On January 26th 2022 I presented a paper called 'Seeking Refuge in Mathematised Free Market Models? The Febrile Political Backdrop to Ricardo's Principles' to the Political Economy Research Group of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge.
Abstract: 'Out of all possible institutional arrangements for organising economic life, how did orthodox economic theory come to reflect in its models only free market institutions to the exclusion of all others? Ricardo’s Principles of Political Economy usually takes centre stage in historical scholarship that seeks to answer this question. However, almost no attention has thus far been paid to the broader background conditions that shaped the way in which he presented his text. Further exploration of these conditions makes it possible to ask whether orthodox economic theory’s continued conflation of ‘the economy’ and ‘the market’ results from treating as if they were universal what were actually only the specific features of a strictly limited period of early nineteenth-century British political history. Ricardo wrote the Principles during a time of severe curtailment of civil liberties in the realm of free speech. This culminated in the introduction of the so-called Six Acts, legislative instruments that made criticism of the King and his ministers into an offence with serious consequences. They were backed by suspensions of habeas corpus that allowed religious dissenters and political radicals to be imprisoned without trial. Ricardo was shielded by parliamentary privilege when speaking out in the House of Commons against the broader political climate that had produced this legislation, but not when committing his economic theory to the page. I ask whether he sought refuge from such pressures in abstract models that were at one stage removed from an expressly articulated opinion, models that imposed a rigid separation between ‘state’ and ‘market’. He thus might be seen to have circumvented what proved to be time-limited sedition laws through escape into a free-floating realm called ‘the market’, but that realm has persisted in orthodox economic theory long after the original need for it was exhausted.'
Paper delivered to the Glasgow Competition Talks Seminar Series, School of Law, University of Glasgow
On October 14th 2021 I delivered a paper to the Glasgow Competition Talks Seminar Series at the University of Glasgow, for those with a research specialism in competition law. The paper was entitled ''The Market: The Economics and Politics of a Key Domain of Legal Thinking'.
Abstract: Competition law requires an engagement with lots of other disciplines, perhaps most notably with economics. Non-economists already talk about the economy all of the time, but the very familiarity of core economic ideas as they have taken hold in everyday life might be more of a hindrance than a help in understanding how competition law and economics interact. The obviously economic concept of ‘the market’ is, interestingly, one that is left largely implicit and undefined in modern economic theory. In many ways competition law acts to protect the integrity of the market, and it is a short step from that premise to making the directly political statement that it exists to allow the market to do what the market does best. In most models used by economists, this will mean ensuring that there are no distortions in the allocation of available economic resources, so that the economy in that purely hypothetical model world can work as efficiently as possible. This can very easily be translated into the political assumption that in the real world too markets should be left to their own devices to decide for us how the economy should be organised. However frequently we hear such claims, though, we should be sceptical of them, for they suggest that ‘the market’ is capable of identifying its interest in allocative efficiency and of having the will to enforce that interest. Yet ‘the market’ is clearly not a sentient being able to act in the same manner as a conscious human agent. How might we therefore make sense of the translation from economics to politics of the concept of allocative efficiency in a purely hypothetical model world to the assertion that ‘the market’ always knows best in the real world? My book, The Market, tackles this question by showing the very different ways in which the concept of ‘the market’ has entered economic theory, emphasising how recently it has been that the allocative efficiency definition of market dynamics has risen to prominence. Different economic definitions of ‘the market’ have different implications for competition law, and I demonstrate the varied ways in which that relationship might impact upon the thinking of competition lawyers.
On May 11th 2020 I presented a version of the paper that I will be delivering 'in' Newcastle the following week to the online Political Economy Lockdown Seminar Series. The paper was entitled, 'A Failure of System or a Failure of Nerve? Adam Smith's Conspicuous Soft-Pedalling on the Imperial Adventures of Glasgow's Eighteenth-Century Tobacco Merchants'. In it, I focused on the apparent bifurcation in Smith's critique of Empire, in which the activities of the East India Company were subjected to a withering attack, but the activities of the merchants trading within the Atlantic economy were criticised much more gently, despite being different only in degree rather than in type. Smith's obvious contempt for the East India Company resulted from what he had learnt about the way in which it was intertwined with London's commercial interests to disrupt good governance norms, but the Glasgow tobacco merchants he counted amongst his friends and acquaintances were let off lightly by comparison.
