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Dr Nicholas Bernards

Dr Nicholas Bernards

Contact details

Tel.: +44(0) 24765 28445
Room: R3.19 Ramphal Building

Advice and Feedback Hours, Term 2: Wednesday 11:00-12:00; Thursday 11:30-12:30, or by appointment; Term 3: by appointment

As per department policy, A&F hours will be held on MS Teams in 2020-21. I will be on Teams during the above time slots. Please send me a chat message on Teams if you'd like a brief call. I will call you back as soon as possible, or feel free to ask questions over chat. I will not be monitoring chat messages outside of those times so please use email as normal. If you are unable to make either of these times, please contact me by email to arrange an alternative meeting time.

Associate Professor


Prior to starting at Warwick in 2017, I held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University, Canada, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I completed a PhD in International Relations at McMaster University in 2016.


My research interests broadly deal with the past and present intersections of labour, finance, and global governance, from a historical materialist perspective. I have published on a range of related issues including colonial histories, agrarian finance, informal economies, technological change, and international labour regulation.

My first book, The Global Governance of Precarity (Routledge, 2018), examines the governance of irregular forms of labour in sub-Saharan Africa through a historical study of the activities of the International Labour Organization. I draw together analyses of ILO policy towards forced labour, unemployment, and social protection for irregular workers in sub-Saharan Africa from 1919-present.

I am currently writing a book on the global history of efforts to extend financial services to the poorest. The book puts recent initiatives promoting the use of new financial technologies in the context of a longer history dating back to inter-war colonialism. The book draws on this history as a way of examining the limits of neoliberal models of development, showing how efforts to resolve poverty through the construction of new markets have often exacerbated existing patterns of uneven development. A Critical History of Poverty Finance: Neoliberal Failures in a Post-Colonial World is under contract with Pluto Press.

I am also director of the Africa Research Network at Warwick.


2020-21 modules

Teaching Qualifications

Fellow - Higher Education Academy

Selected recent publications


Edited collections

  • (In press) 'Placing surplus populations in global capitalism: fluidity, difference, governance', special issue of Geoforum. [co-edited with Susanne Soederberg]
  • (2019) 'The changing technological infrastructures of global finance', special issue of Review of International Political Economy, 26 (5). [co-edited with Malcolm Campbell-Verduyn]

Journal articles

* For a complete list of publications, see here.

Recent blogs and commentary