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Professor of Political Economy, University of Sheffield

Michael Jacobs was appointed as professorial research fellow at SPERI (the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute) in 2018. An environmental economist by background, his research now focuses on wider paradigm shifts in economic thought and policy, and the philosophical bases of economics and political economy.

Michael’s early career was as a community worker and adult educator. He later worked as a consultant in local economic development and environmental management. During this time he published his first book, The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development and the Politics of the Future (1991).

Michael subsequently took up an ESRC research fellowship in environmental economics and philosophy at the Study of Environmental Change at Lancaster University, and later in the Geography Department at the LSE. From 1997 to 2003 he headed the think tank the Fabian Society. He then became a member of the Council of Economic Advisers at the Treasury (2004-7) and a special adviser to the Prime Minister (2007-10) with responsibility for energy, environmental and climate change policy. From 2010-15 he worked as an adviser on international climate change strategy for the UN, national governments, NGOs and philanthropic foundations in the run up to the Paris climate conference. From 2012-14 he was co-editor of The Political Quarterly. From 2016-18 he was Director of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, and lead author of its final report Prosperity and Justice: A Plan for the New Economy (2018).


  • –present
    Research Fellow in Political Economy and the Environment, University of Sheffield