Genevieve LeBaron and Colin Hay introduce SPERI 2.0

This is a new era and an exciting moment for SPERI. Today we are delighted to share our new research agenda, introduce new colleagues and new events, and unveil a new look for SPERI.

Since our founding in 2012, SPERI has been committed to developing and promoting new analysis and understanding of contemporary capitalism. Today this task is arguably more urgent than ever. For political economy has perhaps never had as great a potential role to play in making sense of the world in which we live. Political economy is the study of the underlying political and economic interactions that structure the social systems that bring both order and disorder to the societies in which we live. As political economists we seek to discern, examine and make sense of the ‘rules of the game’. We study power and its unequal distribution, specifically the power to affect the shape of the global economy.

Our new research agenda is structured around four new priority research areas: Capitalism, Democracy and the State; Finance, Debt and Society; Corporate Power and the Global Economy, and Labour and Decent Work. A new series of blogs collaboratively written by the SPERI team sets out our new thinking about the big issues and questions in each area. Read all five blogs here.

Our research team is growing too. We are thrilled that Natalie Langford, Caroline Metz and Merve Sancak join us this month as new post-doctoral researchers. Jacqueline Best also joins us as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor from the University of Ottawa and will be working with us throughout the Spring. We are also joined by a new cohort of Associate Fellows from across the University of Sheffield who share our research interests.

We are very pleased to also announce two major SPERI public events for 2019. In March we will host a prestigious academic workshop “Political Economy on Trial: Reflections After a Decade of Unforeseen Developments” bringing world-leading experts to Sheffield to debate the state of the field and produce two linked special issues of Review of International Political Economy and New Political Economy. Linked to the workshop, we will host a major public roundtable event in Sheffield Town Hall.

In May Andrew Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, whose work has shaped our understanding of the economy today will deliver the SPERI Annual Lecture 2019.

Registration for both events will open soon. Sign up to our newsletter to get details of when tickets are available and to keep in touch with our research, blogs and further new events (including a forthcoming series of SPERI Professorial Lectures). You can also follow us on twitter at @SPERIshefuni

Our world currently faces major economic and political challenges. New ideas and new research to overcome those challenges will be needed. We look forward to discussing and debating our ideas with you over the coming months and years.

Genevieve LeBaron and Colin Hay, Directors of SPERI