Dr Samuel Appleton

Dr Samuel Appleton

Dr Samuel Appleton

B.08, 4 Priory Road,
11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
(See a map)


Telephone Number (0117) 331 0830

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Personal profile

PhD International Relations, The World Bank and the Origins of the Washington Consensus: Negotiating the Imperatives of American Finance, University of Sussex 2008 - 2014

MA Global Political Economy; University of Sussex 2006-2007

Master of Arts, German & International Relations; University of Aberdeen 2001-2006.


Senior Teaching Associate, SPAIS


BISA - International Political Economy Group

ISA - Global Development; International Organisation; International Political Economy sections


My research is situated in the field of global political economy, with particular focus on the role of the international financial institutions in global governance. I am interested in the relationship between these organisations, financiers, and member states – and the dynamic processes of negotiation among these groups through which hegemonic agendas are developed and realised.

My doctoral thesis explored the foundational importance of private American finance for the Bretton Woods order. Exploring four critical moments in the history and pre-history of the World Bank from the 1930s to the 1980s, the study traces the development of a proprietary terrain at the interstices of US financial and state power in which the agency of Bank management became decisive in the construction of key tools and practices of global governance. By illustrating how managerial agency emerges within this framework of social relations, the thesis uncovers the importance of the social anchoring of the Bank in mediating American hegemonic agendas and opens a path for re-conceptualising the role of the World Bank in the construction of American hegemony.

Building on this, my current research continues to explore the importance of the Bank’s material basis in private finance for its development lending strategies - particularly those associated with the so-called 'Washington consensus' and emergent successors, and in relation to emergent challengers in the form of the BRICS Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. I am interested in the managerial technologies of the institution's governance - and their key role in the Bank's emergence as a central institution of 'neoliberal' governance. This may help to illuminate the relationship between the Bank and its borrowers, with particular reference to the Bank's role in transitions to neoliberalism in the global South, as it becomes increasingly embedded in the everyday life of the societies it aims to support, create, and police.


In academic year 19/20, I am teaching on POLIM3012 International Security, POLIM3030 International Human Rights and POLIM0037 The Middle East and IR Theory at postgraduate level. I am also teaching POLI10004 Politics of the Global South and POLI20003 International Organisations and Global Governance at undergraduate level.

I have been the convenor of MSc units POLIM0006 East Asia and Global Development and POLIM2048 International Development Organisations, alongside tutoring on POLIM3015 International Political Economy, POLIM0007 Global Transformations, and POLIM3017 Foreign Policy Analysis; while at undergraduate level, I have also taught POLI21213 Development Studies. 

I supervise dissertations at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Fields of interest

Global Political Economy, Development Studies, Global Governance, World Bank

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