Centre for Global Political Economy


Research within the area of the political economy of development at the Centre has focused, in particular, upon a critical engagement with the global value chain approach in order to bring together analysis of global production and trade with development theory and practice. There is a strong empirical component of this research with, for example, Ben Selwyn’s study of export grape production in North East Brazil and Zoe Pflaeger’s analysis of empowerment within Kenya’s coffee industry. In continuing to explore the potential for farmer empowerment within the coffee industry, the Centre will be working with the recently established Black Gold Foundation, which aims to raise awareness about inequities in the global coffee trade and discuss ideas to improve the situation of coffee producers:

This work forms part of a broader empirical and theoretical interest among the Centre’s members in issues of agrarian change and the political economy of agriculture. This includes Ben Selwyn’s interests in labour and class relations in the agricultural economy and Peter Newell’s previous work on biotechnology regulation and policy.

The role of business in development is another theme which brings together associates of the Centre such as Dinah Rajak in the Anthropology department who has worked on issues of Corporate Social Responsibility while Peter Newell has critically engaged with questions of corporate accountability and business regulation in relation to the social and environmental impacts of investment practices.  


Gray, K. and Murphy, C. (2013) ‘Introduction: rising powers and the future of global governance’, Third World Quarterly 34(2): 183-193

Gray, K. (2013) ‘Political cultures of South Korea’, New Left Review 79: 85-101

Gray, K. and Murphy, C. (2013) Rising powers and the future of global governance London: ThirdWorlds Routledge.

Selwyn, B. (2013) ‘The global retail revolution, fruiticulture and economic development in north-east Brazil’, Review of International Political Economy 20(1): 153-179

Selwyn, B. (2012) Workers, state and development in Brazil: powers of labour, chains of value Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Gray, K. (2011) ‘Taiwan and the geopolitics of late development’Pacific Review 24(5): 577-599

Gray, K. (2011) ‘The social and geopolitical origins of state transformation: the case of South Korea’, New Political Economy 16(3): 303-322

Rajak, D. and Stirrat, J. (2011) ‘Parochial cosmopolitanism and the Power of Nostalgia’, In: Adventures in Aidland: The Anthropology of Expertise and Professionals in Development. Berghahn Books.

Rajak, D. (2012) ‘Review of A New Scramble for Africa? Imperialism, Investment and Development’, Journal of Modern African Studies 50(1): 171-173

Rajak, D. (2011) ‘Theatres of Virtue: Collaboration, Consensus and the Social Life of Corporate Social Responsibility’, Focaal 60: 9-20

Rajak, D. (2011) In good company: an anatomy of corporate social responsibility Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Rajak, D. and Dolan, C., eds. (2014) The anthropology of corporate social responsibility New York: Berghahn.

Rajak, D. (2012) ‘Platinum City and the New South African Dream’, Africa 82(2): 252-271

Dolan, C. and Rajak, D. (2011) ‘Introduction: Reigning Responsibilities: Ethnographies of Corporate Ethicizing’, Focaal 60: 3-8

Rajak, D., Dolan, C. and Garsten, C., eds. (2011) ‘Special Issue: Ethnographies of corporate ethicizing’, Focaal 60. Berghahn Journals.

Rajak, D. (2011) From Boardrooms to Mineshafts: In Pursuit of Global Corporate Citizenship’. In: Multi-Sited Ethnography Problems and Possibilities in the Translocation of Research Methods. Routledge.

Roemer-Mahler, A. (2013) Business conflict and global politics: the pharmaceutical industry and the global protection of intellectual property rights’, Review of International Political Economy 20(1): 121-152

Selwyn, B. (2011) ‘Socialism under globalisation’, Journal of Democratic Socialism 1(1): 1-11

Selwyn, B. (2011) ‘Liberty Limited? A Sympathetic Re-Engagement with Amartya Sen's Development as Freedom’, Economic and Political Weekly XLVI(10): 68-76

Selwyn, B. (2011) ‘Trotsky, Gerschenkron and the political economy of late capitalist development’, Economy and Society 40(3): 421-450

Thomson, F. (2011) ‘The agrarian question and violence in Colombia: conflict and development’, Journal of Agrarian Change 11(3): 321–56

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