Global Political Economy: Transformations and Policy Analysis

Pathway available at Bath, Bristol and Exeter

What is it?

This PhD training pathway is designed to foreground the dynamics of global transformation and their policy implications as well as their interrelations with national and regional institutional and social responses to the changing global political and economic order. As such, it seeks to foster dialogue and debate between the nationally-grounded assumptions and discourses on which much social science continues to be predicated, and other perspectives which seek to transcend these assumptions. Among other things the pathway will encourage students to analyse the diverse experiences and impacts of economic globalisation, examine relationships between global governance and inequality and to understand that analysis and resolution of many of the key problems that confront humanity in the 21st century require new and inter-disciplinary academic approaches, innovative methods and policy agendas, creative thinking and transnationally comparative datasets.

Who is it for?

The Global Political Economy: Transformations and Policy Analysis pathway will train researchers who understand the new dynamics of global transformation, can engage, inter alia, with emerging forms of global governance, and are committed to addressing global inequalities. The pathway will be of interest to those with disciplinary or interdisciplinary backgrounds in politics, economics, geography, sociology, law, history, international relations, policy studies, development studies and area studies.

What are the prerequisites?

Global Political Economy: Transformations and Policy Analysis will offer 1+3 and +3 studentships. Students applying for the 1+3 programme will have a high honours undergraduate degree or equivalent from a relevant discipline. Students applying for the +3 programme must have completed an MRes or MSc programme with appropriate research training or equivalent by September 2022.

What will I study in the first year?

Research training in the Global Political Economy: Transformations and Policy Analysis pathway will follow the standard SWDTP interdisciplinary format; i.e. three core research training modules will be selected from the consortium’s offerings in research design, data collection and data analysis. There will be one pathway specific module and two modules will be selected from an open list. The core research training modules will include a module called Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Design. This module will address the characteristics and challenges of ‘doing’ interdisciplinary research in a globalised world. It will be mandatory core training for this pathway.

The pathway specific module will be a custom-designed and co-convened core course entitled Global Transformations – Issues and Trajectories. This core module will be team taught by a cross-institutional group of colleagues guided by a designated pathway co-ordinator. It will introduce students to key concepts and debates in this field including the different forms of globalisation, global governance, global inequalities, and the developmental implications of the ‘rising powers’ of Asia.

Who will supervise my thesis?

All ESRC funded students will have two supervisors, one from each of two institutions in the SWDTP.  The supervisors will come from different disciplines.  Non ESRC funded students will have two supervisors from different disciplines within one institution. The supervisors will convene joint meetings on a regular basis.

When would it start?

Students will be expected to start September/October annually. If you undertake the MRes prior to your PhD please note that there will be two core units that may not be taught at your home institution and will require you to travel. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.

How many studentships are there in this pathway?

PhD studentships will be awarded each year on a competitive basis from a pool of 45 SWDTP studentships across the five universities.

How do I apply?

  • Work out your substantive research topic.
  • Contact the pathway lead at your preferred host University with a brief description of your proposed topic (no more than 1 page), who will l then put you in touch with potential supervisor(s) for your topic.
  • Dr Ben Radley, University of Bath,, Magnus Feldmann, University of Bristol,, Dr Nazrul Islam, University of Exeter,
  • Write a 1300-word proposal.
  • Students applying for ESRC funded studentships are encouraged to speak to their chosen school prior to application in order to discuss their research ideas with a suitable supervisor.  Students are also encouraged to look at ways of incorporating collaboration with external partners into their research proposal.  Collaboration does not always have to be a financial arrangement and could take the form of a placement, voluntary work, data sharing or other payment in kind opportunities.  Students considering overseas fieldwork, overseas institutional visits or difficult language training should also mention this in their application.
  • Submit your proposal to your host University using their online application form.
  • Please see the Admissions Statement & FAQs 2022 Entry for further information about the proposal and collaboration.




How do I apply for a studentship