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2023/2024  KAN-CPHIO2201U  Finance and Society

English Title
Finance and Society

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Ann-Christina Lange - Department of Business Humanities and Law (BHL)
  • Mathias Hein Jessen - Department of Business Humanities and Law (BHL)
Main academic disciplines
  • Finance
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
  • Sociology
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 08-09-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Demonstrate a thorough and critical understanding of the corporation and finance as presented in the course literature.
  • Analyze problems with relation to the central role of corporations and finance in contemporary society
  • Discuss and critically assess own findings and understandings as well as of the course readings
Finance and Society:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Since the Financial Crisis of 2007-8, a number of key economic institutions have come under increased scrutiny, not least from philosophical and social science perspectives. This course provides the students with philosophical, historical and social scientific approaches to understanding the corporation, finance, financialization, debt and crisis, as well as current approaches to reform them.


The overall aim of the course is to give the students a contextual and critical understanding of the corporation, and finance, as well as their interrelation, as central figures in contemporary society. The course provides the students with an opportunity to bring together the conceptual philosophical toolbox and skills from other courses in order to critically analyse key institutions and practices of the contemporary economy.

Over the last 40 years, the multinational corporation has developed into one of the most powerful economic and political institutions, and the financial sector has become even more central to the way our economy functions, as well as to the evaluation of corporations. The rise of the corporation and the rise of financial markets are centrally interlinked, and has been the driver of economic growth and development as well as crises and recessions. The rise of the contemporary multinational corporation can therefore not be understood without recourse to finance and financialization, and vice versa. This has big consequences for how we understand the political and economic systems, their central institutions, the relation to the state, and many other problematics.


Within political, historical and philosophical studies, it has increasingly been acknowledged that the corporation must be understood not as a purely economic phenomenon, but as a political entity, that is politically constituted and that wields political power both externally and internally over its members. Simultaneously, there has been a growing awareness of the political influence of financial agents such as too-big-to-fail-banks and international financial institutions. Among the dominant economies of the globe, financial trading has come to account for an ever-larger share of total profits in comparison with traditional production of consumer goods. This process has become known as “financialization” and has emphasized the need for understanding the political power of finance.


These developments give rise to questions like: How can we understand the financialized corporation as a political actor? Who are its constituents, owners and stakeholders? How does financialization change the political landscape as well as economic mechanisms? How do we as a society hold such entities accountable for their actions? This course aims to provide students with an opportunity to think about and discuss these issues and how the corporation and finance relate to societal changes more generally.

Description of the teaching methods
The course promotes the analysis of the corporation and finance as a set of powerful institutions and widely diffused logics of organisation, valuation, and distribution in our societies. The course offers a unique cross-disciplinary platform in which the political, philosophical, cultural, economic and social character of corporations and the society-wide implications of the increased role of financial institutions and corporations in contemporary society is analyzed.

Teaching will comprise lectures, student group discussions and presentations.
Feedback during the teaching period
This course is based on dialogue and discussion between the students and the lecturer. All students are expected to take part in discussions which will provide feedback from other students and the lecturer. This aims to enhance the students’ ability to critically reflect upon the required readings in and through student-centred dialogue.
Student workload
Forberedelse 30 hours
Undervisning 146 hours
Eksamen 30 hours
Further Information

The literature for the course will mostly be academic texts supplemented with articles from international newspapers and other case material. Classes will focus on student discussion and class discussion. The students are required to be well prepared for each class. Students are required to discuss and debate topics with each other in class.

Expected literature

The literature for the course will mostly be academic texts supplemented with articles from international newspapers such as the New York Times, Financial Times, and the Economist. Classes will focus on student presentations and class discussion. The students are required to be present and to be well prepared for each class. Students are required to present and to debate topics with each other in class.

Last updated on 08-09-2023