On February 13th and 14th 2019 I went on a mini-tour of London universities delivering papers related to my project. I presented one paper called 'David Hilbert and the Mathematisation of the Market Model' to the Political Economy Research Centre's General Seminar Series at Goldsmiths College, University of London. I presented another paper called 'Crusoe, Friday and the Homo Economicus of Econ 101 Courses' to the Department of Politics at Goldsmiths College, University of London. And I delivered a third paper called 'The Postcolonial Writing Back to the Robinson Crusoe Economy' to a Masterclass Lecture and Question and Answer Session delivered to the Department of European and International Studies at King's College London. The abstracts for the talks are to be found below.
'David Hilbert and the Mathematisation of the Market Model': "In general, there is a unified – albeit still deep contested – political language of ‘the market’. This revolves around the process of buying and selling under conditions of free exchange backed, if necessary, by contract. But when we turn from the political language to economic images of ‘the market’, the sense of unity rapidly dissipates. Those economic images are themselves, at heart, mathematical images, and it would be fair to say that ‘the market’ has been thoroughly mathematised in economic theory. It is the assumption that mathematics provides a universal means of exploring all scientific problems – Leibniz’s so-called mathesis universalis – that also underpins the encroachment of economists’ market model into all sorts of realms of social experience. The ‘imperialism’ of the economics imperialism phenomenon is keenly felt and often resisted by social scientists. However, some excellent work by Fine and Milonakis aside, the ‘economics’ of economics imperialism currently remains largely unexplored. My research-in-progress paper will try to shed light on the relationship between economics imperialism and the mathematisation of economists’ basic market model. Yet it will be shown that this is no straightforward matter. Ask many non-economists what is wrong with economics and they will say that it has allowed a mathematical logic to crowd out concerns for real-world experiences; push them further and they will say that it has simply become too mathematical. Looking at the history of economic thought, however, reveals that there have been over time many articulations of the market model, each of which has a mathematical essence, but that it is to mischaracterise what is important about them to think of older variants being less mathematical and newer variants being more mathematical. They are more usefully thought of as being differently mathematical, where the key difference is that they manifest entirely opposed images of the economic relations that they are designed to represent. The two most important attempts to strike out in new directions in mathematical economics – one I associate with the work of Jevons, the other with Arrow and Debreu – were enacted to solve problems that enable the political language of ‘the market’ to continue to resonate but which are largely superfluous to the way in which economists construct their market models today. Jevons used the mathematics of number to overcome the nineteenth-century free will problem, and thus to defend the notion of free exchange. Arrow and Debreu used the mathematics of signs to overcome the twentieth-century coordination problem, and thus to defend the notion that buying and selling at given prices represents coherent economic activity. However, a deeper look at the mathematics of the market models developed both by Jevons and by Arrow and Debreu implies limitations to how far ‘the market’ should be embedded in practice, the very opposite of the general political orientation of studies cast in the economics imperialism mould. Emphasising the colonisation of the market model by mathematics therefore provides an invitation to rethink the putative success of economists in colonising the other social sciences."
'Crusoe, Friday and the Homo Economicus of Econ 101 Courses' and 'The Postcolonial Writing Back to the Robinson Crusoe Economy': "Why should a political economist like me be interested in the technical details of debates presented within literary theory? In particular, why might I have persuaded myself that it is a good use of my time to find out as much as I can about what literary critics think of Daniel Defoe? The answer is relatively straightforward. Much of the discussion of Defoe’s literary characterisations focuses on the extent to which he was able, in the early eighteenth century, to distil the essence of an abstract homo economicus with whom we are still familiar today. However, that same answer also reveals other puzzles. Defoe’s characters in Robinson Crusoe continue to find their way into many economics textbooks, and they are used as pedagogical tools to enable students on Econ 101 courses to begin to ‘think like an economist’. They might remain fundamental abstractions, but they retain a rhetorical power derived from their familiarity which unlocks for students the essential relationships which economic theory attempts to describe. In the absence of appeals to Crusoe and to Friday, the homo economicus of the economics textbooks would usually remain entirely unnamed. But the economics textbooks themselves are almost the last place in which Defoe’s original characterisations remain pretty much exactly as they were in his 1719 novel. Robinson Crusoe is almost certainly the most rewritten story in the English language, with each generation of novelists since the early twentieth century providing multiple rewritings of the basic plot. Postcolonial and feminist authors in particular have engaged in a conspicuous ‘writing back’ to the original novel, in an effort to expose Defoe’s racist and sexist story lines through a mixture of caricature, satire and carefully constructed plot reversals. The absence of any similar attention to rewriting Defoe’s original novel in economics should give us pause for thought about the typical content of Econ 101 courses. Are we happy with a pedagogical approach to economic theory which tells us that we are all approximations in our economic behaviour of either the active white colonial settler Crusoe, or the passive enslaved person of colour Friday?"
