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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Professor Paul Langley

Professor in the Department of Geography
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41850
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41801
Room number: 222

Contact Professor Paul Langley (email at paul.langley@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Paul Langley is Professor of Economic Geography. Prior to joining the Department in 2011, he was Professor of International Relations at University of York, and Senior Lecturer in Politics at Northumbria University. He is presently Programme Director for BA(Hons) and MArts Geography, and previously convened the Department's Culture-Economy-Life (CEL) research cluster.

Paul's research contributes to the critical study of financial markets and financialization processes in economic geography and across the social sciences. He is the author of three monographs - World Financial Orders (Routledge, 2002/2013), The Everyday Life of Global Finance (Oxford University Press, 2008), and Liquidity Lost (Oxford University Press, 2015) - and has received research funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the British Academy. Paul is currently working on three projects:

Social finance and urban social innovation

In collaboration with colleagues at Durham Geography, research here is contributing to an ESRC Urban Transformations programme project (see http://community.dur.ac.uk/pursi/). The focus is upon novel forms of finance that are demarcated according to their social content and purpose (e.g. social impact bonds, social lending, community shares, civic crowdfunding) and which variously enable processes of urban social innovation. See, for example, Paul's blog post on 'Crowdfunding Cities' (http://community.dur.ac.uk/pursi/blog/) and his lecture in the 'Frontier Regions in Global Finance' series at the Goethe Universitat in Frankfurt (https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/47235672/11_lectures). This research develops from previous work on marginal and alternative spaces of finance, including subprime mortgages (Economy and Society, 2008), ethical investment (in Abdelal, Blyth & Parson, 2010) and, most recently, crowdfunding in the United Kingdom (Economic Geography, 2016, Environment & Planning A, online early). 

Digital interfaces and debt

The ESRC project on Digital Interfaces and Debt (led by James Ash, Newcastle, with Ben Anderson, Durham Geography) is exploring how credit-debt relations are consumed through digital platforms and apps. Work here relates to Paul's wider interests in the production, marketing and consumption of retail financial products and services (e.g. 'Remaking retirement investors', Journal of Cultural Economy, 2012; edited special issue, 'Consuming Credit', Consumption, Markets and Culture, 2014), and research with Andrew Leyshon (Nottingham University) on the intermediary infrastructures of digital economic circulation ('Platform Capitalism', Finance and Society, online early). 

Financial investment and decarbonization 

As part of REINVENT - a Horizon 2020 project with European partners and Harriet Bulkeley and Gavin Bridge from Durham Geography - research is investigating how new forms of financial investment are contributing towards the decarbonization of the economy. This develops and broadens Paul's long standing research interest in how processes of financialization ostensibly secure the life of the population via the markets - see, for example, book-length treatments of these issues in The Everyday Life of Global Finance (OUP, 2008) and Liquidity Lost (OUP, 2015), and a forthcoming chapter addressing how speculative financial circulations are envisioned as vital to popular wealth and well-being in Money and Finance after the Crisis (edited by Brett Christphers, Geoff Mann and Andrew Leyshon).

 

Cutting across his current and previous research, Paul also seeks to contribute to conceptual debates underway in economic geography and beyond by developing a broad-based cultural economy approach. This includes concerns with how agency might be conceived of as distributed, relational and assembled, how economics can be understood to have performative power, how sovereign power and techniques feature in processes of economization and marketization, how affective energies are mobilized in economic practices, how the future is made present through calculative and anticipatory techniques, and how the making of responsible and entrepreneurial subjectivities features in contemporary neo-liberal government. He has contributed, for example, to the Cultural Anthropology on-line debate on 'Theorizing the contemporary' (http://culanth.org/?q=node/561), and Paul Mason's Radio 4 Analysis episode on 'Radical economics' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00y6qtb).

Supervises

Paul welcomes doctoral research students interested in working on topics that fall broadly within the remit of his research interests. He has previously successfully supervised students who have written theses on a wide range of topics, including occupational pensions in the UK, sub-prime mortgage markets in the US and UK, ‘small states’ and ‘hot money’ in the global economy, financial stability and central banking, and the rise of the US dollar as 'world money'.

External Supervisions

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Digital finance
  • Geographies of money and finance
  • Consumer credit
  • Mortgage markets
  • Cultural economy

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Authored book

Chapter in book

Show all publications

Supervises