Group members

Gregory Schwartz - Group lead

Research interests: Gregory’s research lies in two key areas: 1) the political economy of the transformation of labour, management and organisation in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; and 2) the comparative study of the political economy of precarious labour in Europe. I have looked at changes in work and employment in both traditional industries and the ‘new economy’ and have incorporated the influence of global political economic dynamics on changes in the organisational structures and management practices; employee voice, workplace conflict, workers’ identities and class constitution. Based in political and labour sociology, cultural anthropology and economic geography, he has pursued a research programme that is both cross-disciplinary and inter-national, critical of methodological nationalism and challenging academic insularity.

Rutvica Andrijasevic

Research interests: Rutvica Andrijasevic is an activist scholar with research interests in areas of migrant labour, gender, national state power, and global firms. Rutvica conducted research on irregular migration and borders and examined immigration enforcement at EU’s southern border between Italy and Libya. She conducts research on sex trafficking and her book ‘Agency, Migration and Citizenship in Sex Trafficking’ (2010) addresses the link between migration, gendered subjectivity and changes in citizenship in Europe. Rutvica’s current project focuses on global firms and the raise of China, and investigates the ways in which ‘Chinese’ modes of production and management are impacting labour in Europe.

Sam Appleton

My research focuses on the World Bank and explores the way in which it has constituted itself as an agent of global governance, its relation to US hegemonic agendas, and way in which its material basis in private finance mediates its pursuit of these agendas and influences the way in which 'development' strategies are operationalised. I'm also interested in the origins of the managerial technologies associated with the World Bank's structural adjustment policies, and their role in the mobilisation and maintenance of 'neoliberalism' as a hegemonic policy paradigm. My current research continues to explore the importance of the Bank’s material basis in private finance for its relation to emergent challengers in the form of the BRICS Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Jonathan Beaverstock

Research interests: Jonathan’s current research is focusing on two significant features of the contemporary financial landscape and competitiveness of global financial centres. First, the resurgence in global wealth, the so called 1%, and the creation of the High Net Worth Individual market, allied to the genesis of a private wealth management industry composed not only of traditional private banks, but also of a range of professional services firms (accounting, insurance, legal), which have contributed to the resurgence of off- and on-shore jurisdiction financial centres for private wealth management. Of particular interest has been the rapid ascendancy of Singapore and Hong Kong, providing significant competition to London and New York (both on and off-shore), and Switzerland. Link to the first, the second research interest is examining the competitiveness of the City of London through the lens of global talent management and, highly-skilled professional and managerial migration and mobility. At the heart of London’s financial centre competitiveness is its ability to attract and retain talent from a global pool which is reproduced and circulated between the global financial centres. The UK Home Office Border Agency has conceded to the City lobbyists and has a lax approach to managing inter-company transfers for non-EU citizens, but the bigger questions about talent are certainly intertwined with highly emotive debates about City remuneration and compensation structures.

Karen Bell

Research interests: Karen’s research and teaching to date has encompassed investigating environmental and social equity, political economy, poverty and development at local, national and international levels. She is particularly interested in how we can address environmental issues in a socially just way and the influence of capitalism in this respect. She carries out qualitative and quantitative research around the extent to which marketization and commodification contribute to environmental and social problems/crises and whether such processes can be part of their solution. The research is based on international cross-national comparisons, focusing on Cuba, Bolivia, US, UK, South Korea, China and Sweden.

Oscar Berglund

Research interests: Oscar’s doctoral research is about the civil disobedience practised by the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) as a response to the everyday insecurities of debt, evictions and homelessness in Spain. As such, he analyses the crisis in the political economy in Europe, and particularly Spain, from the perspective of those worst affected. His focus is the resistance, politicisation and radicalisation that is occurring in some European countries in the context of the crisis, and of which the PAH is a prime example. This project, engaging with literatures within the fields of political economy, security studies and social movement studies, comes from a general interest in anti-neoliberal resistance.

Nina Boeger

Research interests: Nina’s research interests lie in the field of corporate governance and, in particular, the emergence of new corporate forms and social enterprise. She takes a particular interest in corporate governance models that promote enterprise diversity and offer support for alternative corporate forms including enterprises that trade for a social and/or environmental purpose. She currently works on two research projects in this field. The first develops strategies for public authorities to build support for social enterprises into their public service commissioning policies. The second considers changes in law and policy that are necessary for social enterprise to overcome the character of a niche sector.

