The number and size of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) has grown substantially in the last decade, leading to an unsettled debate regarding their legitimacy in the global political economy, particularly as many originate from the Global South and from illiberal political economies (e.g. China).

Some suggest they represent the (re)emergence of state-led capitalism subject to geopolitical motivations that threaten free markets. For others, SWFs represent a source of long-term patient capital capable of mitigating market short-termism. Either way, SWFs challenge the norm, particularly in the Global North, that financial markets are spaces of exchange for non-state actors. By analyzing the behavior of SWFs, their interaction with different stakeholders at home and abroad, and how they are legitimized as financial actors in the global political economy, SWFsEUROPE will provide new critical insights into the contemporary relationship between the state and the market.

Recent news

The Specter of State Capitalism

Adam Dixon and Ilias Alami have written an op-ed on COVID-19 and the rise of state capitalism. The piece appears on the Developing Economics blog as a well as LinkedIn.

Anzhalika Yeraminovich speaks at the Higher School of Economics on SWFs

Anzhalika Yeraminovich presented about SWFs innovations in the European Union and Russia on 29 January at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Her presentation was hosted by the School of Politics and Governance as part of the seminar series “Modernization of public finances”.

New blog post for Developing Economics

Ilias Alami and Adam Dixon have contributed to first blog post in a new series on state capitalism for the Developing Economics, a blog that provides critical commentary on development economics. See the post here:...

State Capitalism(s) Redux?

Ilias Alami and Adam Dixon have just published a new paper on state capitalism in Competition & Change. The paper interrogates interrogates the notion of state capitalism, exploring the contributions and limits of the concept as a means of theorizing the more...

Policy paper for the IFSWF

Adam D. Dixon and Imogen T. Liu discuss the future of best practice for sovereign wealth funds as one of three official partners of the 2019 Annual Review of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds.

Adam Dixon participates in policy dialogue on African sovereign funds

Adam Dixon joined heads of African sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and senior policymakers for a high-level meeting in Gaborone, Botswana from 9 to 10 May for on “Sovereign Wealth Funds in Africa: Policies and Best Practices for Securing the Future.”, co-organized by the the Wilson Center and the Bank of Botswana, under the banner of the Brown Capital Management Africa Forum.

Funders and partners

SWFsEUROPE is a five-year research project titled Legitimacy, Financialization, and Varieties of Capitalism: Understanding Sovereign Wealth Funds in Europe. The project is hosted at Maastricht University and a recipient of funding from the European Research Council.