Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Ming Xia

Committee Members

Christa Altenstetter

Stephanie Golob

Subject Categories

Comparative Politics | Finance | International Relations | Public Policy


regulation, European Union, regime, financialization, financial crisis, critical juncture


This project argues that, in the wake of the 2007-09 financial crisis, the United States (US) and European Union (EU) are doubling down on finance-led domestic growth strategies and that this is their goal in constructing a transatlantic financial regulatory regime. The regime’s goal privileges the input of industry actors over other civil society actors. The construction of this regime is in response to pressure from emerging markets and to service domestic industry actors after the financial crisis. The regime is intended to allow the US and EU to maintain their dominance within the international financial regulatory regime and continue to enjoy finance-led growth. In the emergent transatlantic regulatory regime, there has been a new division of labor emerging between the state and civil society, best illustrated with a nautical analogy: civil society and industry are steering regulatory activity and the state is rowing by creating regulatory institutions to serve industry. I thus propose the term oarsman state to explain this division of labor and assert that the EU and US are operating a transatlantic oarsmen cooperative.

Empirically this project demonstrates that the financial crisis was a critical juncture that caused institutional and functional changes in the (i) EU, (ii) US, (iii) international and (iv) transatlantic financial regulatory regimes. In order to address the first empirical dimension of institutional and functional change, the research method of process-tracing will be used to compare the regimes before and after the financial crisis.

The second goal of this project is to explain how the changes in the EU, US and international regimes triggered an escalation in the creation of the transatlantic financial regulatory regime. This project applies an analytic framework that combines top-down and bottom-up approaches to explaining regulatory and institutional change to address the second question regarding causation. The changes in the EU, US, and international financial regulatory regimes are analyzed as causal factors that contribute to the emergence of the transatlantic financial regulatory regime.