I am a political economist, and Deputy Director of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield. I am also the co-convenor of the PSA British and Comparative Political Economy Specialist Group, and a member of the Industrial Strategy Commission chaired by Kate Barker.
My recent research for SPERI has focused on the development of an alternative model for economic growth in Britain, following the apparent failure of the Anglo-liberal growth strategy which emerged during the 1980s. My book, Austerity Politics and UK Economic Policy, published by Palgrave in 2016, summarises the key themes and findings of this research.
My current research agenda focuses on four distinct but connected strands:
- Pensions reform within the UK, as emblematic of the pathologies of austerity politics and the British variant of capitalism. I am currently writing the monograph Pensions Imperilled for OUP.
- Understanding the reproduction of capitalism in terms of the management of wealth, inequality and order across generations.
- The political economy of the North of England, and the character of centre/periphery relations across Europe more generally in the context of evolving transnational production networks.
- The future of manufacturing in the UK, and the role of industrial policy in supporting and shaping manufacturing industries.
I have significant experience of ‘real world’ politics and public policy. I have worked as a Policy Advisor at HM Treasury, Pensions Policy Officer at the Trades Union Congress (TUC), and Head of Policy and Senior Researcher at the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK).
I have given evidence to parliamentary committees on several occasions, and been a member of several government advisory and stakeholder bodies. Currently I am an Advisor to the Intergenerational Foundation, Associate Fellow at ILC-UK and, as noted above, a member of the Industrial Strategy Commission.
I have significant media experience, having been interviewed on national television, and local and national radio. I have engaged extensively with UK and international print journalists, and write regularly for several online publications.
In 2011/12 I worked as a Lecturer at the University of Warwick, leading the module The Making of Economic Policy. I have also taught at the University of Sheffield and University of Manchester, and completed a visiting fellowship at the University of Sussex in 2007. As part of my role at SPERI, I occasionally deliver lectures and MA classes in Sheffield’s Department of Politics.
I completed my doctoral research on the influence of ideas about globalisation on UK foreign economic policy at the University of Sheffield in 2008. An updated version of my thesis was published as Globalisation and Ideology in Britain: Neoliberalism, Free Trade and the Global Economy by Manchester University Press in 2011.