Political Economy

The Global Political Economy Research Network (GPERN) is a network of Glasgow based scholars committed to tackling global challenges through the lens of political economy. Political economy examines the links between states and markets. It conceives economic policies as the outcomes of political struggle of domestic interests and global forces, while at the same time acknowledging that political processes are influenced by economic power. Among the core activities of the network is the monthly research seminar series in which members present their ongoing work.  The Global Political Economy Research Network is open to anyone with a research interest in political economy.

Staff Members

Our over 70 members are from all social sciences, including economics, education, geography, history, law, management, politics and international studies, public policy, sociology, and urban studies. Membership is open to everyone and we particularly welcome early career researchers and scholars from underrepresented groups. We are committed to mutual support, inter-disciplinary exchange, and promoting research excellence. 

Convenor: Bernhard Reinsberg (Politics & International Relations)

Areas of expertise

In light of a recent wave of global crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the global debt crisis and the Russia-Ukraine war, political economy has become the main analytical framework to analyze whether, why, and how political actors respond to societal challenges and their transnational dimensions. Our network combines a wealth of expertise in political economy from multiple disciplines, helping to meet the growing demand for political economy training from students, journalists, and the wider public.

Our areas of expertise include (among others):

  • Climate change and sustainability
  • Cooperation, international institutions, and governance
  • Conflict, peace, and security
  • Finance and development
  • Migration and remittances
  • Regulation and industrial policy
  • Trade and investment
  • Urban planning and public policy


GPERN hosts a range of formats tailored to the needs of its members:

  • Research seminars: Colleagues present a full paper (7 minutes), followed by feedback from a pre-assigned discussant (3 minutes) and general Q&A
  • Dataset introduction: Colleagues present a dataset for which they seek collaboration from other researchers
  • Research challenge: Colleagues present an initial research idea and collect feedback and further ideas and identify collaborators
  • Mock interview: An opportunity especially for early career researchers (ECRs) to present a paper (15 minutes) followed by Q&A from a mock interview panel

Past events

7 November 2022

  • “The European Union, Africa, and different categories of human rights: negotiation dynamics and North-South divides”

Presenter: Maurizio Carbone

Kickoff discussant: Benjamin Hunter

  • “Varieties of Neoliberal Development: A Retrospective Case Study of USAID”

Presenters: Maha Rafi Atal and Janette Kotivirta (Copenhagen Business School)

Kickoff discussant: Franziska Paul


12 December 2022

  • “The moral economy of austerity: A failure of state duty”

Presenters: Andrew Cumbers, Robert McMaster and Gerard McCartney

Kickoff discussant: Mark Blyth (Brown University)

  • “Trust funds and the sub-national effectiveness of development aid: Evidence from the World Bank”

Presenters: Mirko Heinzel and Bernhard Reinsberg

Kickoff discussant: Rachel McLellan


16 January 2023

  • “Prime Criminal Real Estate: Illicit Economies and State Power in Chocó, Colombia”

Presenters: Alan Gillies and Mo Hume

Kickoff discussant: Taras Fedirko


  • “Adam Smith tercentenary”

Presenter: Thomas Scotto


13 February 2023

  • “Open borders and economic integration: the long-term effects of immigration policy”

Presenter: Sergi Pardos-Prado

Kickoff discussant: Michele Battisti


13 March 2023

  • “Climate Policy Costs, Regional Identity and Backlash against International Cooperation”

Presenters: Patrick Bayer and Federica Genovese (University of Essex)

Kickoff discussant: Lazaros Karaliotas


17 April 2023

  • “Comparative political-economy of housing markets and policy during COVID-19”

Presenters: Ken Gibb and Chris Foye (Reading)

Kickoff discussant: Karen Wright


15 May 2023

  • “Responsible Lobbyists?: CSR Commitments and the Quality of Corporate Parliamentary Testimony in the UK”

Presenters: Alvise Favotto, Kelly Kollman and Fraser McMillan

Kickoff discussant: Patrick Bayer


8 June 2023

  • “Adam Smith and Contemporary Political Economy” – Adam Smith Tercentenary Academic Workshops

Panelists: Maha Rafi Atal, Bernhard Reinsberg and Adrian Florea