Academic Staff: Nicola Phillips
Professor Nicola Phillips, BA, MSc, PhD (University of London)
Professor of Political Economy
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1668
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 1717
Room: Elmfield 1.24
Nicola Phillips joined the Department in May 2012 as a Professor in Political Economy. After completing an MSc in Comparative Government and a PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, her first job was as a lecturer in International Political Economy at the University of Warwick. She moved to the University of Manchester in 2002, where she was promoted to Professor in 2006. She has held visiting positions and fellowships at a range of institutions across the world, most recently at the Australian National University and the University of British Columbia.
Professor Phillips’ research and teaching interests cluster around the study of global political economy and the political economy of development. She currently holds a Major Research Fellowship from The Leverhulme Trust, which runs for three years from October 2010, for work on forced labour and human trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation in the global and UK economies. Her recent research on these topics has also been supported by grants from the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Among her wider professional activities, she is the Vice-Chair and Chair-elect of the British International Studies Association and a member of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) sub-panel for Politics and International Relations. Until 2013 she was one of the editors of the journal New Political Economy, and its Editor-in-Chief between 2004 and 2010. She is a member of the International Advisory Boards of the Review of International Political Economy and the Lynne Rienner International Political Economy Yearbook series, and a member of the Editorial Boards of Contemporary Politics and the Caribbean Journal of International Relations and Diplomacy.
Interacting with undergraduate and postgraduate students, in lectures and seminars and outside the ‘formal’ teaching environment, is one of the most stimulating and enjoyable parts of the job of being an academic. I have always thought that teaching is not about (or should not be about) trying to ‘sell’ a particular viewpoint or approach to students, but rather about helping to develop their capacity for independent, critical thought that is strongly grounded in detailed empirical knowledge and careful theoretical work. This is reflected in the ways I approach all of my teaching and supervision activities, whether in large lectures, in seminars, in one-to-one discussions during office hours, or in dissertation or thesis supervision meetings. I try always to find new ways to pique students’ interest and excitement about the subject matter of my courses, to stimulate and challenge them to think their way around the topics and systematically question their own assumptions and arguments, and to encourage everyone to be confident in participating in group discussions and debates. Yet the relationship is not one-way, and I place a great deal of importance both on students coming to lectures and seminars well-prepared and ready to engage in the process of learning and debating, and on encouraging independent work and the development of research skills. When the two sides of the process come together, the results can be enormously enjoyable and highly rewarding.
In the first semester of 2013/14, I will be leading the MA module POL612 on The Political Economy of Globalisation.
Examples of Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures
- ‘The Failures and Failings of Governance: Slavery and Human Trafficking in Global Production Networks’, presented in a Special Session at the International Labour Organization (ILO) conference on ‘Regulating for Decent Work’, Geneva, Switzerland, 3-5 July 2013.
- ‘The Economy of Forced Labour in the UK’, comments to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation event on ‘Forced Labour in the UK’, London, UK, 27 June 2013.
- ‘Academia, Relevance and Engagement: What’s In It For Us?’, keynote plenary presentation at the Annual Conference of the British International Studies Association, Birmingham, UK, 20 June 2013.
- ‘Human Trafficking, Slavery and the Governance of Global Production’, presented at the workshop on ‘Governance in a “Global Value Chain” World’, Duke University, Durham NC, USA, 11-13 April 2013.
- ‘Forced Labour, Child Labour, Human Trafficking: Explaining the Resilience of the Worst Forms of Labour Exploitation in the Global Economy’, public lecture, Liu Institute for Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, Canada, 24 February 2013.
- ‘The “Dark Side” of the Migration-Development Nexus in Latin America’, public lecture, Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies, Australian National University, 20 September 2012.
- ‘A Global Economic Crisis or a (Big) Storm in a (Small) Teacup? Bringing the Rest of the World Back In’, plenary presentation at the inaugural conference of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Centre (SPERI), University of Sheffield, UK, 16-18 July 2012.
