Dr Ilias Alami


I am a political economist.

In February 2022, I'll be starting a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship at Uppsala University. Prior to that, I held a postdoctoral researcher position at Maastricht University in the Netherlands (where I worked on the ERC-funded SWFsEUROPE project) and a lectureship in International Politics at the University of Manchester .

I am lucky to be an Editor of Developing Economics a brilliant blog which features critical perspectives on development economics and political economy (+25,000 monthly visitors).

My research and teaching interests are in the areas of global political economy, the political economy of money and finance, state capitalism, economic geography, development and international capital flows, North-South relations, financialisation, the geographies of global finance, theories of the state, and the articulations between race/class/coloniality.

Some of my recent work has been published in peer-reviewed outlets such as New Political Economy, Review of African Political Economy, Review of Radical Political Economics, Geoforum, Development and Change, Human Geography, Competition and Change, Political Geography, Science and Society, Geopolitics, Antipode, EPA: Economy and Space, Contemporary Politics, Economic Geography, and Review of International Political Economy.

I am on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Business, Finance & International Development book series (Bristol University Press), of the journal Global Political Economy, and of the journal Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.

I teach courses on the political economy of development, global finance, and international political economy.

Most of my articles are available on my Academia profile.

Here's my University profile.

I enjoy tweeting stuff about politics, economics, international development, and music here: @IliasAlami


PhD in Politics - The University of Manchester, UK

MSc Development Administration and Planning - UCL, UK

MSc Management - Toulouse Business School, FR


Money, Finance, and Development

My new book is out! Money Power and Financial Capital in Emerging Markets (published in the RIPE series in Global Political Economy/Routledge), and it's been shortlisted by the British International Studies - IPEG association for the best 2019 book in IPE.

Here are some nice words about it:

"Theoretically sophisticated, historically grounded and politically alive, Alami’s study of the ongoing struggles of Brazil, South Africa and other Global South states to manage volatile cross-border flows of financial capital in the face of fractured local class relations is a razor-sharp contribution to the burgeoning critical literature on relations of money, power and space." - Brett Christophers, Professor of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Sweden.

The Spectre of State Capitalism

I'm also currently writing a book on the so-called 'new state capitalism', with my co-author Adam Dixon.

We've submitted a book proposal in January 2020, and currently waiting to hear from a publisher.

Also currently editing a couple of exciting special issues on the topic, to be published in Contemporary Politics and in Environment and Planning A.


Peer-reviewed publications


"Goodbye Washington Confusion, hello Wall Street Consensus: contemporary state capitalism and the spatialisation of industrial strategy", New Political Economy, [co-authored with Seth Schindler and Nick Jepson].

"International financial subordination: a critical research agenda", Review of International Political Economy [co-authored with Nina Kaltenbrunner et al.].

"The color of money at the financial frontier", Review of International Political Economy [co-authored with Vincent Guermond].

"Expropriation of capitalist by state capitalist: Organizational change and the centralization of capital as state property", Economic Geography, online first [co-authored with Adam Dixon].

"Special Issue introduction: what is the new state capitalism?", Contemporary Politics, online first, [co-authored with Milan Babic, Adam Dixon, and Imogen T. Liu].


"Uneven and combined state capitalism", Environment and Planning A, online first, [co-authored Adam Dixon].

"Die Geopolitik von Finanzialisierung und Entwicklungspolitik. Interview mit Ilias Alami," Journal PERIPHERIE – Politik • Ökonomie • Kultur 162 (2-2021), 298-317.

"State capitalism and the global D/development regime", Antipode, 53(5), 1294–1318 [co-authored with Adam Dixon and Emma Mawdsley].

"Geopolitics and the 'new' state capitalism", Geopolitics, online first [co-authored with Adam Dixon, Nana de Graaf, Milan Babic, Ruben Gonzalez-Vicente, Ingrid Medby, and S-O Lee]

"State theory in the age of state capitalism 3.0?", Science and Society, Vol. 85, 2, (2021), 162–170.


