Jacqueline Best joins SPERI as Leverhulme Visiting Professor

Professor Jacqueline Best has joined SPERI as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor and will be working with us until April 2019.

Jacqueline is a Professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. She is an internationally-renowned scholar in the fields of international political economy, global governance and international relations theory. She is an editor of the Review of International Political Economy (RIPE) and since 2015 she has been an Honorary Research Fellow at SPERI.

Her research interests are centred around the political and social underpinning of political economy, with a focus on international financial governance. Her work is characterised by cultural, constructivist and practice-based approaches to the study of the political economy. Throughout her career, Jacqueline’s work has focused on the ways in which economic ideas and practices do not always work the way that we expect—because of ambiguities, limits, failures and exceptions.

In recent years, her research has examined both the dramatic and mundane forms that ‘economic exceptionalism’ takes in liberal democratic societies. She is also currently engaged in a historical investigation of the political and practical challenges involved in the first attempts to put neoliberal theories into practice, examining the early years of the Reagan and Thatcher governments.

Her books include The Limits of Transparency: Ambiguity and the History of International Governance (Cornell University Press, 2005), Cultural Political Economy (Routledge, 2010), The Return of the Public in Global Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and Governing Failure: Provisional Expertise and the Transformation of Global Development Finance (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

While at SPERI Jacqueline will collaborate with SPERI researchers on a project that will explore ‘post-neoliberalism’ and the theoretical, empirical and methodological challenges associated with it. Her work will re-examine contemporary neoliberalism in light of events such as Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the return to international trade wars. It will address questions of what this means for both our historical understanding of the character of neoliberalism, and for the future of liberalism, neoliberalism and global governance.

Jacqueline will give a Leverhulme Lecture on February 6th at SPERI on Neoliberalism, Illiberalism and the Dangers of Wishful Economic Thinking.