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Jack Copley


Global economic development since the 1970s has been characterised by a peculiar dynamic: financial markets have expanded at a far higher rate than the underlying productive economy, leading to greater economic instability. This ‘financialisation’ of the global economy – epitomised by the 2008 financial crisis – has generated intense debate in academia and civil society; recently contributing to the rise of populist movements demanding an end to financial globalisation and a return to stable, national economic growth. However, while numerous scholars from the fields of political science, economics, sociology, and geography have examined the damaging repercussions of financialisation, there has been much less focus on how this pattern of development came to be. My research tackles precisely this question, by examining the motivations underlying the British state’s financial deregulations in the 1970s and 1980s, which were crucial in propelling financial expansion. By analysing declassified government and Bank of England documents, my research demonstrates that the British state’s financial deregulatory policies were not part of a blueprint to create a financialised pattern of economic development, but were rather pragmatic attempts to address immediate political dilemmas arising from the inflationary crisis. As such, my research suggests that attempts to tackle the unsustainable growth of finance must look to the formative years of the 1970s-80s to understand how financial deregulation originated as a plaster to cover up underlying governing problems.

Supervisors: Matthew Watson and Ben Clift.

Examiners: Andrew Gamble and Chris Rogers.


BA, First Class Honours in Political Science, University of Birmingham, 2009-2012.

MA, Distinction in International Political Economy, University of Warwick, 2012-2013.

PhD, Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, 2014-2018.


In preparation: Governing Financialisation: The Tangled Politics of Financial Liberalisation in Britain.

Peer-Refereed Journal Articles

In preparation: 'Beyond the Mutual Constitution of States and Markets: Alienation, Not Disembedding', with Alexis B. Moraitis.

'Why Were Capital Controls Abandoned? The Case of Britain’s Abolition of Exchange Controls, 1977-9’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 21(2), 2019, 403-420.

'Depoliticizing Space: The Politics of Governing Global Finance', Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 37(3), 2019, 442-460, with Maria Eugenia Giraudo.

'Financial Deregulation and the Role of Statecraft: Lessons from Britain's 1971 Competition and Credit Control Measures', New Political Economy, 22(6), 2017, 692-708.

‘Productive and Unproductive Labour and Social Form: Putting Class Struggle in its Place’, Capital & Class, 41(1), 2017, 91-114, with Alexis B. Moraitis.

Working Papers

'The Role of Competition and Ideas in Britain’s Abolition of Capital Controls, 1977-9', SPERI Paper No. 42, University of Sheffield, 2017.

Selected Blog Posts, Book Reviews and Pamphlets

Capital controls are back on the agenda – but why did Britain scrap them in the 1970s?’, SPERI Political Economy Blog, December 2017.

'On the Misuses of Class, Post-Trexit', Progress in Political Economy, December 2016.

'Did the “Competitiveness Agenda” Influence the Thatcher Deregulation?', Fools' Gold International, August 2016.

[Extended review] 'Monetary Policy in Times of Crisis: Pragmatism and Conflict', Capital & Class, 39(2), 2015, 386-891.

'The Irish Banking Inquiry and the Tale of Two Booms', Tax Justice Network, May 2015.

'The Value Theory of Labour', Progress in Political Economy, March 2015 [one of the top ten posts of the year].

'Krippner: How the US Avoided Tough Decisions Through Deregulation', Fools’ Gold International, March 2015.

[Extended pamphlet] 'An Angry Person’s Guide to Finance: Making Sense of the Complex and Frustrating Financial World', Red Pepper Magazine, March 2014.

Scholarships and Awards

Nominated for the Political Studies Association’s Walter Bagehot Prize for Best Dissertation in Government and Public Administration, 2019.

Institute of Advanced Study, Early Career Fellowship, 2018.

BISA, Founders Fund Award, 2017.

ESRC, Overseas Institutional Visit Award, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, 2017.

ESRC, ‘Rethinking the Market’ PhD Studentship, 2014-2017.

University of Warwick, PAIS Department Prize for ‘Highest Overall Average in MA IPE’, 2013.

University of Warwick, PAIS MA/Diploma Scholarship, 2012-2013.

University of Birmingham, POLSIS Head of Department Prize for ‘Best Undergraduate Performance and Dissertation’, 2012.

Conferences and Workshops

‘Why were capital controls abandoned? The role of competition and ideas’. International Initiative for the Promotion of Political Economy (IIPPE) Annual Conference: The Political Economy of Inequality and Instabilities in the 21st Century, Berlin School of Economics and Law, 14 September 2017.

'British State Capture by Finance or Response to Crisis: The Case of Thatcher's Abolition of Exchange Controls', Political Studies Association Annual International Conference: Politics in Interesting Times, 12 April 2017.

‘The British State’s Role in Financialisation: Critiquing the “State Capture” Thesis Through Archival Analysis’, Institute of Advanced Studies - International Political Economy Roundtable: Narratives in and of Economics, University of Warwick, 15 June 2016.


Seminar Tutor for 'States and Markets', a first-year undergraduate module in PAIS, University of Warwick.

Seminar Tutor for 'Foundations of Political Economy', a first-year undergraduate module in PAIS, University of Warwick.

Seminar Tutor for 'Introduction to Politics', a first-year undergraduate module in PAIS, University of Warwick.

Other Projects

I have been assisting Nicholas Shaxson and John Christensen (of the Tax Justice Network) in creating a new project called Fools’ Gold, which aims to rethink the notion of ‘competitiveness’ by hosting contributions from academics, professionals and activists.


Jack Copley


Twitter: @JackCopley6