- ‘Poverty and Forced Labour in the Global Economy’, seminar presentation at the US Department of Labor, Office on Child Labour, Forced Labour and Trafficking, Washington DC, USA, 30 March 2012.
- ‘The Future of Development Studies’, keynote presentation to the second postgraduate conference of the Sheffield International Development Network (SIDNET), University of Sheffield, UK, March 2011.
Awarding Body: The Leverhulme Trust: Major Research Fellowship
Title of Research: ‘Forced Labour’ and Trafficking for Labour Exploitation in the Contemporary Global Economy
Duration: 3 years October 2010-October 2013
Total award: £137,617
Awarding Body: Chronic Poverty Research Centre
People Involved: Principal investigator, collaboration with research teams in Brazil (based at Repórter Brasil, São Paolo) and India (the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi)
Title of Research: Vulnerable Workers in Global Production Networks: Case Studies of Trafficked and Forced Labour in Brazil and India
Duration: 1 year, September 2009-September 2010
Total award: £73,500
Awarding Body: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): Research Seminars award
People Involved: Principal investigator, collaborating with a group of colleagues at the University of Manchester
Title of Research: Unfree Labour
Duration: 2 years, 2009-2010
Total award: £17,772
Professional activities and recognition
- Vice-Chair and Chair-elect, British International Studies Association (from January 2013)
- Member, International Advisory Board, Review of International Political Economy.
- Member, International Advisory Board, International Political Economy Yearbook series, Lynne Rienner publishers.
- Member, Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 Sub-panel C21: Politics and International Relations.
- Member, Peer Review College, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
- Member, Advisory Board for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Contemporary Slavery Programme.
- Member, Robert and Jessie Cox Award Committee, International Studies Association (ISA).
Professor Phillips’ current research is organised around four linked areas of interest:
The international political economy of governance. This strand of research is interested in the changing forms and dynamics of governance in the global economy, particularly in connection with the evolution of global value chains as the principal structures around which production and trade are organised.
Labour and labour standards in global production and trade. This work features a particular interest in issues of poverty, vulnerability and informality and their connections with how workers are incorporated into global economic activity, as well as the politics of public and private forms of regulation and the ‘ethics’ of production.
Unfree labour and human trafficking in the global economy. This work focuses on the global phenomena of forced labour and trafficking for labour exploitation, exploring how and why these forms of exploitation emerge and the reasons for their resilience.
The political economy of migration and development. This final strand of research explores the so-called ‘migration-development nexus’, enquiring into the nature of this nexus and its implications for countries, regions, societies and individuals across the world.
- Nicola Phillips, ‘Adverse Incorporation and Unfree Labour in the Global Economy: Comparative Perspectives from Brazil and India’, Economy and Society, 42:2, 2013, pp. 171-96.
- Nicola Phillips (ed.), Migration in the Global Political Economy, Lynne Rienner, International Political Economy Yearbook series, 2011, vi + 338pp.
- Nicola Phillips, ‘Informality, Global Production Networks and the Dynamics of “Adverse Incorporation”’, Global Networks 11:3, 2011, pp. 380-97.
- Anthony Payne and Nicola Phillips, Development, Polity Press, 2010, viii + 211pp.
- Nicola Phillips and Catherine E. Weaver (eds), International Political Economy: Debating the Past, Present and Future, Routledge, 2010, x + 261pp.
- Nicola Phillips, ‘Migration as Development Strategy? The New Political Economy of Dispossession and Inequality in the Americas’, Review of International Political Economy 16:2, 2009, pp. 231-59.
Nicola Phillips enthusiastically welcomes applications from prospective doctoral students interested in pursuing research in the area of global political economy and the political economy of development, particularly, but not exclusively, on questions associated with labour, migration, and poverty and inequality. She has previously supervised 10 students to the successful completion of their PhDs.