Welcome to the Banklash project website

Banklash is a multi-year research project, hosted at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, seeking to understand how banks and the rules that govern them have become objects of democratic political contestation since the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-8. We look empirically at six countries with significant banking sectors: Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The project is generously funded by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (grant agreement 787887).

The project

The title of the project refers to the popular backlash against large banks in the wake of the financial crisis, where the interests of Main Street and Wall Street were perceived to have been differently served by the bailout policies devised in the heat of the crisis. The various elements of the project aim to illuminate the workings and interaction of public opinion, media coverage, and policymaking in the wake of the crisis.

Our public opinion inquiry has gathered what we believe is the most comprehensive cross-national information on attitudes towards banks and financial regulation. As part of the inquiry, we use survey experiments to understand whether different ways of framing discussions of finance affect people’s preferences for financial regulation and their likelihood of engaging in various forms of political participation.

The media analysis of Banklash brings together an exhaustive compendium of articles that have appeared in the print media in these six countries about banks and banking regulation. We are using computational techniques to explore what the media coverage of banks looks like over time, and how it varies within and across the countries studied. If our survey experiments look at how articles might influence public opinion, the media analysis speaks to how frequently we see different sorts of press coverage of banks in different countries.

The policy analysis dimension of the project aims to understand how post-crisis rules and politics have evolved since the Great Financial Crisis. We are interested in how different countries have chosen different regulatory paths since 2008, and the extent to which such regulation was driven by public opinion and political salience.

This website will be regularly updated with insights from our published and unpublished work. It also provides links to other research in the field that deals with the politics of financial regulation. Thanks for visiting, and please check back regularly.