On 9th November 2018 I delivered a talk at the Institut du Monde Anglophone at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3. The talk was entitled, 'Brexit Threats and the Future of UK Financial Regulation'. The paper was designed to show in how many different directions the Conservative Party was pulling itself at that time over what to do about Brexit and how the City of London would fit into the post-Brexit global financial landscape. Global financial markets will inevitably be remade once Brexit frees the City from regulatory oversight from the European Commission, and the best bet at the time of delivering the presentation was that this would be in response to the City increasingly incorporating itself within the type of minimalist regulation usually associated with offshore financial centres. The paper was delivered one week before Theresa May presented her withdrawal agreement to a fractious Cabinet and an even more fractious Parliament, and at that time two potential models of the new regulatory future were still being discussed. One was the so-called Jersey Model, in which the UK would continue to follow EU rules for the trade in goods but not for the trade in services. The other was the so-called Singapore-on-Thames Model, in which a free-wheeling 'Global Britain' would seek to gain competitive advantage through regulatory undercutting. Both models seemed to me to point in the same direction when it comes to the question of how the City would in future be inserted into global financial markets. Both appeared to point to the British financial services industry being compensated for the loss of passporting rights within the EU financial space by being allowed pretty much to write its own regulatory system.
On June 19th 2018 I gave a short presentation entitled 'Buccaneering Britain' to a seminar held at Queen Mary University of London on Race, Class and Nation in Modern Britain. The event was organised as part of Robbie Shilliam's leaving celebrations. My paper looked at the politics of memory in relation to the image presented by the most gung-ho of Conservative Brexiteers of a 'buccaneering' Britain that will approach free trade deals with gusto in the post-Brexit world. This construction invokes the active recall of particular aspects of British history in the form of constant repetition of a limited number of stylised tropes. Pride of place in this regard goes to 'You must remember that Britain has always been a great trading nation' and 'You must remember that Britain has always been a great maritime nation'. Yet this simultaneously entails a commitment to passively forget other histories which would focus on how the British Empire was constructed through violence and how British control of the seas meant control of all the trade that was conducted by sea, including that in people. The contemporary politics of race, class and nation in Britain is trapped, I concluded, in a telling of history that has been hijacked by Brexiteer opinion. This makes a more restorative politics - a reparative politics even - seem further away than ever.
On May 17th 2018 I delivered a paper to the Department of Political Science Seminar Series at the University of Copenhagen. The paper was entitled, 'The Said, the Unsaid and the Unsayable in Ricardo's Theory of Comparative Advantage'.
Abstract: Ricardo is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere in IPE. IPE textbooks ritually nod in deference to the significant role he played in the field's historical back-story, and his theory of comparative advantage continues to be central to the underlying economic ethic of the liberal perspective that dominates the field. Yet it is extremely rare for any IPE scholar to offer anything beyond the most superficial insights into the content of Ricardo's economics. When the textbooks focus on what he said, then, what is being presented is less his own voice articulating his own ideas than a second- or even third-hand account of a deeply canonised Ricardo. I wish to push this line of argument two stages further in this paper, noting how a focus on what is said also facilitates a further focus on what is left unsaid and what was almost certainly unsayable in the prevailing political context. The dimensions of both the unsaid and the unsayable are very revealing in Ricardo's case. (1) Ricardo presented his theory of comparative advantage as a universally applicable account of the efficiency of the free trade solution, but he neglected to mention the actual trading relationship between English cloth and Portuguese wine that lay behind his numerical example of comparative advantage. This was rooted in deeply asymmetric treaty obligations that distorted the development of the Portuguese economy and that revolved around eighteenth-century European inter-imperial wars and Britain's ever deeper involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. It is hard to believe that this neglect was anything other than deliberate. However, (2) it must also be recognised that the political context in which Ricardo was writing was far from permissive. A whole host of restrictions on civil liberties were in operation for most of his adult life and served as a constant backdrop to his Principles of Political Economy. His theory of comparative advantage is generally treated as being one of the most important examples of his latterly much criticised tendency towards market-based abstraction. Yet to have attacked the treaty basis of the British economy, even to have commented upon treaties that worked as much in Britain's favour as the one that regulated the trade of English cloth for Portuguese wine, was a potentially treasonable offence throughout the period in which the three editions of the Principles were published. Ricardo's silences might therefore prove to have been a complex mixture of the unsaid and the unsayable.
