Dr. Carola Westermeier

ZEVEDI Young Investigator from April until December 2024

Carola Westermeier is lecturer and researcher (Akademische Rätin) at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and co-leader of a research project on Financial Infrastructures and Geoeconomic Security at the Collaborative Research Centre Dynamics of Security. During her time as ZEVEDI Young Investigator she is hosted by Ute Tellmann, Professor Sociology/Sociological Theory at Technische Universität Darmstadt. She also leads the project Money as Data» at the Centre Responsible Digitality (ZEVEDI). Before, she was visiting professor (Professurvertretung) of International Relations and International Political Economy at Goethe Universität Frankfurt a.M. and postdoctoral researcher at FOLLOW – Following the Money from Transaction to Trial», supported by a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) at the Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Her research lies at the intersections of economic sociology, international political economy, and (critical) security studies. She has published on the role of transactions data in the data economy», on the role of financial technologies for security regimes» and on infrastructural geopolitics».


„The digital currencies that will transform finance” was the headline on the cover of the Economist in May 2021. The magazine explained how Central Digital Bank Currencies (CBCD) would challenge the established financial system, including the role of banks, the dominance of the US-Dollar and bring up questions of digital surveillance and privacy.

In 2023, more than 130 countries explore the possibilities of central bank digital currencies. They are widely debated at the international level and in international organizations. Leading financial institutions and central banks around the world investigate and discuss possible implications. However, hopes and expectations that are connected to the development of the new financial technology diverge. They include financial inclusion, monetary sovereignty, independence from global Tech-companies and geopolitical ambitions.

During her fellowship, Carola Westermeier will develop a research agenda that focuses on the current phase of deliberation and planning of central bank digital currencies to gain insights into the digitalization of international (financial) relations and to further our understanding of (digital) money.

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