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Peg Murray-Evans

Research Associate, Department of Politics, University of York

Peg’s research is focused on the role of power, ideas and institutions in the politics of international development. Her work spans topics including the role of Rising Powers in global governance, African trade relations with the European Union, and the UK’s trade relationship with the Commonwealth after Brexit. She currently holds a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship for a project titled Talking power: South Africa and the pursuit of legitimacy in the global order. Peg received her PhD from the University of York in 2015. Before this, she completed an MA (in Research Methods in Politics and International Relations) and a BA (in International Relations and Politics) at the University of Sheffield. Peg has also spent time as a visiting researcher at the University of Cape Town.

Peg has also published research on the United Kingdom’s trade relationship with the Commonwealth after Brexit. She gave evidence on this topic to the parliamentary International Trade Select Committee in 2017.

Peg is currently working on a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship titled Talking power: South Africa and the pursuit of legitimacy in the global order. This three-year project investigates the role of South Africa – a small but influential international actor – in shaping the governance of trade, development aid and climate change in the context of shifting patterns of global power. The project explores the way in which power in the international system is shaped by claims to legitimacy, the institutional structures in and through which these claims are made, and the way in which they are received by other players. In so doing, it aims to generate a better understanding of the changing contours of the international order and their impact on the global distribution of resources and human wellbeing.

Peg is also working on a book project: The power of developing countries in international trade: Making Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union. This book investigates the agency of weak actors in asymmetrical trade negotiations as well as the embeddedness of these negotiations within international institutional structures. In this way, the book not only explores the outcome of a specific set of trade negotiations – the Economic Partnership Agreements between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries – but also engages with wider debates about the ongoing battle over the dynamics and legitimacy of the multilateral trade system.


  • –present
    Research Associate, University of York