On March 23rd 2018 I presented a paper at the West Midlands IPE Workshop held at the University of Birmingham. The paper was entitled, 'The History Curriculum in English Schools: What Have Our Undergraduates Been Taught About the British Empire?' It focused on the very positive effects that result from the ever greater attention that university students now pay to matters of curriculum design, in particular via the Decolonising the Curriculum movement. As a way into this question, I spoke about the prior history curriculum our English-based students would have experienced whilst they were at school, with its supposedly connected narrative of British national achievements and the Secretary of State for Education's desire for that narrative arc to be constructed around the activities of national 'heroes'. A contrast was drawn between the unquestioning ascription of heroic status to specifically imperial heroes in the Secretary of State's desired school history curriculum and our own students' deep-seated desire to challenge such assumptions.
All of the papers on the day were presented in the pecha kucha format.
I spent June 15th and 16th 2017 at the Work in Progress Workshop at the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. Whilst there, I delivered a paper of my own ('Literary Themes and Economic Models: The Novels of Daniel Defoe and the Framing of Market Agency') and I also acted as discussant for a paper delivered by Huw Macartney ('All Bark and No Bite: Bank Culture and the Political Economy of Fines').
On May 31st 2017 I delivered a paper to the Global Political Economy Research Group Seminar Series organised out of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester. The paper was entitled, 'Imperial Fantasies and Marginalist Economics: Crusoe, Friday and the Myths on which Economics Textbooks Stand'.
On May 16th 2017 I delivered a paper to the Political Economy Research Group Seminar Series organised out of the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield. The paper was entitled, 'The Storytelling Dimension of Neoclassical Models of Market Exchange: Crusoe, Friday and the Myth of Agential Equality'.
On April 11th 2017 I delivered a paper at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference in Glasgow. The paper was entitled, 'Machonomics and the Politics of Inequality'. The panel, The Politics of Inequality, was convened by David Adler of the University of Oxford, and it was sponsored by the British and Comparative Political Economy PSA Specialist Group.
Abstract: Feminist scholars have described the behavioural traits that have flourished within the global economy in terms of their underlying hyper-masculinity. Whilst this literature has typically focused on a small number of business leaders around whom popular myths of wealth creation have developed, the same way of thinking might also be applied to policy-makers. At the very least, my study of George Osborne's time as UK Chancellor of the Exchequer reveals how consistently he adoped the mantle of hyper-masculinity in his approach to deficit reduction. It was an attitude to the task at hand I label 'machonomics'. This concept is designed to mean more than that the outcomes of his austerity programme disproportionately disadvantaged women. It also captures the type of policy-maker that Osborne tried so hard to convince others he was. This self-projection finds a parallel, I argue, in what the macroeconomic theory literature describes as the specifically 'conservative policy-maker', someone reputed for trusting his own judgement even in the face of widespread dissent against his anti-social policies. The conservative policy-maker exudes the hyper-masculinity that Osborne embodied in his refusal to voice opinions in public suggesting that there were viable alternatives to painful public expenditure cuts.
Whilst I was at the Conference, I also participated as one of the mentors in a 'speed mentoring' event run by the PSA's Early Career Network that covered all possible elements of academic career advice.
I spent March 22nd and 23rd 2017 at the London School of Economics, participating in a number of events.
(1) I delivered a paper to the International Political Economy and Public Policy Research Cluster that extends across the Department of Government, the European Institute and the Department of International Relations. It was called 'Crusoe, Friday and the Raced Market Frame of Orthodox Economics Pedagogy'.
