Global Political Economy

Manchester has been central to global political economy debates since the mid-19th century, when both liberal free traders and Marx and Engels found a home here. They articulated some of the key ideas which our members still grapple with today.

The Global Political Economy cluster focuses research on a series of key questions regarding the dynamics of global capitalism. How does it depend on and reproduce key forms of inequality around race, gender, class and geography? What drives its crisis-prone qualities? What are the main ideological forms that sustain it and seem to make resistance to its power so difficult? How is it integral to the production of ecological unsustainability and can it survive the challenge of the climate crisis? What are the main current debates in the critique of global capitalism?

Colleagues and PhD students within the cluster work on a range of these questions in various specific contexts, including:

  • Gender, race and class in the global political economy
  • Trade, finance, and global production
  • The politics of global economic governance
  • Political economy of the environmental crisis and the pursuit of sustainability
  • Ideology and the legitimation of capitalism, especially neoliberalism
  • Resistance and social movements in the global economy
  • Political economy of various world regions, especially Europe, Africa, and Latin America

Work in the GPE cluster is intrinsically inter-disciplinary, rooted in the broad traditions of political economy to be found in many disciplines, including geography, sociology, philosophy and development studies. Manchester also hosts the Political Economy Centre, in which many cluster members participate.

Current projects

Our recent projects include the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and ESRC funded project “Gendering Global Trade through Canada-UK Trade Relationships” led by Adrienne Roberts and Silke Trommer, and Carl Death’s book “The Green State in Africa” which won the 2018 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award, given by the Environmental Studies Section of the International Studies Association.”

Our people

Academic staff

  • Ali Bhagat (Political Economy, Race, Migration, Sexuality, Global South, Neoliberalism, Housing)
  • Ian Bruff  (Critical political economy, European political economy, neoliberalism, critical social theory, capitalist diversity)
  • Greig Charnock  (Contemporary global capitalism, crisis and austerity in Europe, critical theory (Marxism), theories of the production of space)
  • Carl Death (African politics, development studies, environmental politics, protest and resistance)
  • Sherilyn MacGregor (Environmental politics; feminist/gender politics; urban sustainability; social movements; citizenship and participation) Convenor from semester 2020-2023
  • Aoileann Ní Mhurchú (Inter-generational migration studies, identity and belonging, postcolonial/decolonial studies, aesthetics and the sensory, voice and resistance as music/language)
  • Matthew Paterson (Climate change politics, environmental political economy, cultural political economy, social network analysis)
  • Jasmin Ramovic (Peacebuilding, international political economy, ethnography in peace studies, everyday peace, social movements)
  • Adrienne Roberts (International political economy, feminist political economy, gender, social reproduction, debt)
  • Stuart Shields (International political economy, Eastern Europe, regional development banks, Gramsci, populism)
  • Silke Trommer (International political economy, international trade, development, social movements, gender and IPE)
  • Robert Watt (International political economy, environmental politics, climate change, development studies)
  • Georgina Waylen (Gender and politics, comparative politics, feminist institutionalism, international political economy)
  • Japhy Wilson (The politics of development, the critique of ideology, the production of space, uprisings and utopias, Latin America)

Postgraduate Researchers

  • Joshua Barritt
  • Simon Barrow
  • Andrew Eggleston
  • Jake Flavell
  • Franco Galdini
  • Mario Hernandez Trejo
  • Anna-Maria Köhnke
  • Aliki Koutlou
  • Julija Loginovic
  • Aino Ursula Mäki
  • Davide Monaco
  • Magdalena Rodekirchen
  • David Rubin
  • Konrad Sobczyk
  • Charlotte Weatherill
  • Joanna Wilson

Completed PhD students

  • Esra Nartok, 2016-20. The relationship between religion and politics under neoliberalism in India and Turkey - a Gramscian perspective. Now a Lecturer at Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey.
  • Mertcan Öztürk, 2016-2019. ‘Distinction versus recognition: making sense of the Tophane incidents in the context of gentrification’. Now a Lecturer in Politics at Giresse University, Turkey.
  • Will Harvey. 2016-2019. Global Transformations and the British Working Class, 1997-2010. Now Policy Analyst, House of Lords, UK Parliament.
  • Kai Heron, 2015-2019. “Many Struggles, One Fight:” Deleuze|Guattari, Lacan, and the US Anti-Fracking Movement. 
  • Christian Scholz, 2016-19. The Politics of Competitiveness Adjustment of the Euro-Area. A Critical Policy Analysis of European Integration in Times of Crisis. Currently teaching at the Berlin School of Economics and Law.
  • Muhammad Rakhmat. 2015-18. Examining the implications of the Belt Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Now a lecturer at the University of Indonesia.
  • Malgorzata Jakimow, NGOs, labour and space: migrant workers and the remaking of citizenship in China, 2013-2015. Now Assistant Professor in East Asian Politics at Durham University.
  • Gediminas Lesutis, 2015-18. The Politics of Precarity and Global Capitalist Expansion: The Case of Mining, Dispossession and Suffering in Tete, Mozambique. Now a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge.
  • Anna Wienhues, 2015-18. Life in Common: Distributive Ecological Justice on a Shared Earth. Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Zürich.
  • Simon Chin-Yee, 2015-18. Defining Policy: Drivers of Climate Change Policy in Kenya. Now Research Associate, Kings College London
  • Kelvin Charles, 2014-17. The Common in Hardt and Negri. Commercial Operations Manager (non-academic).
  • Jon Las Heras, 2014-17. Variegated Trade Union Strategies in the Spanish Automotive Industry. Lecturer in Industrial Economics, Universidad del País Vasco.
  • Martín Arboleda, 2012-15. Resource Extraction and the Extension of the Urban Form. Lecturer in Sociology, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile.
  • Giulia Sirigu, 2012-15. Continuity and Change in Mexican Foreign Policy under Fox. Representative, Italian Chamber of Commerce
  • Ilias Alami, 2015-18. Post-crisis capital account policies in emerging capitalisms: regaining policy space? A comparison between Brazil and South Africa. Now postdoctoral fellow for at Maastricht University, on ERC-funded SWFsEurope project.
  • Caroline Metz, 2015-18. Why is the European Union relaunching asset-securitisation? The politics of capital markets union and financial disintermediation. Now postdoctoral research associate at SPERI, Sheffield University.
  • Laura White, 2010-15. Executive leadership in an international organisation: a case study of WTO Directors-General (1995-2013). Now International Trade Specialist at the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
  • Nadim Mirshak, 2013-16. Education as resistance? Political education, civil society and the prospects of democratization in Egypt. Now Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester