William O’Connell

University of Toronto

William O’Connell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the politics of international finance, global governance, and the political economy of multinational corporations. Prior to pursuing his PhD, William worked as a policy analyst for the Government of Canada.

William’s dissertation research focuses on the history of cross-border bank failures and the development of the post-2008 regime for resolving too-big-to-fail banks. His work examines the extent to which cooperative relationships among individual technocrats, or between regulatory agencies, can compensate for or overcome more politicized barriers to international cooperation. More broadly, his dissertation explores the limits of the ‘soft law’ process typical of modern global governance in responding to international crises. Some of William’s other research has focused on the implications of the rise of China’s dominant consumer market on foreign censorship (published in Review of International Political Economy) and the regulation of cryptocurrency markets, for which he has made several media appearances.

During his time at AGI, William intends to synthesize findings from his dissertation fieldwork, including data from interviews and archival research conducted in the United States and Europe. A core element of this work will involve gaining a deeper understanding of the role of Germany, both historically through the Basel process and, more recently, in the Banking Union, in shaping international standards for financial regulation as a result of its unique market structure.

Recent Content


Translating Politics into Technocracy in the European Banking Union

The failures of two Belgian-based banks, Fortis and Dexia, have cast a long shadow over European financial regulation. Once viewed as a model of regulatory cooperation, the Fortis collapse in …

William O’Connell, DAAD/AGI Research Fellow

AGI is pleased to welcome William O’Connell as a DAAD/AGI Research Fellow in May and June 2023. William O’Connell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at …