Kavi Thakore

Thesis title: ‘Cosmopolitan’ Financial Transaction Tax

Start year: 2014

Contact: kavi.thakore-2014@brookes.ac.uk

Supervisor(s): Dr Stephen Hurt

Research topic

My current research agenda broadly falls within the discipline of international political economy (IPE), and it is particularly concerned with questions related to financial regulation and financial governance.

In the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis taxation of the financial sector, as well as regulation more broadly, has forcefully re-emerged on the European Union (EU) political agenda. Put simply, the EU Financial Transaction Tax (EU FTT) places a very small tax on financial transactions, for example in: shares, bonds and derivatives, between financial institutions. This taxation measure is consistent with the strong message that currently prevails throughout the global economy; that ‘something’ has to be changed in the manner global finance is governed and regulated. My thesis proposes that a move towards a more cosmopolitan conception of the global financial system can provide this change.

The thesis suggests that the EU FTT already displays a number of observable cosmopolitan values. This is due to the fact that most cosmopolitan theorisation, which builds upon the Kantian tradition, focuses on promoting interconnected values such as equality, (social) democracy, transparency, human rights, welfare, accountability, fairness and sustainability, to name but a few. Furthermore, the departing premise of cosmopolitanism supports the idea that justice has to transcend national boundaries and apply equally to all individuals. Moreover, in relation to financial governance, employing a control on capital flows, as a regulatory tool, is a step in the right direction when moving towards a fairer conception of the global political economy as a whole.

Some research combining these cosmopolitan values and finance has been undertaken, however at present this research area remains underdeveloped, particularly in regard to an empirical study. Therefore, the thesis aims to build upon the work of cosmopolitan scholars by making an original contribution to the existing literature concerning finance and cosmopolitanism. This will be undertaken through the examination of whether finance can start to be better regulated by an EU FTT so as to provide cosmopolitan values like social welfare, equality and democratic accountability.

By empirically testing this normative framework, the investigation seeks to evaluate the viability of a cosmopolitan approach to the EU FTT. In doing so, my research has five broad aims, which will uncover:

  1. How the EU has reached this stage in the process;
  2. What role key actors as well as specific stakeholders, activists and organisations have had on the dialogue, debate and campaign;
  3. How obstacles, challenges and problems have been overcome in the negotiations;
  4. Which elements of the EU FTT strongly correlate with the aforementioned cosmopolitan values; and,
  5. Whether this regulatory mechanism provides a blueprint for the transformation of society more broadly.


Cosmopolitanism, Financial Regulation, European Union (EU), (Global) Financial Governance, Taxation, Capital Flows, Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), Speculation, Justice, Equality.

General research interests

Welfare Capitalism, Free Market Capitalism, International Political Economy (IPE), Social Democracy, Nation-States and Markets, Global Governance, Welfare State, Inequality, IPE Theory, Keynesianism, Finance, Banking, Individualism.

Academic school / department

School of Law and Social Sciences

Further details

Academic and professional training

  • MA International Law and International Relations, Oxford Brookes University, Graduated 2013
  • BA (Hons) History, Oxford Brookes University, Graduated 2012