The Bologna Institute for Policy Research | Seminar Series Event | Paul-Tucker-A-Gap-in-Constitutionalism-Independent-Central-Banks-and-Other-Commitment-Devices
March 25, 2019 - 18:30 Penthouse - Constitutionalism in Illiberal Democracies Series

A Gap in Constitutionalism: Independent Central Banks and Other Commitment Devices
Paul Tucker, Systemic Risk Council; Harvard Kennedy School, US

hosted by Professor Justin O. Frosini

Seminar Summary:

Full Audio:


Sir Paul Tucker is Chair of the Systemic Risk Council, the independent body of former top central bankers, government officials and financial experts dedicated to a stable financial system. He is also a Research Fellow of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Tucker is the author of Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State, which charts how the extraordinary power of unelected central bankers and regulators needs to be structured and checked in the interest of democratic legitimacy.

He spent more than three decades in central banking, occupying senior positions in the international policymaking world and received his knighthood in 2014.

As Deputy Governor at the Bank of England from 2009 to October 2013, Tucker was at the centre of efforts to contain the financial crisis and to reshape the international regulatory framework for financial stability. Former Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King said, "Paul probably understands more about central banking than anyone else. He knows about every aspect of that arcane art and now he [is] free to tell the rest of the world what happens behind those high walls" .

Tucker was a member of the steering committee of the G20 Financial Stability Board, chairing its Committee on the Resolution of Cross-Border Banks in order to overcome the "too big to fail" problem. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Bank for International Settlements, and was chair of the Basel Committee for Payment and Settlement Systems.

At the Bank of England, he was a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Financial Policy Committee (vice chair), Prudential Regulatory Authority Board (vice chair), and Court of Directors. During his thirty-plus years there, he led staff teams on monetary policy strategy, market operations, and financial stability, as well as working as a bank supervisor. He had secondments to an investment bank and to Hong Kong, where he helped reform their securities markets and regulation following the 1987 stock market crash.

Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said, "There are many central bankers who know a lot about monetary policy and dynamic stochastic general equilibrium, there are few with Paul's breadth of knowledge of philosophy, literature, culture, history and so much else" .

Tucker's other current activities include acting as: a director at Swiss Re; a senior fellow at Harvard's Center for European Studies; President of the UK's National Institute for Economic and Social Research; a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation; a director of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps; a member of the Advisory Board for Yale's Program on Financial Stability; and a member of the advisory committee of Autonomous Research.


China & Asia
Conflict Management
Economics, Finance, & Trade
Energy, Environment, Climate, & Technology
Europe & Eurasia
Foreign Policy
International Relations
Middle East & Africa
Security, Strategy, & Statecraft
The Americas
United States
Dana H. Allin
Matteo Alvisi
Edmund Amann
Veronica Anghel
Arthur Appleton
Athanasios Bozinis
Paolo Calzini
Emanuela Carbonara
Gabriel Cardona-Fox
Raffaella A. Del Sarto
Vincent Della Sala
Marco Dell'Aquila
Giulio Ecchia
David W. Ellwood
Justin O. Frosini
Johannes Gabriel
Joshua Gallo
Marco Gestri
Mark Gilbert
Christopher L. Gilbert
Manfred Hafner
Nina Hall
Mark Hanis
John L. Harper
Arntraud Hartmann
Christopher Hill
Herman Hoen
William Hynes
Søren Jessen-Petersen
Erik Jones
Winrich Kühne
Francesco Lancia
Viktoriia Lapa
Michael Leigh
Barbara Luppi
Adrian Lyttelton
Susanna Mancini
Massimiliano Marzo
Giulia Mascagni
Hanns Maull
Hartmut Mayer
Jacqueline Mazza
Alessandro Merli
Erika Meucci
Graziano Moramarco
Francesco N. Moro
Alireza Naghavi
Olga Oliker
Gianfranco Pasquino
Sara Pennicino
Michael G. Plummer
Richard Pomfret
Andrea Presbitero
Romano Prodi
Thomas Row
Francesco Strazzari
Simone Tagliapietra
Sanam Vakil
Bob van der Zwaan
Francesc Vendrell
Richard Wilcox
Andrew C. Winner
Albert B. Wolf
Andrew Wolff
Stefano Zamagni
Vera Negri Zamagni
Lea Zicchino



Johns Hopkins University - School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)