Research at Leeds Beckett
Dr Thomas Purcell
About Dr Thomas Purcell
Thomas F. Purcell is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Leeds Beckett University. Previously, he was Sub-Director of the National Strategy Centre for the Right to Territory (CENEDET) based at the Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales, Ecuador.
Prior to this, he held research positions at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and at the Universities of Manchester and Nottingham. His research to date has examined the specificities of uneven capitalist development in Ecuador and Venezuela, and also the political economy of Spain and the Eurozone crisis. Thomas is currently writing a research monograph “In the Nature of an Oil: The Rise and Fall of 21st Century Socialism in Venezuela”, which seeks to provide an original reading of the internal contradictions and limits of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.
Alongside this, Thomas is continuing research into the political economy of global value chains and agrarian change in the Ecuadorian cocoa sector. This forms part of wider project, investigating the ‘Global Political Economy of Cocoa’. He is also involved in a collaborative interdisciplinary project seeking to theorise the triadic relationship between value-rent-finance in the financialisation of nature and society. Empirically, this project seeks to understand contemporary forms of ‘rentiership’ and value extraction in the water industry.
- Module leader The Political Economy of the Global South (Level 5)
- Module Leader Introduction to Marx and Marxism (Level 5)
- Module Leader Debating Empire and Imperialism (Level 6)
- Module Leader Theories of International Political Economy (Level 7)
- Module Leader The Political Economy of Globalisation (Level 7)
At its broadest my research addresses the social and spatial injustices of uneven geographical development. I am interested in critical political-economic theory as a means to transcend disciplinary boundaries, to theorise from the vantage point of the Global South and, most importantly, to interpret real world problems. Of necessity, therefore, my research engages with a range of disciplinary fields spanning global political economy, development studies, political ecology, urban political economy and agrarian studies.
On this basis, I have made original theoretical and empirical contributions in four principle thematic areas: the political economy of development in the ‘post-neoliberal’ extractive industries in Latin America; agrarian labour, economic rents and financial markets in global agricultural value chains; the ‘financialization’ of cities and urban infrastructure; and economic and political crisis in the Eurozone’s periphery. A unifying thread running throughout my research is a deep methodological and political interest in the territorial, institutional and scalar power relations which permit the creation and appropriation of value in the global economy.