Blog to drive debate on global financial growth

A blog launched today by the University of Sheffield is aiming to become a centre for discussions on worldwide political and economic challenges led by international researchers.

The interactive internet debate page – called SPERI Comment – was launched today (8 November 2012) by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) and offers readers the chance to leave comments about the blogs and continue the conversation with a wide range of academics and guest writers.

Political economy is the wider study of real-life explanations, insights and strategies, in response to challenges facing the world, like the British growth crisis, the future of the Eurozone, and the G20 leadership.

commentProfessor Tony Payne, co-director of SPERI who launched the new site with a blog titled Why Political Economy?, said: “We need even more political economy analysis in the future than we’ve had in the past and we need the key debates within political economy to be noticed in the corridors of private and public power. SPERI Comment aspires to be a place where these debates can be discovered and conducted.

“Why set up a new blog to host debate about issues of political economy? Why establish a new university-based research institute – SPERI- focused upon the study of political economy? The answer comes in two parts.

“The first is that the global crisis, through which we are now living, with its varying national and regional ramifications throughout the world, including prominently the UK, is both economic and political in character. The second is that the mainstream Western traditions of analysis in neither economics nor politics are capable of providing the explanations, insights and strategies that we all desperately need.

“This is political economy. Its proponents saw the current global crisis coming more clearly than did most economists and political scientists. Today it offers the best basis on which to stand and think our way through to a new order.”

The blog will be updated at least once a week by academics with a wide range of expertise, guest writers, and also offers the opportunity for members of the public to have their articles published on the page.

SPERI brings together leading international researchers in the social sciences, policy makers, journalists and opinion formers to reassess and develop proposals in response to the political and economic issues posed by the global financial crisis. The institute’s first paper is due to be published in the New Year.

To view the latest blog visit:

Additional Information


SPERI brings together leading international researchers in the social sciences, policy makers, journalists and opinion formers to reassess and develop substantive proposals to respond to the political and economic challenges posed by the global financial crisis and its legacy.

SPERI will bring the analytical insights offered by a genuinely interdisciplinary political economy to bear on these pressing problems, providing a context in which policy-makers and academics can come together to explore and develop the growth strategies of the future.

SPERI will provide a home for visiting researchers and policy-makers from the UK and beyond and an international focus for debate, discussion and policy development in the wake of the global financial crisis. It builds on the activities of the University’s longstanding Political Economy Research Centre (PERC) and seeks now to take the work of this centre to another stage.

The University of Sheffield

With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, and 2007).

These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world. The University’s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.


For further information please contact:

Paul Mannion
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 9851