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Ben Clift

Dr. Ben Clift is a Lecturer in International Political Economy in the department of Politics and International Studies at Warwick. 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 recently published a collection (co-edited with Jonathon Perraton of Global Transformations fame) entitled Where are National Capitalisms Now? with Palgrave. The book brings together a number of leading international political economy and comparative political economy scholars (including Andrew Gamble, Grahame Thompson, Barry Gills and Linda Weiss) to explore differences in the way national economies are organized in a changing global political economy.

His recent monograph, French Socialism in a Global era (Continuum 2003) explores the veracity of the ‘crisis of social democracy’ literature and the relationship between social democracy and globalisation. The book rejects the ‘hyperglobal’ assertions that national economies are now subsumed into a ‘borderless world’, within which social democracy is an historically exhausted project. The book thus challenges existing theories of the decline of social democracy, and seeks to offer new insights into the potential for a new political economy of social democracy.

He has also recently published a chapter exploring the impact of advancing processes of globalisation and European integration on the French political economic ‘model’ for The Ruined Fortress?, a collection published with Rowman and Littlefield edited by Alan Cafruny and Magnus Ryner analysing neo-liberal ascendancy and transformation in Europe from a neo-Gramscian critical political economy perspective. This research agenda will progress with work on Managing the French Economy a book joint-authored with Dr. David Howarth (Edinburgh), due for publication with Palgrave in 2006-7.

His current research project, developed jointly with Professor Jim Tomlinson (Brunel), is entitled ‘Capital Mobility and Macroeconomic Policy autonomy in UK and France from Suez to the Stability and Growth Pact’. It explores the constraints imposed by the international political economic context on macroeconomic policy-making. This project explores a key current concern: the nature of constraints on national economic policy-making in a world of capital mobility. It comprises a comparative and diachronic analysis of those constraints in Britain and France over the last fifty years, analysing the role of international organisations in shaping credibility, and evaluating the degree of macroeconomic policy autonomy (especially in the fiscal field) that remains under current institutional arrangements. By comparing the position before and after the sharp rise in capital mobility in the 1970s, we aim to interrogate claims about the novelty of the current constraints.