History of Global Finance

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Olivier Accominotti


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Financial History. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course introduces students to the history of the global monetary and financial system. It examines the main changes in the architecture of global finance and in the governance of international monetary affairs from the very early times to the twenty-first century. The course explores the rise of international finance, the origins of financial globalization and de-globalization, and the causes and consequences of global financial instability for both advanced and emerging market economies. The course provides the necessary long-run, historical perspective to understand the most recent developments in the international monetary and financial system and the related policy debate. As part of this course, students will also design and conduct one research project in financial history drawing upon archival sources or historical data. The project will prepare students for their research dissertation.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays in the MT and LT.

Indicative reading

  • Eichengreen, B. (2008). Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System. Princeton University Press.
  • Eichengreen, B., Mehl, A., & Chitu, L. (2018). How Global Currencies Work. Past, Present and Future. Princeton University Press.
  • Neal L. (2015). A concise history of international finance. Cambridge University Press.
  • Reinhart C. & Rogoff K. (2009). This Time is Different. Eight Centuries of Financial Folly. Princeton University Press.
  • Tooze, A. (2018). Crashed: how a decade of financial crises changed the world. Allen Lane.


Exam (70%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Project (30%, 3500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills