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Sociology: People


Nathan Coombs

Nathan Coombs
Dr Nathan Coombs
Lecturer in Economic Sociology
6.10 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 6508259
Research Interests
Sociological Theory, Financial Markets, Social Studies of Finance, financial regulation, History of Political Thought, Economic Sociology, Social theory

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Wednesday 3-5pm (during term time)

Research Profile

I am an economic sociologist researching financial regulation and digital markets. In 2013 I was awarded a PhD in political theory by Royal Holloway, University of London. From 2014-17 I was the principal investigator of the Leverhulme Trust funded project 'Governing Financial Algorithms: A Social Study of Regulation and Compliance'. In 2015 I co-founded the scholarly journal Finance and Society.

Teaching (2018/19)

Course organiser and co-lecturer: Digital Markets and Society PGSP1146

Co-lecturer: Finance and Society 

Course organiser and co-lecturer: Sociology 1B: The Sociological Imagination: Private Troubles, Public Problems SCIL08005


PhD in Political Theory, Royal Holloway, University of London

MSc in International Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

BSc (hons) in Economics and International Development, University of Bath

Selected Publications

(see full list of publications on Google Scholar)


History and Event: From Marxism to Contemporary French Theory, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2015)

[reviewed in Science and Society, Radical PhilosophyMarx & Philosophy Review of Books and Political Studies Review]

Research articles

What Do Stress Tests Test? Experimentation, Demonstration and the Sociotechnical Performance of Regulatory Science (under review)

Narrating Imagined Crises: The Projective Power of Central Banks' Stress Tests (with John Morris, under review)

The Value in 'Value': An Exercise for Pluralising Economics Instruction, International Review of Economics Education (published online 18 July 2018, with Ashley Frawley)

What is an Algorithm? Financial Regulation in the HFT Era, Automated Trader, Issue 41 Q4 (2016): 14-18.

What is an Algorithm? Financial Regulation in the Era of High-Frequency Trading, Economy and Society, Vol. 45, No. 2 (2016): 278-302 [featured in The Regulatory Review]

Did Lenin Refound Marxist Dialectics in 1914?The European Legacy, Vol. 21, No. 1 (2016): 1-18

Speculative Justice: Quentin Meilassoux and PoliticsTheory & Event, Vol. 17, No. 4 (2014)

The Political Theology of Red ToryismJournal of Political Ideologies, Vol. 16, No. 1 (2011): 79-96

Nomological Disputation: Alain Badiou and Graham Harman on Objects, Speculations: A journal of speculative realism, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2010): 135-144

Book chapters

Financialization as Mathematization: The Calculative and Regulatory Consequences of Risk Management. In: Mader, P., Mertens, D. and van der Zwan, N. (eds.) International Handbook of Financialization. Abingdon: Routledge (with Arjen van der Heide, forthcoming 2019).

Three Lessons for a Social Studies of Financial Regulation. In: Borch, C. and Wosnitzer, R. (eds) Routledge Handbook to Critical Finance Studies. Abingdon: Routledge (forthcoming 2019).

Underlabouring for Science: Althusser, Brassier, Bhaskar. In: Malik, S and Avanessian, A. (eds) Genealogies of Speculation: Materialism and Subjectivity since Structuralism, London: Bloomsbury (2016): 271-299.

Review articles and essays

Macroprudential versus Monetary Blueprints for Financial ReformJournal of Cultural Economy, Vol. 10, No. 2 (2017): 207-216

Bringing Financial Regulation Back Down to EarthWork, Employment and Society, Vol. 31, No. 1 (2017): 197-200


For a Post-Disciplinary Study of Finance and Society (with Angus Cameron and Amin Samman), Finance and Society, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2015): 1-5


Donald Trump, Dodd-Frank and the politics of academic critique, SPERI comment, 29 February (2017)

Clamping down - on the Bank of England's stress test, Socializing Finance, 2 December (2016)

Research grants

'Governing Financial Algorithms: A Social Study of Regulation and Compliance', Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship Scheme, 2014-17.

Professional Service

I am a founding editor of the academic journal Finance and Society (launched in 2015) and was previously an editor of the Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies (from 2009 to 2015). 

I am willing to anonymously review manuscripts in my areas of expertise.  I have reviewed for Political Studies, The European Legacy, Journal of Political Ideologies, Security Dialogue, Science, Technology and Human Values, Science and Technology Studies, Information, Communication and Society, Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, and Oxford University Press.

Research Supervision

I can act as a supervisor or in an informal mentoring role on projects concerning social and political theory, economic sociology, science and technology studies, and the social studies of finance.

If you are interested in being supervised by Nathan Coombs, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Politics; PhD in Science and Technology Studies; PhD in Sociology; MSc (R) Politics; MSc (R) Science and Technology Studies; MSc (R) Social Policy; MSc (R) Sociology