Research Expertise

The research program of the Department of Political Economy spans the international and Australian political economies across the broad areas of globalization, development, the environment, energy, labour, gender, race, history of economic thought, neoliberalism, public policy, human rights, markets, and finance.

The Department’s research program is widely recognized for engaging with, and contributing to, the development of heterodox schools of thought with particular strengths in post-Keynesian economics, institutional economics, Marxism, evolutionary and feminist economics. Political Economy recognises that different theories are often complementary rather than alternative. Our theoretically-informed empirical research seeks to provide critical analyses of contemporary problems and policies, and construct alternatives to prevailing orthodoxies.

Political economy rests on the proposition that economic phenomena do not occur in isolation from social and political processes. Important focuses of our critical analysis include, but are not limited to:

  • how country risk assessment is linked to international financial crises, business cycles and financial fragility;
  • the concerns of environmental and ecological economics, including socialist ecology and debate on developing the ‘green economy’ and ‘green’ jobs;
  • international labour migration and struggles around employment and human rights;
  • the structure and transformation of economies in developing countries;
  • the creation of gendered and racially-specific visions of Australian economic progress;
  • the global sustainability of food;
  • the structure, operation and outcomes of markets for goods previously provided direct by government;
  • the prevalence and consequences of Australian energy poverty;
  • how financial derivatives and securities are transforming our understanding of economic processes and changing wider social relations;
  • the hegemony of neoliberalism and its relationship to the global financial crisis and the social foundations of the Australian economy; and,
  • rights in development, Melanesian land and economic integration in Latin America.

Further details of our research program can be found in our staff profiles at: