Can Cinar is fascinated by the interplay between economics and politics, leading him to a PhD focused on the role of credit rating agencies (CRA) in global economics.
“Credit rating agencies – those financial institutions that rate countries, governments, companies and individuals financial security – have huge power, and that's what I'm really interested in.
“I really questioned why these agencies are powerful, but to answer such a huge question 'why is something powerful' – not just credit ratings – you have to analyse and dissect how the whole mechanism works."
Can's research is half empirical and half theoretical; it focuses on a case study of Argentina, an interesting case due to its recent financial crises. Can is looking at how CRA and their ratings impacted the sovereign nation and why.
“Argentina defaulted so their connection with financial institutions was cut, that's the power these CRA hold - they can cut sovereign nations' connections to financial capital. But this leads to a power shift because once the country defaults there isn't anything else the agency can do.”
To make sense of this bigger picture Can is researching other economic indicators. He is currently analysing levels of inflation within Argentina, how it has changed over time and looking at what exactly this means at a political and philosophical level.
Can is supported by two supervisors, Phillip Nel and Bryce Edwards. Phillip Nel is a leading scholar in the area and is the main reason Can chose to come to Otago. He is also fast at replying to emails and gives detailed feedback, two important qualities in a supervisor according to Can.
“Otago is very good in terms of rankings – I knew it would provide the right space for my research, but it wouldn't have been possible without a scholarship so I am very grateful to be here.”
“I was a little unsure before coming, I had never been to New Zealand before and it's very far away from the rest of the world. But now I would love to stay once I have finished, they say New Zealand is beautiful but I didn't know it would be this beautiful!”