Egle Cesnulyte

Research interests:Egle is interested in the political economy of development, gender, sexualities and African politics. Her research explores how neo-liberalism influenced practices and discourses affect social, economic and gender structures; and how women in disadvantaged positions within these systems attempt to manoeuvre them for their own survival and advancement. Egle’s work so far has focused on Kenya, used a gender lens and relied on the life-stories of self-identified sex workers of Mombasa to explore the political economy of Kenya and the limits of women’s agency within it. The current project explores the activism and politics of East African sex workers' movements.

Roger Dale

Research interests: Roger is Professor of Sociology in the Graduate School of Education. He has a long standing interest in global political economy. He has written extensively on the dynamic relationship between education, the state and global capitalism, and more recently on the ongoing relationship between globalisation and region building (especially EU) as spatial strategies in managing competitive economies. He is founding co-editor of the journal – Globalisation, Societies and Education, and member of the Centre for Globalisation, Education and Social Futures in the GSoE.

Kevin Doogan

Research interests:

Malcolm Fairbrother

Research interests: Malcolm’s research in political economy has largely addressed why the governments of so many countries stopped restraining economic globalisation in the 1980s to 90s, and since then have embraced it instead. Using a historical and comparative approach, and interviews with elites, he has sought to explain the very rise of the contemporary global economy—focussing on trade, direct investment, and the governance provenance now often tied to them. The work he has done on the origins of globalisation has engaged with literatures on the roles of business and experts/intellectuals in politics, and on the general ascendancy of free market (or "neoliberal") policies in many domains in recent decades. More recently, he has also begun work on the political economy of environmental degradation and protection, and he has developed analytical methods useful for putting cross-national survey data to use in testing the micro-foundations of many political economy theories.

Maria Fannin

Research interests: Maria’s research interests include the social and economic implications of bioscientific research, and specifically the collection and exchange of human biological materials. Her most recent research project explored different conceptions of value in the creation and maintenance of a regional placental biobank in the UK. She has also published research on feminist and governmental approaches to medical migration, midwifery, and the social geographies of pregnancy and birth in the US, Canada, and France. She is also interested in the development of new conceptualisations of labour and exchange in light of the dynamics of accumulation, investment and speculation at work in the global (bio)economy, and in developing feminist geographical approaches to a 'bodily commons' in a post-genomic age.

Magnus Feldmann

Research interests: Magnus is interested in theorising capitalist diversity and in the development of capitalist institutions in comparative perspective. Much of his research in this area has focused on Central and Eastern Europe, but he has also contributed to extending the Varieties of Capitalism debate beyond the OECD more generally. Another strand of his research is focused on the politics of economic policy-making, and he has published a variety of papers on international trade and macroeconomic policy in particular.

Sean Fox

Research interests:

Tilman Hartley

Research interests: Tilman researches the political economy of global energy transitions, with a particular focus on property rights. In particular, he develops a framework for analysing the way that the institution of property rights affects the management of resource competition and, in turn, how the management of competition affects resource depletion. He also examines how particular decisions are made with regard to the way that property rights in substitute energy sources are instituted, once previously used resources have become depleted. At present his empirical focus is on the transition to coal, with the intention of extending this analysis to other energy transitions, particularly the transition away from fossil fuels that is currently taking place.

Jeffrey Henderson

Research interests: Jeffrey's research is broadly concerned with the sociology, politics and political economy of economic development and in recent years his interests have focused on the developmental consequences of global production networks as well as on the relation of economic governance to inequality and poverty. He has pursued these interests in various parts of East Asia and Europe, as well as in South Africa. His current research is concerned with the implications, for the rest of the developing world, of the rise of China. In this context, he is particularly interested in theorising the emerging transformations in relation to economic globalisation, global governance, energy security, aid, and the geo-political consequences of all of these. Additionally, he has recently begun to work of the relation between state structure and economic performance with a particular focus on Britain in relation to other European countries. Among his professional affiliations, he was the founding Vice President of the Global Studies Association.

Paddy Ireland

Research interests: Paddy’s immediate areas of research interest are corporate governance, corporate theory and the historical development of the large joint stock corporation and of corporate law (in particular the development of separate corporate personality and limited liability). More broadly, he is interested in the legal nature and constitution of property rights, and in particular in the political processes whereby intangible financial property forms (fictitious capital) such as the corporate share were legally constituted. He is also interested in the impact that the spread of these (money capitalist) property forms has had on the forms of consciousness, social relations, and dynamics of capitalism. Thus, in the past he has also written about financialization (in the context of corporate governance) and pension privatization. In addition to his work on corporate law, he is currently researching the economic and social impact of changing property rights structures on Chinese agriculture in the post-Mao era, and working on a theoretical paper on property rights and social transformation.

