Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI)

This interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Sheffield aims to bring together leading international researchers, policy-makers, journalists and opinion formers to develop new ways of thinking about the economic and political challenges posed for the whole world by the current combination of financial crisis, shifting economic power and environmental threat.

As a consequence of the confluence of these deep-seated processes of change belief in many of the ideas that dominated economic and political thinking during the past forty or so years has been undermined.  An era of widespread self-confidence has been replaced by what might be called the ‘Great Uncertainty’.  Everywhere there is doubt – about how to resume and sustain growth in Western countries after the financial crisis, about how to explain and react to the rise of new economic powers in Asia and Latin America and about how to conserve at the same time the global environment in which we all have to live.

SPERI will bring the analytical insights offered by a genuinely interdisciplinary political economy to bear on these pressing and interlocking challenges.  It will provide a home for visiting researchers and policy-makers from the UK and beyond and, in so doing, will seek to become an international focus for debate, discussion and policy development in relation to these challenges.

SPERI builds on the activities of the University’s longstanding Political Economy Research Centre (PERC), opened by Professor JK Galbraith in 1994, and aspires now to take the work of this former centre to a level consonant with the new needs of our times.