Liam is Deputy Director at SPERI and a Lecturer in Politics. His research is centred on developing innovative methods and approaches to make sense of how the world has changed since the 2008 global financial crisis. As Deputy Director Liam supports the Directors in executing plans and delivering on ambitions related to research, including research project building and grant bids.

Liam leads SPERI’s Finance, Debt & Society research theme.

Liam has held visiting fellowships at the University of Amsterdam, European University Institute, and Copenhagen Business School; and his research has been funded by the ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, and the British Academy. Liam occasionally blogs at, and tweets @liamstanley.

Research Interests

Liam is currently working on three projects:

  1. After neoliberalism? Austerity, life, and death in a post-crisis world. How did we get from the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 to the nativist backlashes that characterise contemporary politics? In addressing this question, this book project will contribute to our understanding of the post-crisis world.
  2. Public attitudes toward ‘the undeserving rich’ (with Todd Hartman). The notion of an ‘undeserving rich’ has percolated in the West since 2008. The project uses novel experimental methods to examine what people find more unfair: tax evasion by the wealthy, or welfare fraud by the poor?
  3. Reimagining tax through speculative design (with Rebecca Bramall). This collaborative project aims to co-produce an alternative to the UK government’s ‘Annual Tax Summary’ using a methodology informed by speculative design. The results were published in a SPERI report ‘Communicating Tax‘, and exhibited in October 2018 as part of the London Design Festival.

Key Publications

  • 2017 ‘Tax Preferences, Fiscal Transparency, and the Meaning of Welfare: An Experimental Study’, Political Studies, (with Todd Hartman).
  • 2016 ‘Governing austerity in the UK: Anticipatory fiscal consolidation as a variety of austerity governance’, Economy and Society, 45(3-4), 303-324.
  • 2016 ‘Legitimacy gaps, taxpayer conflict, and the politics of austerity in the UK’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 18(2) 389–406.
  • 2014 ‘‘We’re reaping what we sowed’: Everyday crisis narratives and acquiescence to the age of austerity’, New Political Economy, 19(6), 895-917.