Narrating imagined crises: how central bank storytelling exerts infrastructural power, Economy and Society, 51(4).

Coombs, N. and van der Heide, A. (2020) Financialization as mathematization: The calculative and regulatory consequences of risk management. In: Mader, P., Mertens, D. and van der Zwan, N. (eds.) The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization, 358-68. Abingdon: Routledge.

Coombs, N. (2020) Financial regulation. In: Borch, C. and Wosnitzer, R. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Critical Finance Studies, 137-153. Abingdon: Routledge.

Coombs, N. (2020) What do stress tests test? Experimentation, demonstration and the sociotechnical performance of regulatory science, The British Journal of Sociology, 71(3): 520-536.

Coombs, N. and Frawley, A. (2019) The value in 'value': An exercise for pluralising economics instruction, International Review of Economics Education, 30: 1-11.

Coombs, N. (2017) Macroprudential versus monetary blueprints for financial reform, Journal of Cultural Economy, 10(2): 207-216.

Coombs, N. (2016) What is an algorithm? Financial regulation in the era of high-frequency trading, Economy and Society, 45(2): 278-302. [featured in The Regulatory Review]

Coombs, N. (2016) Underlabouring for science: Althusser, Brassier, Bhaskar. In: Malik, S and Avanessian, A. (eds.) Genealogies of Speculation: Materialism and Subjectivity since Structuralism, 271-99. London: Bloomsbury.

Coombs, N. (2016) Did Lenin refound Marxist dialectics in 1914?The European Legacy, 21(1): 1-18.

Cameron, A., Coombs, N. and Samman, A. (2015) For a post-disciplinary study of finance and society, Finance and Society, 1(1): 1-5.

Coombs, N. (2014) Speculative justice: Quentin Meilassoux and politicsTheory & Event, 17(4).

Coombs, N. (2011) The political theology of red ToryismJournal of Political Ideologies, 16(1): 79-96.

Coombs, N. (2010) Nomological disputation: Alain Badiou and Graham Harman on objects, Speculations: A journal of speculative realism, 1(1): 135-144.

Works within

Staff Hours and Guidance

By appointment, Wednesday 3-5pm (during term time)

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Coombs N, Thiemann M. Recentering central banks: Theorising state-economy boundaries as central bank effects. Economy and Society. 2022 May 23.
Coombs N. Narrating imagined crises: How central bank storytelling exerts infrastructural power. Economy and Society. 2022 May 23.
Coombs N. Financial regulation. In Borch C, Wosnitzer R, editors, The Routledge Handbook of Critical Finance Studies. 1 ed. Abingdon: Routledge. 2020. p. 137-153 https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315114255-9
Cairns D, Coombs N, Devine T, Hearn J, Jarvie G, MacLeod G et al. Letter concerning the David Hume Tower. 2020.
Coombs N. What do stress tests test? Experimentation, demonstration, and the sociotechnical performance of regulatory science. British Journal of Sociology. 2020 Jun;71(3):520-536. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12739
Coombs N, Van der heide A. Financialization as mathematization: The calculative and regulatory consequences of risk management. In Mader P, Mertens D, van der Zwan N, editors, The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization. Routledge. 2020. p. 358-68
Coombs N, Frawley A. The value in 'value': An exercise for pluralising economics instruction. International Review of Economics Education. 2019 Jan;30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iree.2018.07.001
Coombs N. Macroprudential versus monetary blueprints for financial reform. Journal of Cultural Economy. 2017 Mar 4;10(2):207-216. https://doi.org/10.1080/17530350.2016.1234404
Coombs N. Bringing financial regulation back down to earth. Work, Employment And Society. 2016 Jul 11. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017016653041
Coombs N. Underlabouring for Science: Althusser, Brassier, Bhaskar. In Avanessian A, Malik S, editors, Genealogies of Speculation: Materialism and Subjectivity since Structuralism . London: Bloomsbury Academic. 2016
Coombs N. Did Lenin refound Marxist dialectics in 1914? European Legacy. 2016 Jan 2;21(1):1-18. 1. https://doi.org/10.1080/10848770.2015.1085676
Coombs N. What is an algorithm? Financial regulation in the era of high-frequency trading. Economy and Society. 2016;45(2):278-302. https://doi.org/10.1080/03085147.2016.1213977
Coombs N. History and Event: From Marxism to Contemporary French Theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015. 224 p. (Taking on the Political). https://doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748698998.001.0001
Coombs N. For a post-disciplinary study of finance and society. Finance and Society. 2015;1(1):1-5.
Coombs N. Speculative Justice: Quentin Meillassoux and Politics. Theory and Event. 2014 Dec;17(4).