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Research Agenda and PhD Supervision

I am currently engaged in research on four interrelated themes:

The Changing International Political Economy

 The implications of the post-Bretton Woods international political economic context for economic strategies in general, and macroeconomic policy autonomy in particular.

The ideational context of the relationship between capital mobility and fiscal policy autonomy. Exploring the role that policy elites play in constructing perceptions of the economic rectitude of governments.

The changing role of economic ideas in the contingent reconstruction of economic rectitude in UK-IMF relations in the post war era, notably in relation to the balance of payments and stand-by arrangement negotiations.

The implications of globalisation for European social democracy, the European Social Model, and European corporate governance.


Comparative Political Economy: The French ‘Model’ of Capitalism

How the institutions of economic governance and economic policy making in France affect the policy outputs and economic strategies of governments.

French macroeconomic policy strategies in the context of the Euro, and the new political economy of dirigisme.

 The impact of advancing processes of globalisation and European integration on the French political economic model.

 The impact of the influx of Anglo-Saxon Institutional Investors on the French model of capitalism in general, and French corporate governance norms in particular.


The Comparative Political Economy of Social Democracy

The impact on social democratic macroeconomic strategies of the end of ‘embedded liberalism’ in the face of financial liberalisation and the 're-regulation' of international financial markets. 

The enduring relevance of Keynesianism to the political economy of New Labour.

The French Socialist Party’s and New Labour’s economic strategies and responses to globalisation.

The evolving political economy of social democracy, particularly in France and the UK.


The French Left and French Party System Change

The French Socialist Party, its ideological and organisational evolution, and its positioning within a changing French Party System.


The interaction between the institutional context of the French party system and (Left) party strategy.


PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising PhDs in a range of international and comparative political economy fields, as well as on French Politics and European Political Economy. These include:

  • Capitalist Restructuring and Models of Capitalism in the Global Political Economy
  • Corporate Governance and Comparative Capitalisms
  • The Politics of Economic Ideas and IPE
  • The Political Economy of Social Democracy
  • French Political Economy
  • The French Socialist Party

Current Research Projects

‘Debt & Deficit Discourse: The construction of Economic and Fiscal Policy Rectitude in the Current Crisis and its Aftermath' (with Professor Jim Tomlinson, Dundee University)

The project explores the changing character of the economic ideas informing economic and in particular fiscal policy making in Britain, and more widely since the 2007 crisis broke. It charts some of the key interventions and public spending actions taken by the UK Government, situating these developments in the context of debates about New Labour and Keynesianism.  More broadly, it explores the contemporary (re-)construction of economic rectitude within key international economic institutions such as the IMF and OECD. Thus it explores what is happening to 'debt and deficit discourse' - both in the UK and in International economic institutions in the wake of the global financial crisis, asking whether 2007-2009 represents a sea change in political economic ideas comparable to the 1930s-1940s.


Economic Patriotism: The Limits of the Liberal Market Project (with Cornelia Woll, CERI Sciences Po, Paris)

This project analyses the transformation of political economic space that responses to the financial crisis reflect and the new forms of political interventionism in economic activity they entail at national, local and regional levels. The multiple economic patriotic policy instruments in support of national or regional economic actors are today more fragmented and less coherent, but no less prevalent than the state strategies of the post-war economies. However, the contours of economic governance have changed, not least because political elites have had to circumvent liberal international trade rules and competition authorities. Governments have had to innovate to reinvent their modus operandi of political intervention in the economy.


‘Managed Globalisation, Social Europe and French Attiudes to EU Market Integration in the context of Enlargement’ (with Dr. David Howarth, University of Edinburgh)

 This project explores ongoing French ambivalence towards European market integration and most EU enlargements. The crucial source of this ambivalence is the perceived implications of recent EU enlargements for the deeply unrealistic French conception of ‘social Europe’, modelled on its own self-image of French welfare and labour market institutions. Social Europe is a central tenet of the broader ‘managed globalisation’ discourse, prevalent on Left and Right of French politics, of how the French economic social and political model needs to adapt to the conditions of complex economic interdependence of the 21st Century. Upwards social harmonisation across the EU 27 is highly unlikely, thus enlargement fundamentally undermines the French vision for ‘social Europe’.