GEM PhD School

Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate

Academic Degrees & Titles

Iain Pirie is a Lecturer in Politics and International Studies. He received his PhD from the University of Manchester in April 2004. After completing his thesis he was employed as an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Manchester until September 2004. He spent the 2004-2005 academic session as a Teaching Fellow at Lancaster before joining Warwick in July 2005. Iain is currently convenor of the 3rd year module ‘Politics of Globalisation’. He also teaches on the MA module ‘Globalisation, Governance and Development’. 

Research Area(s)

Iain Pirie is interested in the role that the changing dictates of international competitiveness have played in shaping the development of particular national state forms over the last three decades. Over the last five years his research has examined the shift from a state-led to a neo-liberal development regime in South Korea. He is currently engaged in developing his research in three distinct but related directions. First, he is examining the convergence between structures of monetary and financial governance in the UK and Korea over the last decade. Given the radically different histories of these two national social formations it is remarkable how similar systems of monetary/financial governance in contemporary Korea and Britain are. Second, he is interested in the parallels and differences between Korea's and Japan's experience of crisis and reform in the 1990s. Third, he is seeking to explore more systematically what the Korean experience tells us about the flaws in the current consensus surrounding carefully sequenced liberalization and highlights the integral role that crisis must frequently play in processes of economic and political transformation

Specific Research Interest(s)

His research is driven by an interest in how structural changes in the global economy (the transition from Fordism to Post-Fordism) have impacted on national state forms and social life more generally. This interest is reflected in the four articles and the monograph on the Korean political economy he published between 2005 and 2007. This was also the subject of the presentation he gave to the Chatham House’s Korean Discussion Group in 2006.

Iain’s present work is less concerned with the impact of structural changes on particular national social formations than on particular aspects of social life in the core capitalist world as a whole. He has recently finished and will soon submit journal articles on the academic publishing industry and the viability of high skill competitiveness strategies in the contemporary global economy. The central objective of both these articles is to demonstrate how the social pathologies of contemporary capitalism are a result not of regulatory failings but the inherent laws of motion of capitalism itself. As such they advance the superiority of a classical Marxist approach to the understanding of political economy. In the immediate future Iain intends to write a critique of Neo-Listian development theory and to develop a Marxist political economy of Bulimia Nervosa.


Iain is currently convenor of the 3rd year module ‘Politics of Globalisation’. He also teaches on the MA module ‘Globalisation, Governance and Development’

Suggested Fields of Inquiry

International political economy; liberalisation and state transformation, particularly the cases of Korea, Japan and the UK; Post-Fordism; contemporary development economics; David Harvey.

Overview of Publications

Recent Publications


The Korean Developmental State: From Dirigism to Neo-Liberalism, London, Routledge (2007). 

Journal Articles:

'Economic Dynamism and Social Injustice in Contempoary Korea', Critical Asian Studies, 38 (2) (2006).

'Economic Crisis and the Construction of a Neoliberal Regulatory Regime in Korea', Competition and Change, 10 (2006)

'Better by Design: Korea's neoliberal economy', Pacific Review, 18(3):1-20 (2005).

'The New Korean State', New Political Economy, 10 (1): 27-44 (2005).