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Matthew Watson

mat watson
Professor of Political Economy
ESRC Professorial Fellow (2013-2019)

Room: D1.06, Social Science Building




My Advice and Feedback Hours for Term 3 will run from Week 1 (beginning Monday 24th April) to Week 6 (beginning Monday 29th May). They will be held between 09.30 and 10.30 on a Tuesday and between 15.30 and 16.30 on a Tuesday. This is a change from my Monday Advice and Feedback Hours in previous terms, because three of the six Mondays to start Term 3 are Bank Holidays.

Please email me if you would like to book a slot in my Advice and Feedback Hours. If you can give me a sense of what within those times would be most convenient for you, I can then send you a Teams invitation. For the foreseeable future my Advice and Feedback Hours will remain online.



Even though I am officially at my full quota of supervisees, I remain keen to talk to potential PhD students to link to my Professorial Fellowship project, 'Rethinking the Market'. Please click hereLink opens in a new window for details of my existing project team and to learn more about the exciting research that they are undertaking. However, please do only ask me about PhD supervision if there is a genuine overlap between your research interests and my published work.



My project website also contains information about all of the academic presentations I have delivered since October 2013. Many are accompanied either by a recording of the presentation or a copy of the paper to which I was speaking. Please click hereLink opens in a new window to access the relevant page. Please click hereLink opens in a new window to see all the places that I have been lucky enough to have been invited to speak since the start of my Fellowship.



Please take a look at the various blog posts I have written and podcasts I have been interviewed forLink opens in a new window over the past ten years. Some allowed me to simply say how I looked at the world, whereas others asked me to make predictions about how it was changing. How well did I do?



More about my...

Selected publications


I am Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics and International Studies. I am also Departmental REF Lead and Academic Lead for our Widening Participation and Schools Outreach Programme. I came to Warwick in January 2007 from the University of Birmingham, where I had been a full-time member of academic staff since October 1999, and where before that I had studied for my PhD. From October 2013 to February 2019 I was an Economic and Social Research Council Professorial Fellow engaged on the project, 'Rethinking the Market'. Its stand-alone website contains details of all of my project-related activities. The funding on the grant might now have elapsed, but the ideas on which the project was founded certainly live on. Indeed, they have now expanded in so many different directions that I could feasibly be exploring them for the whole of the rest of my career.


Research Interests

My research interests are concentrated at the intersection of the broad areas of political economy and the history of thought. I have a particular concern for trying to understand politically that most ubiquitous of modern economic institutions, 'the market'. What does it mean to live life as a market-bound economic agent; how has that agency been culturally inscribed in modern history; and what plausible political means are there to escape its behavioural logics? My overall programme of research is designed to allow me to understand the multiple ways in which the market economy becomes embedded in everyday experience: as a set of institutions designed to naturalise behaviour; as an ideological blueprint for the common sense of society; as formal practices manifesting routinely reproduced exchange relations; as evolving ideas incorporated into the history of economic thought; as reflections in popular culture; and as something to organise political resistance against. Every piece that appears on my research CV speaks directly to one aspect or more of this broader programme. It also reflects the key to understanding what unites the individual elements of my outreach, public engagement and impact work.


PhD Supervision and Postdoc Mentoring

I have supervised thirty-seven PhD students to completion, all successfully, with a further six currently under supervision. All of them have worked or are working in the broad areas of political economy and/or the history of thought, and they have research interests which intersect my own in important ways. I will always respond to approaches about possible supervision from students whose proposed topics do genuinely overlap with where my own expertise lies. However, I must receive on average at least two approaches per week from students whose research interests are nowhere near mine, so please only contact me if a genuine case can be made that I have the relevant research experience to add value to your project.

For the last fifteen years I have either been responsible for running or a frequent contributor to the Professional Socialisation Series organised for the Department's PhD students by the CRIPS Committee. The series is designed to give our PhD students insights into what to expect from the profession if they are targeting an academic career and how to put themselves in the best possible position to realise those ambitions. Many of the sessions have been recorded and are available on my podcast page.

I have also had responsibility during my career for mentoring eighteen Postdoctoral Fellows. All of these people are either still on the Early Career Researcher programme at Warwick or have moved successfully into a permament lectureship or a job of their choice outside of academia. Please contact me if your research interests are similar to mine and you wish to apply for postdoc funding via Warwick, although I should point out that funders will only seriously entertain providing money for postdoctoral fellowships if there is a genuine complement between the research interests of applicant and proposed mentor. The Department has a dedicated webpage to explain to interested candidates the process for applying to each of the major external funders of stand-alone postdoctoral fellowships, and it is certainly best to familiarise yourself with the content of this page before contacting me.



The MarketUneconomic Economics and the Crisis of the Model WorldFoundations of International Political Economy