(2) I held meetings with a number of Cluster PhD students housed in the Department of International Relations to talk to them about their ongoing research.
(3) I gave a talk to the Grimshaw Club Student Society, which is an affiliated society of the LSE Students Union. It was called 'Brexit and the Economically 'Left Behind''.
(4) I was one of four participants on the 1st Annual International Relations Roundtable in the Department of International Relations. The theme of the roundtable discussion was 'Restating the State of the Discipline'. My invitation came at the request of the International Political Economy and Public Policy Research Cluster.
On March 8th 2017 I delivered a paper to the General Departmental Seminar of the Department of Politics at Newcastle University. The paper was entitled, 'Decolonising Political Economy Concepts, Step One - 'The Market': Crusoe, Friday and the Raced Market Frame of Orthodox Economics Textbooks'.
Abstract: 'Crusoe' and 'Friday' signifiers necessarily evoke a world of racialised hierarchies. Economics textbooks are perhaps the sole remaining medium to simply wish away their resulting relations of power. These are the teaching aids that inspire students analytically to think of markets as pristine economic institutions and persuade them politically that they should want to will such institutions into being. Yet they all-too-often rely on the pedagogical device of the so-called Robinson Crusoe Economy, where the main characters from Defoe's most famous novel are required to instinctively recognise their equality within voluntary contracting agreements so that each can act as the neoclassical homo economicus. In other words, economists' Crusoe and Friday figures must behave antithetically to what has historically been implied by the 'Crusoe' and 'Friday' signifiers. But how can this be so, given how commonplace it was when Defoe's characters were first introduced into economic theory in the 1850s to justify white settler colonialism on the grounds that 'savage' societies lacked the capacity to be self-governing? The raced market frame that emerged in practice from this assumption continues to be reproduced uncritically today by Crusoe and Friday's presence in the textbook explanation of the most basic model of market exchange.
The International Studies Association Annual Convention took place in Baltimore, MA between February 22nd and 25th 2017. Unfortunately, I was ultimately unable to attend, but a condensed version of my paper was still read out by the panel's organiser, Lisa Tilley, in my absence. The panel was convened under the Raced Market initiative and my paper spoke to the content of my proposed contribution to the journal special issue that is currently being put together by the initiative's organisers. It was called 'Crusoe, Friday and the Raced Market Frame of Textbook Economics Pedagogy'. A full version of the text can be downloaded from this link.
On December 8th 2016 I delivered a guest lecture followed by a question and answer session to the Warwick Global Development Society. The topic of the talk was 'Adam Smith on Empire'.
On December 7th 2016 at the invitation of the C2G2 Centre I delivered a paper to the General Departmental Seminar of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton. The paper was entitled, 'The Politics of Silence in Liberal Economic Theory: What David Ricardo's Theory of Global Free Trade Still Does Not Tell Us 200 Years On'.
Abstract: David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage is now two centuries old, but it remains at the heart of economists’ theories of international trade. It also continues to provide the underlying economic ethics for liberal IPE. Ricardo’s numerical illustration of the mutually shared gains from specialisation and trade featured a productively superior hypothetical ‘Portugal’ and a productively inferior hypothetical ‘England’. Yet the historical back-story of actual eighteenth-century trading relations between the two countries reveals Portugal’s repeated struggles to meet its treaty obligations to the English in the context of the European struggle for empire. Those difficulties persisted even when it harnessed its (less profitable) commercial trade to (much more profitable) slave trading practices. Ricardo’s account of the purely market-based logic of comparative advantage writes out of economic history the centrality to the early English and Portuguese experience of ‘free’ trade of both imperial wars and African slavery. Given this historical back-story, the debates about international trade that will follow in the wake of both the Brexit vote and Trump’s victory are unlikely to ever tell the full story. There is a very good chance that they will continue to revolve around assertions and counter-assertions related to Ricardo’s original claims in favour of free trade. Equally they are also likely to remain silent on the historical experiences that Ricardo wished away in saying that England and Portugal would be best advised to continue their existing commercial relationships as a matter of pure economic logic. This paper will explore where those silences came from and also explain why they remain so important today.
