All my research has been preoccupied with understanding the forms of power in capitalism, with a particular interest around the nexus between material and symbolic power. Empirical work which investigates these larger tendencies is focused on three areas of global political economy: (1) trade (WTO; NGOs and trade policy); (2) ideologies and capitalism (neoliberalism, the politics of managerialism); and (3) finance (City of London institutional politics). My disciplinary location is within international political economy and international political sociology.

Political Economy of Global Trade

I have long standing interests in the political economy of international trade. In my Oxford University Press book, Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization (2013), I explore how different forms of power operate within a major international organisation. Through the theoretical inspiration of Pierre Bourdieu, the study plots how developing countries have struggled over recent agricultural trade rules. In recent research, I address the broader issue of experts and expertise in making of global trade policy. This project explores the socio-political construction of expertise in order to answer two key questions: (1) how does one become an expert in this field of transnational capitalism? (2) what are the distributional consequences of the privileging of certain expertise over others? The work is particularly focused on the rise of research-intensive civil society groups, such as Oxfam, and how they have contested mainstream policy.

Example Publications

Book: Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Article: 'Professionalizing Protest: Scientific Capital and Advocacy in Trade Politics', International Political Sociology, 12 (2018), 3, 233-255.

Book chapter: 'All the Trader’s Men: Professionals in International Trade Policymaking', in Seabrooke, L. and Henriksen, L. F. (eds), Professional Networks in Transnational Governance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Ideologies and Capitalism

I have a particular interest in the relationship between ideologies and capitalism. In my book, Neoliberalism: The Key Concepts (Routledge, 2016), I provide a critical guide to 44 key terms which have become dominant, such as choice, competition, and entrepreneurship. My argument is that there is not a single neoliberal ideology, but rather that the creation, defending, and critiquing of contemporary capitalism involves many ideologies, resulting in multiple historical sources and hybridized forms.  Elsewhere, in recent work, I have collaborated with a group of colleagues to explore the political economy of managerialism. Published in a special issue of Review of International Political Economy (co-edited with Sam Knafo), our argument is that IPE has neglected the increasing power of managerial ideas and practices in many domains of the global economy. My research has explored how to define managerial ideology and, in an empirical analysis, assess its rise and contestable impact on international NGOs.

Example Publications

Book: Neoliberalism: The Key Concepts (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).

Book chapter: ‘Historicising the Neoliberal Spirit of Capitalism’, in Springer, S. et al. (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Neoliberalism (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).

Article: 'Introduction: The Political Economy of Managerialism' (with Samuel Knafo), Review of International Political Economy, Published online May 21, 2020.

Article: ‘The Rise of Managerialism in International NGOs’, Review of International Political Economy, Published online: 5 Sep 2019.

Political Economy of Finance

My current research agenda is focused on the politics of the City of London as a major hub of global finance. I am investigating the recent history of the City of London Corporation, an overlooked power centre within the system of UK and international finance. The research examines the unusual, public-private hybrid features of the Corporation and how we can understand its material, institutional, and symbolic forms of power. The scholarship has a particular interest in uncovering how the Corporation has reconfigured and survived when faced with major challenges, such as the global financial crisis and the Brexit process.


Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary (Oxford University Press, 2018). [Part of a collective writing project, lead editors Colin MacCabe and Holly Yanacek].


Neoliberalism: The Key Concepts (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).




"This book is a remarkable achievement: it organises the best scholarship on and about neoliberalism, summarises the material around a selected group of key concepts, and presents them clearly, comprehensively, and in beautiful prose. This solid academic work has been carefully written for a wide readership. If you want to learn more about neoliberalism, this book is for you." – Alfredo Saad-Filho, SOAS University of London, UK.

"Since 2008, and the government bail-outs that followed the financial crisis, there has been a flood of interest in neoliberalism. Eagleton-Pierce has done a sterling job in identifying the core themes and concepts and putting them into an accessible and readable volume. Highly recommended."
– Ray Kiely, Queen Mary University of London, UK.

"In the tradition of Raymond Williams’s Keywords, Eagleton-Pierce provides an indispensable guide to decoding the lexicon of neoliberal political-speak. Scholars will find the etymologies highly suggestive, enabling them to contextualize and nuance their analyses of the evolving dynamics of neoliberalism."
– Nik Theodore, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.



Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).




"A breath of fresh air in a notoriously dry, overly orthodox and all-too-often unimaginative field. Critical, innovative and persuasive throughout, this is the book we should all be reading and a standard by which we should judge future works on the WTO." 
Rorden Wilkinson, University of New South Wales.


"A deft adaptation and innovative extension of Bourdieu’s theory of classification struggles to probe the ordinary workings and submerged politics of multilateral negotiations on the global scene. With its intriguing mix of painstaking analytical elaboration and patient empirical parsing, this book sounds a double call for international political economy to add Bourdieu to its conceptual arsenal and to revise its methodologies to grasp how nations battle, rule, or submit beneath and beyond the ambit of material constraint and legal suasion."
Loïc Wacquant, University of California at Berkeley.


"This monograph offers an exciting and long overdue account of symbolic power in international trade politics, from an author who combines great theoretical sophistication with an admirable lightness of touch. As the WTO undergoes a period of post-Doha reflection and reinvention, it stands as a timely and important intervention, offering both a fresh perspective on how we got where we are, as well as a useful conceptual apparatus for rethinking possible futures for this vital organisation" 
Andrew Lang, London School of Economics.


"The contributions of this book are many. In theoretical terms, it pushes the study of power in new directions. Eagleton-Pierce's greatest achievement lies in showing how Bourdieu's symbolic power supplements Foucault's discursive power by bringing agency back in. Further, this book joins a small but important body of literature that approaches political economy from a political sociology perspective." 
– Vincent Pouliot, McGill University.


'Professionalizing Protest: Scientific Capital and Advocacy in Trade Politics', International Political Sociology, 12 (2018), 3,

'The Concept of Governance in the Spirit of Capitalism', Critical Policy Studies, 8 (2014), 1, 5-21.

'The Competing Kings of Cotton: (Re)framing the WTO African Cotton Initiative', New Political Economy, 17 (2012), 3,


'Advancing a Reflexive International Relations', Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 39 (2011), 3, 805-823.

'The Internet and the Seattle WTO Protests', Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 13 (2001), 3, 331-337.



'Historicising the Neoliberal Spirit of Capitalism', in Springer, S., Birch, K., and MacLeavy., J. (eds.), The Routledge

Handbook of Neoliberalism (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).

'Symbolic Power and Social Critique in the Making of Oxfam's Trade Policy Research', in Hannah, E., Scott, J., and
         Trommer, S. (eds.), Expert Knowledge in Global Trade (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).