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Published in: Journal of Business Ethics 1/2022

24-02-2021 | Original Paper

The Regulatory Dynamics of Sustainable Finance: Paradoxical Success and Limitations of EU Reforms

Authors: Hanna Ahlström, David Monciardini

Published in: Journal of Business Ethics | Issue 1/2022

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Abstract

The financial sector has seen a transformation towards ‘sustainable’ finance particularly in Europe, driven also by unprecedented regulatory reforms. At the same time, many are sceptical about the real impact of these reforms, fearing that they are triggering a paradoxical financialisation of sustainability. Building on recent research on institutional logics and institutional fields formation, we examine changes in the EU regulatory dynamics as characterised by shifts in framing the relationship between sustainability and finance. Deploying a longitudinal approach (2009–2019), consisting of archival data and semi-structured interviews, we explore the development of EU sustainable finance regulation as an extended, interactive and contested process. Specifically, we suggest that regulatory dynamics depend on the hybrid configuration of the social constituencies supporting sustainable finance reforms and on shifts in the overall prevalence of the financial logic in society. Our paper sheds light on the inherent contradictions and limitations of sustainable finance as a means for transformative sustainability reforms.
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Metadata
Title
The Regulatory Dynamics of Sustainable Finance: Paradoxical Success and Limitations of EU Reforms
Authors
Hanna Ahlström
David Monciardini
Publication date
24-02-2021
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Published in
Journal of Business Ethics / Issue 1/2022
Print ISSN: 0167-4544
Electronic ISSN: 1573-0697
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-021-04763-x

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