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date: 26 February 2021

(p. v) Acknowledgments

(p. v) Acknowledgments

This project draws on a wide range of empirical research, historical evidence, and conceptual analysis of finance. It was born from the conviction that the need for a specialized handbook of finance is particularly urgent today, in view of widespread and quite fundamental disagreements about whether finance and financial markets are a benevolent force or plague that works against equitable and just relationships in contemporary societies, whether they are still controlled by political oversight or rather rule politics, and about how the financial sphere really works and should be working. When there are such disagreements they reflect not only a general malaise with a sphere of activity that seems to have spiraled out of control, but also simply a lack of familiarity and knowledge. David Musson had the vision that academic publishers can do something to remedy this situation—they can help synthesize and formulate the available information. Even if we possess only pieces of the overall picture, assembling the pieces together in a handbook, we agreed, will contribute critically important information to the often very general public discussion—and it can stimulate detailed research by bringing clarity to what we know and what is missing from particular disciplinary perspectives. This handbook, then, could not have been realized without David Musson's encouragement, patience, and insistence through all stages of the project. It could not have been realized, of course, without the enthusiastic agreement of all our contributors, who wrote the handbook chapters. They had to put up what must have seemed an endless stream of emails, phone calls, requests for revisions and changes at short notice—interspersed with long periods of silence, when chapters were processed.

Our great thanks also go to our anonymous reviewers, from whose suggestions we learned much, and whose criticism and also appreciation of this undertaking helped shape this volume and every single chapter. Our reviewers’ guidance has made us better understand the significance of this project and the audiences to which it speaks, as well as the need to balance its structure in an appropriate way.

Finally we also want to thank Emma Lambert from Oxford University Press who saw this book into print and proved powerfully efficient in doing so. Her help in guiding us through the intricacies of the publishing system was invaluable. On the internal side, we want to enormously thank Elise Kramer for her extraordinarily professional editing work as she moved the project forward through its final stages. Without her copyediting, fact checking, accuracy, and her correspondence with authors, we could not have finished this Handbook within the set time frame.

This is the second book we have co-edited—a considerably larger and more ambitious undertaking than the first. The entire process of discussing its concept, substance, and structure and of arranging and re-arranging chapters into various sections has, if any (p. vi) thing, advanced our teamwork several steps further. Toward the end of this process, although we were several thousand miles apart, we could see that we had developed a common vision of what needs to be improved and where. Lengthy discussion was no longer necessary; we would come to meetings with similar drafts. It is good to see how joint work cements team thinking, professional cooperation, and friendship.