Mark Jackson

Research interests: Mark’s research specialisations intersect the fields of contemporary social theory, posthumanist materialities of science, technology, and the environment, political ecology, and critical urban geography. Current research focuses on the relationships between new posthumanist theories of materialism, politics, and ethics (in particular the articulation of nature, ecology, and building) and postcolonial critique and postcolonial ethics. He is interested in exploring both the relationships between these bodies of theory in light of their recent attempts to respond to ecological and economic imperatives (ex. climate change and over-accummulation), and the implications of dissolving the nature/culture distinction for critical political economy, political ecology, and the geographies of science. Mark has published in leading international journals and is the Routledge Series Editor of ‘New Postcolonialisms’, a new research series addressing emerging interdisciplinary postcolonial research in the social sciences and humanities.

Winnie King

Research interests: Winnie is a specialist in Chinese International Political Economy. She has worked extensively on Economic Development and Policy-making in Greater China, in particular China and Taiwan. Most recently she has carried out a project on Chinese Financial Liberalisation and Currency reform, examining the rise of the Renminbi (RMB) and its internationalisation through swap agreements, clearing hubs and growing RMB offshore market hubs in Asia and Europe (focusing on the UK, Hong Kong and Taiwan). She has also worked on Sino-UK economic policy, having done some consultancy work with the Cabinet Office and Kent County Council. Her early research examined theories of integration and regionalism in an East Asian context, and the rise of bottom up cooperation and top down institutionalisation in the Taiwan Straits.

Robin Klimecki

Research interests: Robin’s research interests lie at the intersection of political economy, finance and organisation studies from a broadly poststructuralist/post-Marxist perspective. In particular, he is currently interested in financial regulation, consumer debt and debt discourses as well as alternative models of organisational ownership and governance. A current research project of his explores these themes in the context of ethical banking.

Wendy Larner

Research interests: Wendy is an economic geographer. Her research is situated in the interdisciplinary fields of globalisation, governance and gender, and links insights from critical social theory with a strong commitment to empirical research. She challenges conventional understandings of globalisation as an inevitable ‘new reality’ by showing that it is a contested and contradictory process in the making. Relatedly, she has a long standing research interest in theorising neo-liberalism and ‘post-welfarist’ governance. Completed empirical research projects encompass economic and social policy (trade and investment; diaspora strategies; standards, benchmarking and league tables; partnerships), industry studies (telecommunications; call centres; fashion; universities; infrastructure) and community development (in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom). These projects identify and examine the geographies of global political economy: the diverse rationalities and imaginaries through which the 'global' is assembled, the multiple institutional forms it takes, how global knowledges circulate in embodied forms, and the diverse connections that are made.

Noemi Lendvai

Research interests: Naomi’s research interest explores the intersection of political economy and welfare studies in relation to both new EU Member States as well as Candidate and Associate countries in Eastern Europe. In particular, she is interested in the uneven development of neoliberalism, Europeanization and the crisis in post-communist Europe. Utilising theoretical frameworks such as variegated capitalism, postcolonial studies, translation studies and post-communist welfare, she is looking at the ways in which welfare states are reconfigured, often radically, through neoliberal shock therapy, welfare populism, and welfare layering. She is also interested in transnational migration and its impact on both hosting and sending countries' welfare states as well as its implications for social citizenship in an enlarged European Union.

Julie MacLeavy

Research interests: Julie's research aims to develop a ‘cultural political economy’ reading of state intervention and its geographies. This requires the application of methods, ideas and concepts drawn from the ‘cultural turn’ in the social sciences to investigate issues of ‘traditional’ political-economic concern, including labour market regulation, welfare provision and urban renewal. She is currently engaged in three research areas: 1) The geographies of neoliberal policy reform in the liberal welfare states of the UK, US and Canada; including most recently the geographies of austerity in the post-recessionary period. 2) The spatial and gender politics of wage-work and care-work; notably how the work-lives of families and patterns of care are changing in the aftermath of the recession. 3) Social exclusion and the geographies of poverty, inequality and disadvantage; including most recently the issue of intergenerational inheritances (which refers to the poor socio-economic conditions that are transferred from parents to offspring).

Harry McVea

Research interests: At its broadest, Harry’s research in the context of financial regulation is focused on the recalibration of the state’s relationship with financial markets and financial market actors in the light of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the commitment of public funds to “bail out” the sector. More specifically, he is interested in exploring the use of a “precautionary principle” in helping to regulate financial markets, both as a means of averting future financial crises and as a means of legitimizing financial transactions in pursuit of the general good. In the context of global political economy, he is interested in corporate power and its legitimation and the role of mandatory rules in corporate law more generally. As a general theme, his research proceeds from the premise that all societies create their own order of wealth and power. An underlying theme in most of his research concerns the role of the state in setting conditions for competing conceptions of the general good and human flourishing.

