The Department’s research focuses on political economic processes at a range of different levels, from national through to transnational and to global institutions.
This approach is informed by an understanding of the interdependence of economic and political institutions. It is recognised that analysing the ability of politics and markets to address social problems requires comparative evaluation of institutional practices and their ethical underpinnings.
In practical terms, this means that our research expertise encompasses a range of theoretical approaches including: new institutional political economy, game theory, evolutionary economics, heterodox economics, political philosophy, and applied public policy. At the subject level it includes micro- and macro- economic policy, trade and development, constitutional design, global governance, crime and punishment, disaster relief, and the political economy of distributive justice. To this end, the department encourages a pluralistic set of research tools from econometrics to case studies, analytical narratives and normative analysis.
We encourage a culture of inter-disciplinary engagement from all scholars involved in the enterprise of political economic analysis. The department also emphasises engagement with research institutions internationally. To this end, we have a visiting speaker programme that attracts leading scholars from around the world. Recent contributors have included John Tomasi (Brown University, USA), Walter Matli (Oxford University), Ira Katznelson (Columbia University, USA), Ha Joon Chang (Cambridge University), Alan S. Kahan (Sciences-Po, Paris) and Harold E. Glass (University of the Sciences, Philadelphia). The department also has a partnership programme with the University of Singapore and members of staff are involved with collaborative research projects with academics from China, India, and the European Union.
Whether working at the domestic or international level, many of our staff are actively involved in bringing their expertise and research findings to the attention of policy-makers. The department works closely with the King’s Policy Institute to leverage this engagement with the policy-making community.
Research within the department is supported by a range of funding agencies, including the ESRC, the European Commission, the Wellcome Foundation, the British Academy, and the Leverhulme Trust.
Our research may be located within five thematic groups that reflect our concerns and interests in the political economy of:
Resilience, crisis and recovery
Democracy, communication and accountabilities
Rationality, choice and uncertainty
Regulation, governance, and order
Beliefs, values and rights