My teaching and research concern the politics and political economy of capitalism. I am interested in everything about it, theoretically, empirically, and politically, in all its varieties, past, present and future. I also teach lower-division courses in economic geography, as well as SFU’s human geography foundation class, Our World: Introducing Human Geography (GEOG 100).
Currently, my research has two general themes. The first is the historical development and future trajectory of macroeconomic governance (monetary, fiscal and regulatory policy) in the affluent global North. I am particularly interested in the ways that the state attempts to address political-economic and ecological crisis: the policies it develops, the ideas and politics that shape those policies, and the historical and political-economic conditions that make these ideas make sense. This is the focus of In the Long Run We Are All Dead: Keynesianism, Political Economy and Revolution (Verso, 2017), an examination of the past, present and future of Keynesianism and its origins in anxiety concerning the fate of “civilization”. From another angle, it is also the subject of Money and Finance after the Crisis: Critical Thinking for Uncertain Times, edited with Brett Christophers and Andrew Leyshon (of the Universities of Uppsala and Nottingham, respectively). The collection considers how we must rethink the role and meaning of money and finance in modern capitalism in light of the most recent run of crises.
The second theme is closely related: building on some earlier work together, Joel Wainwright of Ohio State University and I have written Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future (to appear with Verso in January 2018). The book explores some of the challenges global climate change poses to the contemporary geopolitical order. We are trying to wrestle with the implications of what we call “Climate Leviathan”, an emergent form of liberal-capitalist planetary order we find immanent in the hegemonic model of global climate governance. Working from the fundamental premise that the gravest consequences of climate change will be not only ecological, but also political, we are interested in the range of obstacles this emergent order might face, what form those might take, and what other possibilities might be on the horizon.
I am on the editorial/advisory boards of the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Antipode, Geoforum, Historical Materialism, & Human Geography, and the book series Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation (University of Georgia Press) and Economic Transformations (Agenda). At SFU, beyond the Geography department, I am associated with the Centre for Global Political Economy, the School for International Studies, the Morgan Centre for Labour Studies, and the Urban Studies program. I am a research associate of the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and chair of its Research Advisory Committee.