Naomi Millner

Research interests: Naomi’s work focuses on the politics of food within a context of globalising political economies. Through collaborations with local community food organisations, transnational social movements, and international organisations focused on food and biodiversity she has explored the complex politics of knowledge which underpin transforming food regimes, focusing on particular claims on 'nature' and the contrasting notions of economic production that are associated with them. For example, her recent work in El Salvador looks at the ways that the claims and practices of small-scale farmers challenge the way that food security is governed in other sites and settings. Building on this work, a new collaboration with Bioversity International, a global research-for-development organization, focuses on exploring existing forms of in situ biodiversity conservation in Nicaragua and Guatemala to inform coordinated responses to biodiversity loss and agricultural production. In terms of the aims of the Global Political Economy Group, she is interested in exploring how globalising political economies impact on food production, biodiversity and small-scale economic infrastructures. Further, she is interested in the ways that globalising social and political movements are both shaped by, and are engaged in transforming, these economies, and in theorising the potential for a more democratic politics of knowledge within future geographies of food production.

Chris Muellerleile

Research interests: Chris is a Marie Curie post-doctoral research fellow in the Graduate School of Education. He is an economic geographer and political economist who studies processes of market construction. Much of his research is on financial markets and their entanglement with other economic and non-economic institutions, including universities, cities, and the state. Most recently he has been researching the "marketization" of academic journal publishing, including the ways that open access publishing is contributing to the emergence of new firms, products and markets. Always at the forefront of his research is an interest in the dynamic relationships between space, place, and economic activity. Markets, in particular, have fascinating spatial qualities in the ways they produce and destroy socio-economic relationships across global space at lightning-fast speeds. This focus on market/space translates into a keen interest in processes of globalization, but always with an eye on the local constitution of global processes.

Tonia Novitz

Research interests: Tonia is Professor of Labour Law at the University of Bristol Law School. Her current research concerns treatment of labour in the context of trade in services. She has written extensively on treatment of posted workers in the European Union (EU) context as well as the ways in which EU market freedoms can be used to trump the exercise of workers' rights, such as the right to strike. In a global context, she has examined the implications of labour standards conditionality in international institutions, such as the World Bank International Finance Corporation, alongside the effects of austerity measures required by bailout memoranda implemented by the 'troika' of the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank. Further, she is investigating the effects of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as well as services provisions contained in bilateral trade agreements, such as the recent Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU, and the proposed EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). In this context, she examines the relevance of evolutionary and systems theories, as well as the application of sustainable development principles.

Dr F. Harry Pitts

Harry’s research takes a critical perspective on the changing world of work and economic life. His empirical research to date has interrogated the creative industries as a forum for wider changes in contemporary capitalism, specifically with reference to conflicts and tensions around valuation and measurement. His current research critically interrogates popular conceptualisations of the future of work, mapping possibilities for the creation of real alternatives. Through the empirical study of grassroots experiments in the reconfiguration of how goods and services are produced and consumed- including the circular economy, the sharing economy, community agriculture and mutuals and cooperatives- this agenda explores contradictions around the development and institutionalisation of practical alternatives in the organisation of work, social reproduction and economic life. The focus on the challenges of replicating and legislating for these structures poses a critical counterweight to contemporary prospectuses of an imminent ‘postcapitalist’ or ‘post-work’ society. Addressing a policy context in which ideas around the end of work, automation, and basic income are gaining increasing uptake, this developing research centres on the challenges confronting attempts at creating economic alternatives in the contemporary age. 

Mircea Popa

Research interests: Mircea’s research interests are on institutions and institutional change, especially the study of corruption, rent-seeking, and economic crises. His work on corruption has included a formal-theoretic study of the distributive effects of this phenomenon, as well as an empirical analysis of anti-corruption reforms in 19th century Britain. His recent work is on the causes of the economic crisis that began in 2008.

Susan Robertson

Research interests: Susan’s research programme is broadly aimed at understanding transformations in the governing of education sectors and their institutions globally, regionally and locally to develop knowledge-based service economies. At the global level I am working on the ways in which governing strategies, such as privatisation, PPPs and global rankings have been taken up and advanced by multilateral and international organisations, as well as corporations, to open up education to private authority. I am also currently working on the new round of trade negotiations that includes education (TISA, TTiP). At the regional level I am working on new region building and inter-regionalism processes in Europe, SE Asia and Latin America, and how these are an attempt to manage the crisis of capitalism. Locally I am tracing out resectoralisation processes as new actors seek to enter the sector and ask what this means for knowledge creation, public goods and democracy.

