The Performativity, Performance and Lively Practices in Financial Stability Press Conferences,

John Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Contributing to current debates about financial performativity, this article
seeks to explore the multiple and overlapping layers of performativity
within central banking. The specific focus is upon the press conferences
of the Bank of England, which coincide with the release of their
Financial Stability Reports and results of their stress testing exercises.
Three positions in the debate about financial performativity are
identified and outlined – namely, ‘Austinian’, ‘generic’, and ‘layered’
performativities. Analysis of the transcripts and video footage of the
press conferences shows that both Austinian and Generic performativity
are at work in the ‘layered performances’ of financial stability by the
Bank: the manner in which technical devices affect the economy
intersects with the way reiterative practices bring about the effect they
name. Moreover, drawing on the writings of Derrida, Deleuze and
Sedgwick on iterability, difference and performativity, the article
analyses the disruption, creativity and drama that is also present in the
central bank’s press conferences. The ostensible production of financial
stability by the Bank is thus shown to draw attention to an additional
layer of financial performativity that has been previously neglected in
cultural economy research – that which I group together under the
umbrella term of ‘lively practices’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-260
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
Issue number3
Early online date23 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Performativity
  • drama
  • central banking
  • financial stability;
  • press conference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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