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Ben Clift

ben clift

Professor of Political Economy

Deputy Head of Department

Director of Research

Room: E1.07

Advice and Feedback Hours: via MS Teams.

Normally Tuesdays 14.30-15.30 ; Thursdays 14.30-15.30. Timings may vary - book an MS Teams slot on the A&F sub page.


This interview explores the IMF and the politics of austerity, & limits of a paradigm framework for analysing changing economic IMF ideas.

Below is the full edit of Ben's video on France, Sarkozy, and the future of the Eurozone.




Ben Clift is Professor of Political Economy. His latest book, The Office for Budget Responsibility and the Politics of Technocratic Economic Governance was recently published with Oxford University Press. A comprehensively updated second edition of his book Comparative Political Economy: States, Markets and Global Capitalism (first published in 2014) was published by Red Globe Press / Bloomsbury in 2021. His monograph The IMF and the Politics of Austerity in the Wake of the Global Financial Crisis was published with Oxford University Press in 2018. A symposium about the book is published in Comparative European PoliticsLink opens in a new window. There is podcast interview with Ben about his IMF book on the NewBooksNetwork. It was reviewed by Prof Tony Payne, and featured on these blogs: VoxEU; Progress in Political Economy ; PERC ; LSE European Politics ; OUPBlog ; Economic Sociology & Political Economy.

He studied at the University of Sheffield for a BA in French and Politics, and an MA in Political Economy. He received his PhD from the University of Sheffield in 2000. He joined the department in 2003 after holding posts at the University of Sheffield and Brunel University. He has held visiting research fellow positions at Sciences-Po, Paris and in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of OxfordLink opens in a new window.

Research interests

Ben won a highly prestigious Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for a project entitled, ‘The OBR and the Politics of UK Growth amidst Brexit, Uncertainty and Austerity. This ran from October 2018 to December 2021. Ben's wider research interests lie in comparative and international political economy, and he has published widely on the IMF, French and comparative capitalisms, the politics of economic ideas and expertise, the disciplinary politics of IPE as a field of study, the political economy of social democracy, and French and British politics in journals including The British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Common Market Studies, The Journal of European Public Policy, The Review of International Political Economy, New Political Economy, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Comparative European Politics, Party Politics, Political Studies and Government and Opposition . You can follow Ben's work on Academia.eduLink opens in a new window.

Click here for more about Ben's research. Click here for more about Ben's publications.

Research strands

Current and recent research projects

Teaching and supervision

Ben Clift is module director for the second year undergraduate module States and Markets: An Introduction to International Political Economy', which he created in 2004. Previously he has been module director for the PhD Core Module Doctoral Thesis Writing in Politics and International Studies (PO 961), Link opens in a new windowalso convened the masters module 'Theories and Issues in International Political Economy'.

Click here for more about Ben's teaching and supervision.

PhD Supervision

Ben is interested in supervising PhDs in a range of international and comparative political economy fields, as well as on French Politics and European Political Economy. His completed PhD supervisions covered a wide array of topics:-

Iacopo Mugnai (ESRC Funded) ‘The ECB and the technocratic politics of ideas: embedding a resilient EMU from the top-down?’ (September 2015-2022)

Gianmarco Fifi (ESRC Funded) ‘Passive Revolution in Italy: Explaining the Acceptance of Austerity as a Solution to the Sovereign Debt Crisis’ (September 2017-January 2022)

Sean McDaniel (ESRC Funded) ‘Social democratic post-crash economic competence: A comparative study of Labour and the French Socialist Party’ (Sept 2014-March 2019)

Lorenzo Genito (ESRC Funded) ‘Constructing constraints – the political salience of the spread in Italian politics during the Eurozone crisis’ (September 2014-January 2019)

Te-Anne Robles ‘The politics of economic ideas within East Asian macroeconomic surveillance: global and regional tensions’ (September 2014- January 2019)

David Yarrow (ESRC Funded) ‘Wellbeing measurement, happiness economics and the conduct of economic policy’ (September 2014-2018)

Jack Copley (ESRC Funded) ‘British economic restructuring in the 1970s: the pre-history of financialisation’ (September 2014-2018)

Daniela Serban ‘The European Union and Latin America: Normative encounters - Think Tanks, Epistemic Communities and European Foreign Policy’ (September 2013-2018). Successfully completed July 2018.

Matthias Kranke ‘Collaborative Global Financial Governance: IMF/World Bank Interactions in governing Financial Markets and Debt’. (September 2013-December 2017)

Simona Pino (ESRC Funded) ‘The politics of consumption and the depoliticisation of military corporations: the social construction of the iRobot brand’ (2010-2016)

Nick Taylor (September 2011-2015) ‘Excavating Marx: A Deep Historiography of Marx and IPE’. (ESRC Funded). Successfully completed November 2015.

Ben Jacoby ‘Constructing Varieties of Capitalism: State Intervention in British & German Home Owning & Mortgage Markets’ 2008-12. Successful completion Dec 2012.

David Webber ‘Meeting the Global Challenge? International Development Policy Under New Labour'. (ESRC Funded) Successfully completed June 2012.

Ratnakar Adhikari ‘The Political Economy of Aid for Trade: Supply-side Constraints Facing South Asian LDCs 2007-2011.’ Successfully completed November 2011.

Lena Rethel ‘Local Bond Markets, Financial Development and the new Politics of Debt in Malaysia’ 2005-2009. Successfully completed November 2009.

Positions held

For Ben's podcasts on French politics: