Kate Alexander Shaw

Kate Alexander Shaw

Position: External consultant on a SPERI-FEPS research project

Email: kate.alexandershaw@sheffield.ac.uk

Research Interests: British and Comparative Political Economy, Post-crisis politics, Narrative and discourse in economic policy, Inequality and welfare states, Inter-generational fairness, theories of the relationship between capitalism and democracy, Constructivist political economy.

Kate Alexander Shaw began working with SPERI in May 2017. She was previously at the London School of Economics and Political Science where she has been completing her doctoral research. In 2013 she was a visiting Research Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, at the invitation of Professor Mark Blyth. She has previously worked as a policy analyst for HM Treasury and the Greater London Authority. Kate’s doctoral research considers the role of narrative in economic policymaking, focusing particularly on the New Labour government in the UK. It proposes a theory of the validity of economic narratives, in which governments must trade off the internal coherence of their economic discourse against responsiveness to (often highly uncertain) external economic signals. Over time, events are increasingly interpreted to protect the integrity of a government’s ideational commitments, such that ideas and discourse tend to underwrite policy continuity and obstruct change, even in the face of great crisis. She has also published on inequality and financialisation in Britain’s ‘Winner Take All’ economy, arguing that, in the British case, growing inequality may be attributed to the structural position of the finance sector and its supporting political consensus, rather than to proactive lobbying by the beneficiaries of ‘winner take all’ policies.

Kate is an external consultant on a new project, developed by SPERI in collaboration with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies, on the Political Economy of Young People in Europe. The project will investigate the post-crisis political economy of young people across Europe today, the role played by the crisis in explaining their situation and the emergent politics of intergenerational fairness.


Hopkin, J. & Alexander Shaw, K. (2016), ‘Organized Combat or Structural Advantage? The Politics of Inequality and the Winner-Take-All Economy in the United Kingdom’, Politics and Society, 44(3), 345-371 Available at: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/67573/

Alexander Shaw, K. & Hopkin, J. (2015), ‘Great Britain: From New Labour to new politics’, in Tiersky, R. & Jones, E. (eds), Europe Today: A Twenty-First Century Introduction (Fifth Edition), Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield

She has also authored a number of articles for the LSE Politics and Policy blog, and has been a regular contributor to the LSE’s ‘Hotseat’ video series, in which she has provided analysis of Budget, Pre-Budget and Spending Review statements.