"The strange geographies of the 'new' state capitalism", Political Geography, Vol. 82, October 2020, [co-authored Adam Dixon]

"State Capitalism(s) Redux? Theories, Tensions, Controversies", Competition and Change, Vol. 24(1) 70–94 [co-authored Adam Dixon]


"Marx's Critique of Political Economy in Economic Geography", Human Geography, Vol. 12, Number 2, pp. 65-72

“Taming Foreign Exchange Derivatives Markets? Speculative Finance and Class Relations in Brazil”, Development and Change, Vol. 50, Issue 5, pp. 1310-1341

“Post-crisis Capital Controls in Developing and Emerging Countries: regaining Policy Space? An historical materialist engagement”, Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 51(4) 629–649


“On the Terrorism of Money and National Policy-Making in Emerging Capitalist Economies”, Geoforum, Vol. 96, pp. 21-31

“Capital Accumulation and Capital Controls in South Africa: a class perspective”, Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 45, Issue 156, pp. 223-249

“Money-Power of Capital and the Production of New State Spaces: a view from the Global South”, New Political Economy, Vol. 23, Issue 4, pp. 512-529

Book Chapter

"New States Capitalism(s)", in Krista Nadakavukaren and Thomas Cottier (eds). Elgar Encyclopedia of International Economic Law.

"Afropessimism in Emerging Market Finance", in Bourne, C. Gilbert, P. Haiven, M., Montgomerie, J. (eds) (2022) Images of the Unseen / Colonial Debts, Manchester University Press.

“Global Finance Capital and Third World Debt”, in Cope, Z. & I. Ness (Eds) (2019). The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-imperialism, 2nd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan.

Book review

Geofinance between Political and Financial Geographies: A Focus on the Semi-Periphery of the Global Financial System, Economic Geography, Vol 97, 2021, Issue 3.

“Note de Lecture : Nature et Forme de l’Etat Capitaliste”, Actuel Marx, 2016/2, n° 60, pp. 180-181

Blog and media contributions


"Uneven and Combined State Capitalism: towards a research agenda", Progress in Political Economy, available here,

"Petrostates", Phenomenal World, available here

"A new Washington Consensus on the role of the state?", Developing Economics, available here

Podcast Interview: "Uneven and combined state capitalism", Global Development Institute Podcast, [with Adam Dixon], available here

Podcast interview: "State Theory for De-Orientalizing State Capitalism", Poliko: Conversations in Political Economy, available here


"Colonial hangover à la française", Colonial Hangover Magazine, available here

"The Clash of Capitalisms?" (with Adam Dixon), openDemocracy, available here

"The Spectre of State Capitalism" (with Adam Dixon), Developing Economics, available here

"Facing a Liquidity Tsunami? Profit, Risk, and Discipline in Emerging Markets", Progress in Political Economy, available here, and reposted by Monthly Review online here

"Thinking Politically about Capital Controls", Marxist Sociology Blog, available here


"State Capitalism Redux?" (with Adam Dixon), Progress in Political Economy, available here

“Class matters: Global capital mobility and state power in emerging economies”, E-International Relations, available here

“Post-crisis capital controls in developing economies: regaining policy space?” Union for Radical Political Economics blog, available here


“On the terrorism of money in emerging capitalist economies”, Progress in Political Economy, available here

“Revisiting capital controls: a class perspective”, Developing Economics: A critical perspective on Development Economics, available here


“Money-power and the capitalist state in the Global South”, Progress in Political Economy, available here


“Repolitisons la Monnaie !” (with Vincent Guermond and Caroline Metz), Revue Ballast, available here


“Is the world economy about to topple again?”, Manchester Policy Blog, Dec 10th 2015, available here

Conference activities

“State Capitalism and State-led Development before and after COVID-19” mini-conference [co-organised with Adam Dixon, Milan Babic, Imogen Liu, Nana de Graaf] at SASE annual conference, July 2021, online event.

“Uneven and Combined State Capitalism”, International Karl Polanyi Conference, Concordia University, April 2021, online event.

“Uneven and combined state capitalism”, Invited talk at the China In Europe Research Network (COST-Action), March 2021.

"Mini-conference: State Capitalism and State-led development in the 21st century", SASE (with Adam Dixon, Milan Babic, Nana de Graaf), July 2020.

"Theorising Financial subordination" (with fellow project members), Politics of Money network, December 2019, Amsterdam, NL

"State Capitalism redux? Theories, tensions, controversies”, (with Adam Dixon), IIPPE, July 2019, Lille, FR

“Financing Development”, 4 sessions and 1 practitioner panel co-organised (with Adam Dixon and Emma Mawdsley) at the Association of American Geographersannual conference, April 2019, Washington D.C.