On October 5th 2016 I delivered a paper to the General Departmental Seminar of the Department of European and International Studies at King's College London. The paper was entitled, 'Market Models, Metamathematics and Economic Theory: How the Market Concept Came to Mean Politically Anything You Want It To'.
On June 23rd 2016 I delivered a paper to the Work-in-Progress Workshop held at the University of Birmingham. The paper is entitled, 'The Changing Look of the Market Model in Mainstream Economics: Gérard Debreu and the Influence of the Hilbert Programme'. A copy of the paper, preliminary though it remains, can be downloaded here.
I also acted as discussant at the same event to two further papers: Huw Macartney, 'The Culture of US Banking: Legitimacy, Inequality, and the Rule of the Market'; and David Bailey, 'Challenging the Age of Austerity: Disruptive Agency after the Global Economic Crisis'.
On December 10th 2015 I delivered a paper to the Raced Markets Workshop held at the University of Warwick, as part of a 'Key Conversations' session with Professor John Holmwood from the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. The paper is entitled, 'Robinson Crusoe and the Raced Market Frame of Orthodox Economics Textbooks', and it is available from me on request. Here is the abstract. A recording of the session was also made and can be accessed here: https://racedmarkets.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/thinking-race-through-economics-a-conversation-between-robbie-shilliam-matthew-watson-and-john-holmwood/.
"The signifiers ‘Crusoe’ and ‘Friday’ necessarily evoke a world of racial oppression and domination, one where the economic success of the white colonist depends wholly on the forced servitude of the ‘native’ population. Economics textbooks are perhaps the sole remaining medium in which the relations of power that exist between the two men are simply wished away. Economists appeal to the so-called Robinson Crusoe Economy to teach students basic conceptualisation techniques suitable for learning their subject field’s prevailing market models. Their Crusoe and Friday figures have none of the colonial history that Defoe imposed upon the original characters. Consequently, they are also not susceptible to the systematic deconstruction of racial hierarchies that marks the later tradition of postcolonial Robinsonades. The economics textbook writers populate their desert islands with a Crusoe and a Friday who instinctively recognise their equality under contract law and who therefore engage in entirely voluntary market exchange. Yet in acting against everything that is implied by the ‘Crusoe’ and ‘Friday’ signifiers they do nothing to erase the racial hierarchies into which they are locked. Indeed, the whole point of writing the current paper is to think through the alternative possibility that they simply serve to reinforce them. There is an important substantive link between economists’ market models and the market institutions that are created to regulate everyday economic behaviour. Therefore, if market models do indeed reproduce the signifiers ‘Crusoe’ and ‘Friday’, the possibility exists that market institutions are similarly raced even before any conscious agency is attempted within them."
On November 23rd 2015 I delivered a paper to the General Departmental Seminar of the Department of Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University. The paper is entitled, 'Exploring Ricardo's Silences: Re-Historicising the Theory of Comparative Advantage', and it is available from me on request. Here is the abstract.
"According to David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, all countries stand to gain if they trade freely their surplus stock having first specialised production along the lines of relative opportunity costs. This basic insight is now two centuries old, but it remains at the heart of economists’ theories of international trade, and it also continues to provide the underlying economic ethics for liberal IPE. Any numerical example attributing any level of relative labour efficiency to any two countries across any two goods provides a simple system of equations that will demonstrate how specialisation and trade increases total world production. Ricardo’s own numbers showed a productively superior hypothetical ‘Portugal’ and a productively inferior hypothetical ‘England’ share the gains from free trade. This article, however, reinserts the historical back-story of actual eighteenth-century trading relations between the real Portugal and England that Ricardo silenced through omission. It is a highly illiberal tale of gunboats, royal intrigue and personal subjugation. Ricardo’s account of the purely market-based logic of comparative advantage writes out of economic history the centrality of both imperial wars and African slavery to the early English and Portuguese experience of ‘free’ trade. Given this historical back-story, liberal IPE thus appears to be in urgent need of new normative foundations."
On October 29th 2015 I delivered a presentation to an Undergraduate IPE Masterclass in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. I was joined at the Masterclass by Adrienne Roberts from the University of Manchester and Liam Stanley from the University of Sheffield. The topic we were asked to address was 'How To Do Research in IPE', and I illustrated my arguments via an ongoing paper that seeks to put the historical back-story of gunboats, royal intrigue, European imperial wars and the transtalantic slave trade back into David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage.
