Accueil > Money in the age of cryptocurrency - Economics and sociology of money


Type d'enseignement : Workshop

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Money is everywhere in our social life. Although it can be subject to technical definitions from lawyers, economists, central bankers and all sorts of experts, it remains an obscure concept. And the more technical the usage of money, the less understandable its meaning. Considering that money is too important to be left only to economists, this course aims at providing a deeper understanding of what money is and how it works in today's unequal and connected world. Using indistinctively sociology, economics, law, philosophy, literature and psychology, and focusing on different actors such as States, societies, consumers and banks, the course will deal with current controversial issues such as the rising role of money, the global distribution of wealth, the erosion of monetary sovereignty, the use of modern local currencies and the disruptive effects of cryptocurrencies on finance and banking industries.


ZAMARIA, Alain A. (Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law)

Pedagogical format

The course will be divided into 3 sets of lectures to introduce the foundations of monetary economics, consider current challenges coming from the rise of cryptocurrencies and discuss economic and social issues raised by money in today's society. Each class will include a presentation by the teacher, an interactive discussion on the session's readings and presentation(s) of the students. In addition to their oral presentation, students will be required to prepare a blog post (comment/ press article/ opinion) on a session's topic (500-1000 words). At the end of this course, the students should be able to understand the bases of monetary creation and have an informed opinion on challenges related to money as it is used today. The reading material will be uploaded before the classes, as well as slides after each session.

Course validation

Group presentation 30% ; In-class exam 30% ; Blogpost 20% ; Participation 20%

Required reading

  • Nigel Dodd, The Social Life of Money (Princeton University Press 2013)
  • Bruce G. Carruthers, Laura Ariovich, Money and Credit: A Sociological Approach (Polity 2010)
  • David Graeber, Debt the first 5,000 years (Melville House Publishing 2014)
  • Felix Martin, Money: The Unauthorized Biography – From Coinage to Cryptocurrencies (Vintage 2014)
  • Pascal Bruckner, La sagesse de l'argent (Grasset 2016)