Show/hide main menu

Academic Staff

Dr Christopher Holmes

Christopher HolmesLecturer in International Political Economy

Telephone +44 (0)20 7848 1260
Address Department of European & International Studies
King's College London
Room 4.15, Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway 
London WC2B 6LE



New Book Published:

Chris Holmes Book


The rise of populism across Europe and the US – first in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis and then in the shape of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Brexit vote in 2016 – are indicative of a seismic shift in the terrain of economic ideas in public discourse. Settled liberal norms concerning ever-increasing international market expansion, and the political integration required to sustain it, have been decisively upset by political forces that, whilst once on the fringes, now dominate economic debate. How might we make sense of this ideological breakdown and what might we hope for next? 

This book turns to the work of Karl Polanyi for answers, developing the expansive, historicised approach to political economy that Polanyi pioneered. Holmes provides a wide-ranging history of economic ideas read in terms of a series of hopeful theoretical visions of order, in which political, social and ecological contradictions could be transcended in one way or another. Through this, the book demonstrates that the failing utopian visions of pre-2008 economic orthodoxy, which have formed the backdrop to the rise of populism today, are only the latest in a series that stretches across economic thought in Western modernity as a whole.

More info here


Christopher Holmes joined King’s in July 2016 having previously held lectureships at the University of Warwick and the University of Southampton. He received his PhD from the University of Warwick in 2010.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Economic ideas in contemporary and historical contexts
  • The political economy of finance and money
  • Applications of the thought of Karl Polanyi
  • Political economy in general

Christopher researches on various aspects of political economy, including particularly the politics of finance and money and the role of economic ideas in public reasoning.

He has published on various issues in the political economy of money and finance, including on financial regulatory thought in both pre- and post-2008 contexts. He has also published a variety of articles on contemporary applications of the thought of Karl Polanyi. 

Christopher’s article 'Whatever it takes: Polanyian perspectives on the eurozone crisis and the gold standard' was recently featured in an Economy and Society special virtual edition on 'Questions of Europe', which has been published in response to the British vote to leave the European Union.

He was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year, which funded the writing of a research monograph on economic reasoning through the dualism of market and state in historical and contemporary contexts.

Christopher is happy to consider enquiries from PhD applicants looking to work in any areas related to his research interests.

Selected publications
  • Holmes, C. (2018) Polanyi in times of populism: Vision and contradiction in the history of economic ideas (London: Routledge RIPE Series in Global Political Economy) Available here
  • Dale, G., Holmes, C. and Markantonatou, M. (forthcoming edited collection) Exploring the thought of Karl Polanyi (Newcastle: Agenda)
  • Holmes, C (2014) ‘Polanyian perspectives on the eurozone crisis and the gold standard’, Economy and Society 43(4), 582-602. (doi:10.1080/03085147.2014.959841).
  • Brassett, J. and Holmes, C. (2016) ‘Building Resilient Finance? Uncertainty, complexity, and resistance’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 18(2), 370-388 (doi: 10.1177/1369148115615028)
  • Holmes, C. (2014) 'A Post-Polanyian political economy for our times’, Economy and Society 43(4), 525-540 (doi:10.1080/03085147.2014.955700).

Christopher Holmes has taught a wide variety of modules on finance, money, economic thought and international political economy in general.  He currently leads a third year undergraduate module on the Political Economy of Money and Introduction to Economics modules for MA and 1st year undergraduate students.

Expertise and public engagement

Christopher is happy to discuss on issues in British and European political economy, particularly relating to finance and regulation.

Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454