Visitor to Senior Combination Room, St. Edmunds College, University of Cambridge

I am a political economist at the University of Cambridge. I have made a vocation of working, and living, at the frontier where theory meets practice.

After beginning my career at Oxford University's International Development Centre, I left for the developing world, where I spent two decades working as an academic, journalist and ultimately the co-creator and director of a policy think tank. Along the way, I lectured at universities in Britain, the US, Canada, France, Germany, South Africa and the Caribbean. I last taught in Cambridge's Centre of Development Studies, and now devote myself fully to my writing. In amidst lecture-series and fellowships abroad, I now divide my time between New York and London.

My most recent books are Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics as a Religion and How it all Went Wrong (Simon & Schuster, 2017) and, with Peter Heather, The Lives of Empires (Penguin, forthcoming 2019).


  • –present
    Fellow, University of Cambridge


  • 1991 
    Queen's University, Political economy