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International Political Economy


The International Political Economy Group addresses research questions arising at various spatial scales, from the complex challenges of governing the global economy to the intricacies of everyday life in local political economies. Group members work on a variety of pressing topics, including the political economy of agrobusiness, African development, youth politics, housing, economic crises, climate change, and contemporary China.

The Group shares a collective ambition to support the embedding of research from, and of, the Global South in disciplinary debates and methodologies, as evidenced through our individual specialisms, the research problems we tackle, the methods we employ, and our collaborations.

The International Political Economy Group runs a host of activities, including a Reading Group, Work-in-Progress Workshops, and a new speaker series. 

Group members are keen to supervise PhDs on the political economy of:

  • Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, and Latin America
  • Housing and urban space
  • Agrarian economies and agribusiness
  • Financialisation
  • Climate change and decarbonisation
  • Development
  • Commodity production/trade
  • Transport
  • Youth
  • Economic crises and stagnation
  • Marxism and critical theory
  • Transition(s) to capitalism
  • Everyday Political Economy



Dr Gordon Cheung
Associate Professor in International Relations of China
Research interests:

Gordon C K Cheung is Associate Professor in International Relations of China. He is Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies and Editor-in-Chief of East Asia: An International Quarterly. He previously held visiting positions in the Academia Sinica, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, University of Oxford, Renmin University, University of Tubingen, and Tsinghua University. His academic papers appeared in Political Studies, Sustainable Development, Journal of Contemporary China, China: An International Journal, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Asian Pacific Business Review, amongst others. He published four books on Chinese political economy: China in the Global Political Economy: From Developmental to Entrepreneurial, Intellectual Property Rights in China: Politics of Piracy, Trade and Protection, China Factors: Political Perspectives and Economic Interactions and Market Liberalism: American Foreign Policy toward China. Gordon engages a long-term project on the global view of China’s economic development and transformation. His recent research projects cover the politics of China-Taiwan economic relations and the political economy of food and the global Chinese.


Dr Jack Copley
Assistant Professor in International Political Economy
Research interests:

Jack’s research explores how states struggle and strategise to govern capitalist development. He recently completed a major project that drew from declassified government documents to explore why British states liberalised the City of London financial centre in the 1970s and 1980s. This was published by Oxford University Press in 2022 as a book titled Governing Financialization. Jack’s current research focusses on the political economy of climate change. More specifically, he is writing on the challenges to decarbonisation posed by global economic stagnation.


Dr María Eugenia Giraudo
Assistant Professor in International Political Economy
Research interests:

Eugenia’s research interests are on the political economy of development in South America, with a focus on agricultural commodities. Her research has focused on the impact of the commodity boom in the region, with a specific focus on the role of soybean in the political economy and spatial transformations that countries – Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay in particular – experienced. Eugenia has also been involved in projects looking at regional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to natural resource management. Currently, she is interested in looking at the political economy of transport infrastructure oriented to commodity production and trade in Latin America. She recently published a co-authored book with Bristol University Press titled The Gendered Face of Covid-19 in the Global South.


Dr Graham Harrison
Associate Professor in Political Economy
Research interests:

Graham has published six books on the political economy of development in Africa, touching on topics such as agrarian change, democratisation and economic liberalisation, the World Bank, corruption, governance, and poverty reduction. He has also published 25 articles on similar topics. His latest book is The Internet Left: Ideology in the Age of Social Media (Bristol University Press, 2024). He is currently writing a book on the place of African studies in International Studies. 


Dr Javier Moreno Zacarés
Assistant Professor in International Political Economy
Research interests:

Javier’s research interests revolve around the historical sociology of capitalism as a social system, with a focus on the political economy of housing provision. His research covers from the historical puzzle around the origins of capitalism, to the ongoing debates around financialisation and secular stagnation. He has recently completed a book-length study historicising the evolution of residential capitalism in Spain since the nineteenth century, which will be published by Routledge in 2023.


Professor Emma Murphy
Professor of Political Economy
Research interests:

Emma researches youth and youth policy with a focus but not exclusively on the Middle East and North Africa. In recent years she has worked closely with sociologists and anthropologists on projects examining the everyday political economy of young women working in and using the transport sector in Africa, as well as young people living through the COVID-19 lock-downs in the North East of England. Her current research includes critical review of environment and climate policies in the MENA region, with a focus on the intersection of youth, youth policy and futures for the region.


Dr Ferran Pérez Mena
Assistant Professor in International Relations of East Asia
Research interests:

Ferran’s research explores the development of new Chinese transnational networks in the Global South and East Asia in the new geopolitical context of global disorder and growing multipolarity. He is also interested in understanding the political and economic effects of the transnational connections between Chinese elites and Western elites. Furthermore, he is interested in Chinese ideas about the ‘international’, which encompass multiple traditions of economic thought and normative ideas about the world order.