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Alessandra Mezzadri

(she/her; they/them)
Reader in Global Development and Political Economy, SOAS, University of London

I am a feminist political economist of global development, concerned with processes of globalization of production, work and social reproduction. I have been trained in Economics, Political Economy and Business Studies at La Sapienza, Rome, and in Development Studies, Gender, Labour and Development, at SOAS. I joined SOAS as faculty in 2008, after completing a PhD on the ‘making’ of cheap labour in the Indian garment industry, with an emphasis on the labour regime characterizing the industry, its global and localized patterns of labour control, and its productive and reproductive links to the informal economy. I continue my work on what I call ‘sweatshop economics’ to date.

I also work on feminist political economy theories, methods and methodologies, on the relation between production and reproduction in shaping processes of value and labour surplus extraction, and on the global political economy of work. In the last two years, I have worked extensively on the political economy of COVID-19 from a feminist lens centered on social reproduction, and accounting for intersecting inequalities of class, gender and race.
Based on my work, I have collaborated with international development organizations like the ILO and UNIDO and with INGOs like ActionAid, Labour Behind the Label, and War on Want. I have engaged with global development research or education centres like UNU-WIDER and the Global Labour University (GLU). I have worked alongside unions, labour organizations and NGOs, like the Self-Employed Women Association (SEWA), Cividep and READ in India.

At SOAS, I teach on theories of development, political economy, global supply chain capitalism and labour, feminist political economy, and contemporary India. I consider myself a global instructor dedicated to the teaching of social justice. I have delivered guest lectures and seminars internationally, and collaborated with the Global Labour University.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Development Studies, SOAS, University of London