Clement Berthou

PhD candidate in international political economy
beclemen's picture
Institutional membership: 
Université Grenoble Alpes
PhD Candidate (m)
Non permanent.e
Research areas: 
International political economics
Research team: 



PhD candidate with both an operational and academic background demonstrating a strong interest in the payment ecosystem (payment infrastructures, interbank networks, clearing and settlement mecanisms,...). Alongside the PhD project in international political economy specialized on the ongoing changes faced by payment infrastructures (, I am currently heading the network management team within the cash clearing department of Société Générale. 

PhD supervisors : Pr. Jean-François PONSOT (Laboratoire PACTE, Université Grenoble Alpes) and Pr. Massimo AMATO (Università Bocconi).

Three essays in international political economy on payment infrastructures, Study of a cornerstone of the international monetary system
External supervisor(s): 
Massimo AMATO

This paper will provide a multidisciplinary study of payment infrastructures as a part of the international monetary and financial system (IMFS). Akin to the institutionalist theory of money, this paper will be based on an active and holistic vision of money. It will use theoretical, historical and anthropological frameworks to question the leadership and stability of IMFS' since they stem from current monetary evolutions, which are themselves disruptive innovations. In the context of IMFS's transformation, the renewed interest in Triffin's dilemma (Eichengreen 2011, Fahri & Maggiori 2017) as well as in the relevance of the use of a national currency on an international scale, raises questions about the role played by payment infrastructures from both a technical and psychological angle. Furthermore, the threat posed by new entrants to the sovereignty of central banks and states is in the process of permanently destabilising the nature of public/private relations around monetary issues. This threat is also enhanced on an international scale by a fragmented political and legal context inherited from Bretton Woods. In this respect, the various (r)evolutions, carried out by the interbank cooperative SWIFT, are representative of the current break in the monetary paradigm and the "re-bundling" of the historical functions of money (Brunnermeier, James & Landeau 2019). Additionally, innovations in payment systems raise questions on their underlying motives. In contrast to the northern countries' strong focus to globalise their currencies to gain influence, the global south appears to adopt a more developmental and emancipatory goal. Strengthened by financial innovations, developing countries seem most likely to benefit from the monetary paradigm shift and from "re-bundling". However, will this be at the expense of the overall stability of the IMFS? This thesis will comprise three essays to answer such questions and provide a complimentary vision of the monetary pyramid. The study will be conducted using the qualitative tools of international political economy and quantitative instruments of econometrics. The former will shed light on the nature of the power relations during and after paradigm ruptures, while the latter will provide measures of the consequences of financial innovations on the IMFS's stability.