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Dr Helen Thompson

Dr Helen Thompson

Reader in Politics

The Department of Politics and International Studies
The Alison Richard Building
7 West Road

Cambridge , Cambridgeshire CB3 9DT
Office Phone: 01223 767264


Helen Thompson moved to Cambridge in 1994 and works in the Department of Politics and International Studies . Her research has focused on political economy in relation to the interaction of domestic politics and international constraints,  the politics of financial crises, and the politics of debt. She is currently working on a project about the democratic political fallout of the financial and euro zone crises.

Research Interests

International political economy: the state, democracy and the international economy; the financial crisis;  sovereign debt; the euro-zone crisis; UK economic policy

Key Publications

  • The British conservative government and the European exchange rate mechanism 1979-1994 (London: Pinter, 1996).
  • The politics of central banks (London: Routledge, 1998) (with Robert Elgie).
  • Might, right, prosperity and consent: representative democracy and the international economy 1919-2001  (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008).
  • China and the mortgaging of America: domestic politics and economic interdependence (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010).
  • ‘The limits of blaming neo-liberalism: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the financial crisis’, New Political Economy, 2012 vol. 17 no. 4. pp. 319-419.
  • ‘UK debt in comparative perspective: the pernicious legacy of financial sector debt’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol 15, no 3, pp 476-492.
  • ‘Debt and power: the United States’ debt in historical perspective’ International Relations, 2007, vol 21 no 3, pp.305-323.


Programme Logo

History of Wealth Project

This project, co-funded by the Philomathia Foundation and the Isaac Newton Trust, investigates the broader significance of wealth an inheritance in 19th and early-20th century Britain.

This programme was launched by POLIS in October 2013, and aims to train future policy-makers to value and promote evidence-based policies that can most benefit society.