Welcome Natalie Langford, Caroline Metz and Merve Sancak

We are delighted to welcome three new Postdoctoral Research Associates to SPERI. Dr Natalie Langford and Dr Caroline Metz both join us from the University of Manchester and Dr Merve Sancak joins us from the University of Cambridge.  

Natalie, Caroline and Merve add significant capacity to our new research agenda and will each play a key role in the running of the institute.


Dr Natalie Langford

Natalie Langford’s research focuses on the ways in which spatial and temporal shifts in the geographies of trade, production and consumption impact on the governance of labour. She is particularly concerned with how recent transformations under global capitalism have impacted the rights and conditions of labourers and producers. Her current research focuses on how the renegotiation of trade agreements will impact the governance of labour in the UK.

Before joining SPERI Natalie was a lecturer in the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. Natalie completed her PhD thesis, entitled ‘The Emergence of Southern Social Standards in Emerging Markets’ at the University of Manchester in 2018. Her thesis explored the politics of governance within India’s tea industry through a case study of Trustea, a new private social standard for tea consumed domestically. Prior to that, she worked in the NGO sector on issues related to labour and global development.


Dr Caroline Metz

Caroline Metz’s research interests include global political economy and feminist political economy, the politics of finance, banking and debt, European politics and intersectional feminism. She is also interested in the politics of research and in critical pedagogy. Her current research looks at the commodification and securitisation of defaulting debts in Europe. She looks at the way in which austerity and the financialisation of social reproduction interact to foster household over-indebtedness and rising levels of debt defaults in European countries, particularly Greece, Cyprus and Ireland. She is interested both in how defaults impact the household and its gendered dynamics, and in the creation of ‘default-backed securities’ as a way to deal with – and profit from – distressed debt in Europe.

Prior to joining SPERI Caroline was a lecturer in International Politics at the University of Manchester, where she obtained her PhD thesis in September 2018. Caroline is a board member of the Critical Political Economy Research Network and previously worked for the civil society organisation Finance Watch.


Dr Merve Sancak

Merve Sancak’s research interests include globalisation, capitalist models and development in middle-income countries, the political economy of skill formation systems, and how variations in state involvement shape skill formation systems, capitalist growth models and participation in global value chains. Merve completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2018, where her thesis focused on the political economy of skills formation systems in middle-income countries, particularly Mexico and Turkey.

Merve has won the Award for Outstanding Research on Development by the Global Development Network (2018) and the Early Career Workshop Award from the Society for the Advancement of Socioeconomics (SASE) (2017). She also has professional experience of policy research and implementation and has worked with the UNDP and World Bank. 


Meet the rest of the SPERI team