“Financialisation in developing and emerging economies”, December 2018, Cambridge, UK

“On the Terrorism of Money in the New Peripheries”, Global Conference on Economic Geography, July 2018, Cologne

Summer Institute in Economic Geography (fully funded, highly competitive summer school for early-career researchers), July 2018, Ghent

Invitation by Dr Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock to speak on the panel “The Politics of Economic (dis)Connections and Flows in Development”, Political Studies Association conference March 2018, Cardiff (fully funded)

“Uneven forms of financial vulnerability and policy response in post-crisis Brazil and South Africa”, BISA-IPEG Conference, Liverpool University, 1 Oct 2017

“Uneven forms of financial vulnerability and policy response in post-crisis Brazil and South Africa”, IIPPE Conference, Berlin School of Economics, 14 Sept 2017

“Capital Accumulation and Capital Controls in South Africa: a Class perspective”, Association for Heterodox Economics Conference, University of Manchester, 12 July 2017, awarded Best Early Career research paper

“A Marxist analysis of capital controls in Brazil and South Africa: From the 1930s to the post-2008 crisis context”, Research Seminar in Industrial Development and Policy, University of Johannesburg, 11 Nov 2016

“Post-crisis capital controls in emerging capitalist countries: regaining policy space? A critical IPE engagement”, Trans-Pennine Working Group, The University of Manchester, March 2016

“Finance-dominated accumulation and transformations of state power in Brazil: an analysis using the concepts of 'passive revolution' and 'uneven and combined development”, BISA-IPEG conference, The University of Manchester, 16-17 October 2015

“Post-crisis capital controls in emerging capitalist countries: regaining policy space? An historical-materialist engagement”, IIPPE conference, Leeds University, 9-11 September 2015

“Post-crisis capital controls in emerging capitalist countries and policy space”, Association for Heterodox Economics Conference, Southampton University, 2-4 July 2015

“International capital flows to the peripheries and the (re)production of uneven spaces of global finance: a long-run view”, Lancaster University PhD sociology conference, 29-30 June 2015


My teaching at Maastricht University this academic year (2019-2020) was given an average of 9/10 by my students.

In 2018/2019, my teaching at Maastricht University was given an average of 4.9/5 by my students.

Modules taught at Maastricht University:

2019. GDS4001 "Brokers and Translaters in Development", MA course

2019-2020 GDS4001 “Globalization and Poverty: a connected world”, MA course

2019-2020 GDS4000 “Theories and Histories of Development”, MA course

Modules taught at The University of Manchester:

2018. POLI70422 “Global Governance”, MA course,

2018. POLI32082 “The International Political Economy of Trade”, 3rdyear UG course

2017. POLI20711 “The Politics of Globalisation”, 2ndyear UG course

2017. POLI20722 “The Politics of Development”, 2ndyear UG course

2016. POLI10502 “Politics of the Global Economy”, 1styear UG course

Sample Student Testimonies from Course Unit Surveys

'Ilias, once again, did a great job in the course. He is a tutor that truly enjoys teaching, and as a student you can really see that. His critical insights of the readings make the tutorials highly instructive. I appreciate how he often discusses contemporary examples and personal experiences. Additionally, his friendly, down-to-earth behaviour is appreciated and also clearly energised the other students to participate.' – Globalization and Poverty (2019)

'Ilias is surely one of the best teachers I had in my educational career. He increases the overall teaching quality of GDS. His feedback on assignment is critical, yet, motivating and helpful!' – Globalization and Poverty (2019)

‘His enthusiasm for the subject was unparalleled. Was always eager to provide feedback and really engaged with students. One of the best lecturers I've had at university.’ – The International Political Economy of Trade (2018)

‘The structure of each two-hour seminar was excellent. It kept all students engaged throughout. I don't usually enjoy participating in class discussion, however, Ilias's teaching style really put me at ease. He was friendly, approachable, and provided a critical insight into an interesting subject. This was by far my favourite class.’ Global Governance (2018)

‘Stimulating in seminars and incredibly constructive in my essay feedback that opened up ideas I thought never existed. He knows a lot and was helpful in times of stress. Easy to contact and just an all round nice chap!’ Politics of Globalisation (2017)