Konstantinos Sergakis

Research interests: Konstantinos joined the School of Law as a Lecturer in 2013. He holds an LL.B from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, an LL.M in International Business Law from University College London and a Ph.D from the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is the author of The Transparency of Listed Companies in EU Law (Bibliothèque de l'Institut de Recherche Juridique de la Sorbonne- IRJS Éditions, 2013). His book has already received the prestigious prize Prix Solennel André Isoré by the Chancellerie des Universités de Paris under the Presidency of the French Prime Minister as well as the 2011-2012 Special Grant from the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation. He has participated in numerous international conferences and publishes regularly articles in English and French journals. His main areas of expertise are Corporate Law, International Capital Markets Law, Global Corporate Governance, Financial and Extra-Financial Reporting and Corporate Social Responsibility. Konstantinos is particularly interested in exploring new legal means to combat inequality in financial markets nurtured by corporate/investor short-termism and to tackle their harmful ramifications upon national economies and society at large.

Georgina Tsargas

Research interests: Georgina’s research interests lie in the fields of takeover regulation, company law, securities regulation and corporate governance. Her research covers a critical assessment of the rationale and efficacy of selected rules of the EU Takeover Directive, a discussion of the changes to the UK City Code on Takeovers and Mergers following the reform prompted by the Kraft–Cadbury deal (2010) and the Pfizer/AstraZeneca deal (2014), as well as a critical examination of the UK/EU legal framework regulating the market for corporate control in the banking industry. Georgina is a member of the research group ‘Companies, markets, society and the environment’, founded in Norway at the University of Oslo, which focuses on traditional issues of company law and has a wider perspective, encompassing the impact that companies and other enterprises may have on society and the environment.

Charlotte Villiers

Research interests: Charlotte is interested in all aspects of corporate governance from a critical perspective. More specifically she has been researching on the following areas: the regulation of executive pay with examination of its relationship to social and economic inequality; boardroom diversity and gender quotas with emphasis on examining the theoretical arguments in this debate; corporate governance and environmental sustainability with attention to the role of disclosure and the development of the "integrated report"; the corporate governance and CSR role of shareholders; employee voice and participation in corporate governance; business and human rights. I am currently writing a book (with two co-authors) on a critical perspective on corporate governance.

Mark Wickham-Jones

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Andrew Wyatt

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PhD candidates

Nikos Kapitsinis

Research interests: Nikos' research is related to economic geography and specifically geographical unevenness, the ‘Spatial Problem’ and capital mobility. His doctoral research focuses on the impact of current capitalist crisis on the Greek economy in the view of the big firm exit from Greece to Bulgaria. For this reason an integrated multi-dimensional approach, focused on the economic and social structures, institutional forms and economic practices, is employed. He investigates the trends, incentives and aspects of economic and institutional context that affect firm relocation decisions in the context of current economic crisis. Specifically, he makes efforts to shed light on the impact of access to external finance on firm movements, an aspect that has been rather underestimated in the literature of economic geography. He, finally, examines the impact of firm relocation on firms and regions. His doctoral research engages with literatures on political economy, firm mobility and post-crisis geographies. His inspiration stems from his passion to conduct socially grounded and socially necessary research explaining the meaning and significance of Geography in economic and social life highlighting the role of geographical unevenness in the broader systemic process.

Juan Carlos Mondragon Quintana

Research interests: Juan Carlos researches the innovation systems approach developed by evolutionary economists in response to the failures of the neoclassical framework to link innovation at the firm level with growth at the aggregate level. Upon the national innovation systems literature, his work draws from other theoretical developments such as institutional analysis, resource-base view of the firm and global-regional spatial dynamics, in order to better understand how innovative processes in developing countries, are enclosed by the changing forces of contemporary capitalism.

Samuel Rogers

Research interests: Samuel critically engages with the literature on three contemporary theories, namely Business Systems, Global Production Networks and the Varieties of Capitalism. Simultaneously, he analyses the contemporary firm-state relations in Central and Eastern Europe, specifically Hungary and Russia. Against this backdrop he concentrates on the extractive energy sector, analysing leading firms’ activities and institutional relations in the region.

Marius Trautmann

Research Interests: Marius is on the Global Political Economy interdisciplinary PhD programme. His research interests are broadly concerned with political economy, economic geography and finance. Specifically, he is interested in the effects of central banking monetary policy on increasing wealth inequality in the European Union and the United States.

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