SPERI takes a broad holistic view of political economy in which the local, the national, the regional and the global interact at all times and in complex ways. Its research agenda reflects this and seeks to address some of the major economic and political challenges posed for the United Kingdom, Europe and the whole world by the combined consequences of the recent financial crisis, the ongoing shift in global economic power and the growing environmental threat.
This broad research agenda is currently being developed via eight specific research programmes that involve the Directors and core staff of SPERI, its Honorary Research Fellows and its Associate Fellows. These programmes are described below.
SPERI also seeks to explore what it sees as the core economic and political question that connects all of its particular research programmes; namely, the need to think through the key elements of a sustainable new model of political economy for different localities, countries, regions and indeed the globe as a whole.
Programme leaders: Craig Berry and Colin Hay
This programme encompasses research on the transformation of the British growth model since the 2008 economic crisis.
Programme leaders: Scott Lavery and Owen Parker
This programme encompasses investigation into three interrelated imbalances which characterise contemporary European capitalism: the Eurozone economic crisis, the deepening legitimation crisis of the EU institutions and the ongoing social crisis as experienced by European households and welfare systems.
Programme leader: Martin Craig
This programme considers the ‘other crisis’ confronting the British and international political economies – the rapid degradation of the Earth’s capacity to sustain social organisation as we presently understand it due to the ecological impacts of human economic activity.
Programme leaders: Tony Payne and Matthew Bishop
This programme embraces research on the changing nature of development, the ensuing clash of developments as states compete for advantage within a genuinely globalising political economy and the consequent, and highly complex, problem of how to realise in such a context the necessary and indeed improved level of governance that is required at a global level.
Programme leader: Genevieve LeBaron
This programme encompasses research on labour and work in the global political economy, with a particular emphasis on labour and its regulation within global value chains.
Programme leaders: Hannah Lambie-Mumford and Liam Stanley
This programme encompasses research on austerity and welfare since the crisis, focusing primarily on the UK.
Programme leaders: Colin Hay and Craig Berry
Since its inception, SPERI has been deeply interested in questions of distributive justice. The fate of young people is central to this mission, given that, for the first time in a very long time, today’s younger cohorts are set to be poorer across their life course than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.