- Varieties of global finance and financial capitalism(s)
- Contemporary Chinese political economy
- Global financial governance and China’s financial transnationalization
- The political economy of the international monetary system
- Evolution of power and authority in the global economy
My research spans the fields of international political economy, contemporary Chinese studies, and economic sociology, underpinned by two broad themes.
My first broad interest is in questions surrounding the role of financial systems in the emergence of particular trajectories of economic growth and social development. Debates continue to swirl unresolved around the global political economy as to the relationships between the financial and the real economy, between the state and market, and between economic growth and social inequality. I examine these questions so by emphasizing the significance of risk and uncertainty in the construction of mechanisms of governance and regulation that overlap and weave together the institutions of state and market, and the logics of public and private interests.
The second theme of my research focuses specifically on the way in which China’s politico-economic development is influencing the evolution of these mechanisms of governance and regulation within the global political economy. China is an emerging power that combines rapid and capital-intensive economic growth with a highly cohesive and competent authoritarian political system. It is a combination that is of considerable scholarly and policy significance as China comes for the first time in 150 years to assert a significant presence in the global political economy. Through my research I investigate how China is not simply ‘emerging’ or ‘integrating’ into the global economy, but how it is reshaping many of the foundational aspects and features of a system that is in a state of deep flux and uncertainty.
Through all of this, I’m most interested in the evolution of the social, political, and economic dynamics of contemporary capitalism. Through my work I hope to a contribute to a better understanding of why it works so well for some purposes, why it so often works disastrously for others, and where it might ultimately be going in the future.
Before I arrived at the University of Amsterdam, I was the Wai Seng Senior Research Scholar in Asia-Pacific Studies at the University of Oxford. In 2011 I was also a visiting doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Köln. From 2012-2013 I was a visiting research fellow at the Peking University School of Government, and visiting researcher at the Institute for World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
I am an Australian citizen, born in Spain to an Australian father and Taiwanese mother. Prior to a career in academia, I was a lawyer in Sydney. But Australia's a long way from everything, and a combination of privilege and curiosity has led me to work and live all around the world, from a development NGO in Bosnia to a corporate law firm in Singapore to a Californian ski resort. I've been lucky to travel to many many places in between, and the people that I meet there remind me constantly that somehow the world, for all of its mindless bullshit, is a surprisingly wonderful place.