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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


David Yarrow

David Yarrow
Dr David Yarrow
Lecturer in International Political Economy
3.12 St John's Land Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
International Political Economy, Economic Statistics, National Accounting, Sustainable Development, Growth and Degrowth, Constructivism, Economic Ideas, History of Economics, Karl Polanyi, Global Economic Governance, GDP, Automation, UBI, Environmental Economics, Wellbeing Economics, International Organisations


  • PhD, Political Economy (Warwick)
  • MSc, International Relations (Bristol)
  • BA, History (Bristol)


I completed my PhD at the University of Warwick in 2018, funded by the ESRC as part of the 'Rethinking the Market' project. Before being appointed to my current position I worked as a Research Fellow in SSPS, where I supported the development of the PIR REF impact case studies. Previously I obtained a BA (History) and MSc (International Relations) from the University of Bristol, with a focus on modern economic history, the philosophy of social science and international political economy.


My research contributes to debates spanning IPE and global governance literature. I draw on constructivist theory to understand how the ideas, discourses and technical practices disseminated by International Organisations (IOs) frame the economic policy space available to states in confronting the major policy challenges of the 21st century (climate change, financial instability, demographic transition and digital automation). My PhD focused on the emergence of post-growth accounting systems in global economic governance and the historical conceptions of value and welfare that underpin these. Based on fieldwork (expert interviews and participant observation) within the OECD, EU and the UK government, the project demonstrated how international accounting standards delineate national economic policy space, helping to legitimise certain institutional regimes and delegitimise others. This work was nominated for the ECPR Jean Blondel Prize for the best PhD thesis in politics.

More broadly, I am interested in how economic ideas and expertise are used in public administration and democratic discourse, how they serve to naturalise certain contestable assumptions about human nature, agency, money and debt, and the implications of this for contemporary economic citizenship and democracy. I have published on the rise of macroprudential ideas in financial regulatory practice, the relationship between neoliberalism and populist politics and the use of human capital accounting in global economic governance and welfare policy. My current work seeks to explore the mainstreaming of Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) in post-Brexit UK environmental governance, as well as the measurement and valuation of unpaid work.

If you are interested in being supervised by David Yarrow, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Politics; MSc (R) Politics