Ed A Hewett Book Prize

2021 Citation Recipient


Fabio Mattioli

The Ed A Hewett Book Prize, established in 1994, previously sponsored by NCEEER and now sponsored by the University of Michigan Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia and/or Eastern Europe, published in the previous year.

Winner: Fabio Mattioli
Title: Dark Finance: Illiquidity and Authoritarianism at the Margins of Europe (Stanford University Press).

Dark Finance creatively reimagines the concept of financialization to provide fresh insights into politics and society in Macedonia, with implications for our understanding of the postcommunist region more broadly. Beginning from an ethnography of the highly visible Skopje 2014 construction projects sponsored by the Gruevski government, Mattioli demonstrates the centrality of illiquidity—the prevalence and significance of non-cash transactions—to both the nature of authoritarian politics and the shape of everyday life, with especially compelling attention to gendered politics and identities. Far from a bounded case study, the book’s ethnography and analysis extend outward into the European Union and global economy to argue that Macedonia presents an illustrative instance of “peripheral financialization.” Mattioli’s novel conceptual framing, multi-scale range of vision, sensitivity to long-term histories, and captivating writing style combine to showcase an innovative way of studying political economy.