The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Matt Davies

Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy



I joined the staff in Politics at Newcastle University in 2006 as a Lecturer in International Political Economy. Until recently, I was the Director of the Postgraduate Taught Programmes in Politics and I am currently the Degree Programme Director for the MA in World Politics and Popular Culture.


Ph.D., Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver, 1996.
M.A., Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver, 1986.
B.A. in Spanish, Colorado College.

Previous Positions

Assistant Professor, Political Science Department, Pennsylvania State University-Erie, 1998-2005
Visiting Professor, Political Science Department, York University (Toronto), 2002-2004
Visiting Professor, Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana, 1995-1997.


International Studies Association
British International Studies Association
Political Studies Association

 I am also on the editorial board for the Popular Culture and World Politics book series published by Routledge.


English (first language)
Spanish (fluent)


Research Interests

International Political Economy, Culture, and Work

Other Expertise

popular culture and everyday life; politics of the Southern Cone countries of Latin America

Current Work

My current research involves a theoretical critique of contemporary International Political Economy. The problem I address is the tendency of the field to ignore work. But the discipline itself is structured in such a way to devalue work or to treat it as something else -- e.g., a commodity in circulation. Thus I am drawing on cultural theory, aesthetics, theories of the body, and the critique of everyday life to develop a theoretical foundation for understanding what work is, to contribute to a critique of International Political Economy. My publications have covered diverse topics from a consideration of the division of labour in cultural political economy; to punk rock as international relations; to the consequences of the critique of everyday life for international political economy; to the power relations affecting unprotected workers in international political economy; to a theory of work as articulated in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to a critique of financialization through an aesthetic theory of work. The theoretical influences I draw most heavily on are Henri Lefebvre, Raymond Williams, Jeffrey Harrod, David Levine, Walter Benjamin, and Antonio Gramsci; but I am also very interested in the aesthetic and political theory of Jacques Ranciere and the debates about politics and democracy between Ranciere, Zizek, and Laclau.

Future Research

Future research will continue to focus on work, poverty, and culture in the global political economy. I am currently completing two studies on precarity and politics, one focusing on the poltics of precarious workers in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and the other on the portrayal of precarious workers in three films, and a study on the body in international political economy based on an aesthetic theory of work.

Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome inquiries regarding PhD supervision in the fields of work or industrial relations in the International Political Economy; Cultural Political Economy; Popular Culture and World Politics; or in related fields. 


Chen-Wei Wang, From developmentalism to neoliberalism? Taiwan's Economic Transition (co-supervisor with Professor Barry Gills, completed 2011).
Mark Edward, The Presence and Construction of the Caribbean in Electronic Representations (co-supervisor with Dr Simon Philpott, completed 2011)

Can Cinar, The Exercise of Political Authority by the Credit Ratings Agencies: Standard and Poors (co-supervised with Kyle Grayson, MPhil in 2013).

George Brathwaite, Free Movement of 'Community Nationals': An Inductive Approach to Caribbean Regional Integration (co-supervisor with Dr Kyle Grayson and Dr Jocelyn Mawdsley)
Mai Stabell, Petroleum-Related FDI, Local Conditions, and Poverty Reduction: The Macae Region of Brazil (co supervisor with Professor Andy Pike and Professor Neill Marshall)

Gerard Thomas, Classes and Markets: Equality during Financial Turmoil (co-supervised with Professor Tony Zito)

Paul McFadden, Work, Power, and the Contemporary Politics of Alienation: The Commodification of Aesthetic, Affect, Emotion, and Immateriality (co-supervised with Kyle Grayson)

Maria Bakola, Crises, Collective Action, and the Political Subject: 21st Century Political Economy and the Formation of Political Subjectivity (co-supervised with Nick Morgan)

Emily Merson (York University, Toronto, Canada), Embodying Ongoing Histories: Self-Determination and Visual Art in World Politics (co-supervised with Anna Agathangelou and David Mutimer of York University)





Postgraduate Teaching

POL8005 Theories and Theorists of International Political Economy
POL8029 Politics of Global Change
POL8048 World Politics and Popular Culture
SOC8100 Politics of Development and Social Struggle in Latin America
SOC8101 The Shaping of Latin America: Social and Political Themes