Press Release

Expert to Discuss Europe's Postcommunist Financial Landscape

October 10, 2016 – by Cole Hatcher

Juliet Johnson, Ph.D.

McGill University’s Juliet Johnson to Speak Oct. 24 at Ohio Wesleyan University

DELAWARE, Ohio – Juliet Johnson conducted more than 160 interviews in 17 countries over a span of 15 years as part of her research into money, banking, postcommunism, and the international economy.

The McGill University politics and government professor will discuss her findings when she presents “The New Financial Nationalism of Europe” Oct. 24 at Ohio Wesleyan University. Johnson, Ph.D., will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Benes Rooms A and B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

In her new book, “Priests of Prosperity: How Central Bankers Transformed the Postcommunist World,” Johnson states that central bankers from North America and Western Europe played a key role in influencing the modern structure of postcommunist banks in countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Slovakia, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.

The influence occurred, she believes, because of the willingness of Western banks to allow postcommunist banks to integrate into the global banking community. In her book, Johnson also examines how central banks are winning back public trust after the global financial crisis.

“ ‘Priests of Prosperity’ offers a fascinating account of the way the transnational central banking community has produced the single most important institutional convergence in the postcommunist world,” European University professor Laszlo Bruszt says of the book, published in April.

Professor Rawi Abdelal of the Harvard Business Institute adds: “ ‘Priests of Prosperity’ is elegantly and persuasively written … the historical narratives are fantastic.”

At McGill, Johnson also serves as co-director of the university’s European Union Centre of Excellence. The center encourages students to study and understand the European Union’s role in commerce. She also is an executive committee member of Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia).

Her presentation is part of Ohio Wesleyan’s Corinne Lyman Lecture Series on International Studies. Lyman, a retired OWU professor of politics and government, created Ohio Wesleyan’s International Studies Program and chaired it until retiring in 1999.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at