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Biography

Johnna earned a DPhil in International Relations, with a speciality in social research methods and International Political Economy (IPE), from the University of Sussex in 2007. She then spent seven years as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC, University of Manchester), a leading ESRC funded research centre advancing the interdisciplinary study of socio-cultural change. Before joining the department of European and International studies at King's, Johnna was  a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Goldsmiths, University of London, helping to establish the Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) degree and the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC).

Research Interests

Johnna's research unpacks the significance of debt-dependent growth in the contemporary global political economy. In particular, she focuses on the spatial relations of debt and the importance of place in determining who has access to, and ultimately benefits from, financialisation. For example, she is interested in evaluating the degree to which the pattern of distribution of private debt within and across households create new forms of inequality. The current unprecedented scale of private debt complicates established understandings of income and wealth inequalities. Substantiating this claim requires an innovative mixed-methods approach to empirically capture the fluidity, hierarchy, and precarity of the household balance sheet. Furthermore, Johnna is interested in the ways debt can change the dynamics of everyday economic practices. For example, labour market participation; debt obstructs the traditional route of using paid employment to get out of poverty. In the same way, student debt obstructs the route of university qualification to middle-class income levels. Importantly, the outcomes are differentiated by gender, race, and class dynamics. Also, she is interested in looking at how debt, both public and private, fosters new political formations of resistance.

Teaching

  • Theories and Issues in International Political Economy
  • The Global Shadow Economy
  • The Political Economy of the Financial Crisis
  • The Political Economy of Development

PhD Supervision

Johnna is currently supervising Tamar Nir’s project on ‘Student debt and the marketization of higher education in the United Kingdom’

She welcomes doctoral applications in the areas of debt and indebtedness, finance and financialisation, austerity, feminist political economy of the household.