Politics of money

About Us

We are a research group united in our critical perspectives on the global political economy and global finance. Led by Kai Koddenbrock, the group investigates how West African societies have attempted to increase their political and economic sovereignty. We attempt to find out how most West African countries became exporters of only one or two commodities with the help of foreign capital and military force. We then seek to understand how postcolonial, newly independent governments have attempted to move away from this with the help of domestic resources, the creation of public and private banks, foreign debt and, most recently, stronger relations to China. Increasing economic complexity, diversifying the economy and thus to reduce dependencies on the world market have been perennial pursuits but have often failed. The Covid crisis has put this into stark relief, again. How can we explain recurrent debt crises and the difficulties in moving away from raw commodity export dependency? Which role do global and domestic social relations play and what does that mean for the state in West Africa? To find answers to these questions we investigate the role of colonial legacies and the various attempts by governments to increase national self-determination through public policies to arrive at a nuanced picture of what can be done in the current global political economy.



Kai Koddenbrock Bayreuth

Kai Koddenbrock

Research Group Leader

Isaac Abotebuno Akolgo

Research Associate

Aissata Diallo

Research Associate

Carla Coburger Bayreuth

Carla Coburger

Research Associate

Carolin Voß

Student Assistant

International Advisors

Max Ajl

Max Ajl

Wageningen University, NL

Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven Kings College

Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven

King's College, London

Ndongo Samba Sylla

Ndongo Samba Sylla

Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Dakar


From 2017 to 2023 Kai Koddenbrock and Benjamin Braun led and organized the research network Politics of Money. It was a group of political economists that investigated the resilience of finance capitalism. Together, we assessed the role of capitalist money for the global political economy and crisis-prone capitalism by exploring how money works as a global systemic relation, how and which actors work with, for and against it, which hierarchies it entails and what the implications for inequality are. It was funded by DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).

Contact Us

Prof. Dr. Kai Koddenbrock

Bard College Berlin

Platanenstaße 24

D – 13156 Berlin



© Copyright Politics of Money. Images provided by Unsplash. 2023