The session was filmed by technicians at the University of Birmingham, and the recording can be viewed here: https://bham.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=c4848b2b-8b04-4a19-9e9b-4110c446cd03. Huw Macartney from Birmingham introduces the Masterclass from the start of the recording until 02:15, and I then speak from that point until 15:30.
On June 4th 2015 I presented a paper at the IPE Cluster Seminar Series at the University of Warwick. The paper was entitled, 'Trapped in Other People's Histories: IPE and the Austro-German Methodenstreit'.
On May 13th 2015 I delivered the opening keynote address to the public roundtable which started the three-day New Directions in International Political Economy Conference at the University of Warwick. The conference was organised as part of the University's Festival of Social Sciences being held to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. The title of my talk was, 'Beware of Qualifying Adjectives’.
A video of the whole of the roundtable event can be found here:
On September 28th 2014 I delivered an invited talk to District 1210 Annual Conference of the Rotary Club of Great Britain and Ireland. The Conference was held at Venue Cymru in Llandudno. My talk was entitled, 'Fair Trade and the Possibilities for a Better World'.
On June 16th 2014 I presented a paper at the Inaugural History and Theory Workshop at the London School of Economics. The paper was entitled, 'The Misreadings of Conceptual History within IPE'.
On May 21st 2014 I presented a paper at the PAIS General Departmental Seminar at the University of Warwick. The paper was entitled, 'Uneconomic Economics and the Crisis of the Model World'.
I presented a paper at the British International Studies Association Conference in Dublin on June 20th 2014. The paper is entitled, 'How Not to Rethink Economy: The Rehabilitation of Orthodox Economics Opinion in the Wake of the Financial Crisis'.
On February 25th 2015 I presented a paper at the SPERI Seminar Series at the University of Sheffield. The paper was entitled, 'Deep History of Economic Thought as a Methodology of 'Unlearning': Liberating IPE from the Textbook Account of the Methodenstreit'.
On January 29th 2015 I participated on the roundtable on the Ethics of Food Trade organised by Warwick University Food Co-op as part of the Warwick Hub Discussion Series. My contribution was entitled, 'Market Ethics in Food Trade: Consumer Rights, the Ability to Pay and Convenience Shopping for Ethics'.
On December 10th 2014 I delivered a paper to the General Departmental Seminar of the Organisation and Management Group, Liverpool Business School, University of Liverpool. The paper is entitled, 'Back to Where It All Began? Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Market Coordination Problem'.
This is a link to the recording of a paper I delivered to an undergraduate masterclass delivered to International Political Economy students in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham on December 5th 2014. The presentation is entitled, 'How I Came to IPE and Where I Think It Should Go'.
This is a link to a recording of the paper I delivered to the London Political Philosophy Club at St James's Church, Piccadilly on September 30th 2014. The paper is entitled, 'Markets, Markets Everywhere, But Not As You Might Think'.
This is a link to a recording of the paper I delivered to the workshop, 'Neoliberalism, Fraud and Moral Economy', held at the University of Leeds on May 2nd 2014. The paper is entitled, 'The Expulsion of Moral Economy from Economics Proper: 'Economy' as Set of Practices Versus 'Economy' as Logic of Order'.
This is a link to a recording of the paper I delivered at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference in Manchester on April 16th 2014. The paper is entitled, 'The World According to the Efficient Markets Hypothesis: Radically Conservative, Socially Empty, Financially Unstable'.
This is a link to a recording of the keynote address I delivered at Hendon Town Hall on February 14th 2014 to the University of Middlesex Workshop, 'Education Meets Neoliberalism and the Political Economy of Precarity'. I spoke to a paper entitled, 'Taking the Classroom Into the Community'.
A video recording of the first half of my talk is also availble at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOz-UzY9aA0. I start at around 1:28 minute and finish at around 15:51 minutes.
This is a link to a recording of the lecture I delivered to the International Institute for Social Studies in The Hague on February 6th 2014 in the series 'Crises, Continuity and Change'. I spoke to a paper entitled, 'Schumpeterian Visions, Schumpeterian Ideologies: Countervailing Influences to Crises of Economic Thought'.