Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute

SPERI is an international research centre at the University of Sheffield. They explore how contemporary economies work and the public policies which could achieve a more equal and sustainable society.



The Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield was launched in 2012 to research the political and economic issues posed by the global financial crisis. Since then it has published a large number of reports, papers and briefings, providing a valuable insight into key events in the economic and political sphere.
SPERI brings together leading international researchers in the social sciences, policy makers, journalists and opinion formers to assess and develop proposals in response to the political and economic issues posed by the current combination of Brexit, Covid, shifting economic power and environmental threats.
SPERI's annual lecture has hosted many high-profile speakers, including the then Labour leader Ed Miliband MP, Robert Peston, George Monbiot, Lord Robert Skidelsky and Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
Impactful research is a hallmark of SPERI. The following are just a few examples of their work with both national and international impact:
  • The Global Business of Forced Labour. Genevieve LeBaron’s research on the business of forced labour in global business production is helping to shape efforts by businesses, policymakers, and NGOs to tackle the business models of forced labour.
  • Food Charity and the Right to Food. Hannah Lambie-Mumford’s research into the prolific rise of food charity over the last 15 years and its implications for overcoming food insecurity has been influential in shaping understanding of hunger in the UK today.
  • Understanding the Post-Crisis British Economy. SPERI's research on the UK growth crisis, quantitative easing, rebalancing, infrastructure spending, the regional impact of Brexit, and on ‘Civic Capitalism’ has informed the work of policymakers.
  • Wellbeing and Inclusive Growth at the OECD. SPERI works with the OECD to develop their policy and practice on wellbeing and inclusive growth in ways that are multilateral and alongside a broader notion of inclusive development.
  • Influencing UK Industrial Strategy. The Industrial Strategy Commission - a partnership between SPERI and Policy@Manchester - helped to shape the UK’s new industrial strategy. The Commission's ideas for policy, particularly the emphasis on industrial strategy being long term, the importance of place and local institutions, and the importance of robust national institutions for monitoring industrial strategy, informed the Department’s thinking.

SPERI works closely with policymakers and business partners from around the world to develop their research projects, and to ensure it has real impact.


Their work is regularly cited in national and international media including the BBC, Financial TimesLe Monde and The Guardian.

Further information:
University of Sheffield – SPERI: Sheffield Hallam University:

Back to Research Innovation

Click the button above to be transported back to the research innovation section of the site.

Onwards to the next article

Click the button above to move on to the next research innovation page.