Extending the Hegemony of Advanced Financial Capital: The International Accounting Standards Board and the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-Sized Entities

Rebecca Warren

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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In 2009, the IASB published IFRS for SMEs, extending their work beyond standard setting for listed entities. This thesis investigates the IASB’s political processes in the development of IFRS for SMEs. The board’s discourse presents an image of technocratic expertise, which acts to obfuscate the ways in which the IASB controls the regulatory conversation to advance its role as an agent of financial capital. Previous research and regulatory theory are extended in this thesis through the use of Laclau and Mouffe’s Discourse Theory and Glynos and Howarth’s Logics of Critical Explanation.
Whilst creating IFRS for SMEs, the IASB invoked democratic imageries, which has the effect of obscuring their financial capital agenda. This thesis demonstrates that the IASB constructs specific conceptions of SMEs as profit-maximising entities and emerging economies as in need of development along “Western” lines that reflect the ideology of advanced financial capital.
Laclau and Mouffe’s Logics of Equivalence and Difference are identified as being constantly in play in the development of IFRS for SMEs. This thesis shows that the development of IFRS for SMEs is an example of the “politics of condensation”: by condensing the needs of all developing countries and all non-publicly accountable entities into one standard, the IASB claims that meeting the financial reporting needs of SMEs will automatically meet the needs of developing countries. Through the extension of international accounting standards to new entities in a “one size fits all” manner, the IASB constructs the “politics of the same” through a logic of equivalence.
The thesis also identifies the influential role of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the development, promotion and adoption of IFRS for SMEs. The enforcement activities of these international financial institutions are shown to be crucial in allowing the IASB to act as a powerful agent of neo-liberal hegemony.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Napier, Christopher, Supervisor
  • Nobes, Christopher, Advisor
Award date1 May 2018
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018


  • Discourse Theory
  • IFRS for SMEs
  • IASB
  • Laclau and Mouffe
  • Hegemony
  • Advanced Financial Capital

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