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Dr Lisa Tilley, PhD (Warwick), MA (Leeds), BA (Portsmouth)


Leverhulme Fellow

Telephone: 020 7882 3101
Room Number: Arts One, 2.24
Office Hours: Thursday 11am -12pm


My academic background is mainly in political economy/ development studies and the central concern of my work relates to how race and other intersecting forms of hierarchised difference enable processes of accumulation and dispossession in economies of extraction. A further concern of my research relates to how hierarchised difference is itself produced in and through the political economy. Most of my fieldwork-intensive research has been conducted in Southeast Asia, specifically across rural and urban frontiers of Indonesia.
I started in SPIR in September 2017 as Research Fellow on the Leverhulme project Race, Intimacy, and Extraction on an Internal Frontier. This is a three-year research project exploring social transformations provoked by the extension of mining operations across an extractive frontier within Indonesia. This study considers the internal frontier as a site of enclosure and dispossession, but also as the location of ‘difference’ as the home of Indigenous and racialised populations who contradict the state’s idea of the proper citizen. Overall the study expects to reveal a picture of the production of a regime of racial difference which structures corporate operations in the local area in the service of a broader economy of extraction.


Research Interests:

My research interests are largely anchored in critical approaches to political economy/development but also cross over into critical geography, urban studies, and sociology. I draw on various theoretical approaches to ‘the colonial question’ in material analyses of processes of accumulation and dispossession in the global political economy, with a special focus on Indonesia. My work has appeared in publications with a focus on political economy, political ontology, post/decolonial thought, and the ethics of research methods.      


Examples of research funding:

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship 2017 – 2020

British Council Newton Fund Research Fellowship 2016 – 2017

GEM Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Fellowship 2012 – 2015

AHRC Research Preparation Master's Award Holder 2009 – 2011


Academic Articles and Book Chapters

Raced Markets: An Introduction (co-authored with R. Shilliam) New Political Economy (Published online 2017).

Resisting Piratic Method by Doing Research Otherwise. Sociology (Published Feb 2017).

Undoing Ruination in Jakarta: The Gendered Remaking of Life on a Wasted Landscape. (Co-authored with J. Elias & L.Rethel). International Feminist Journal of Politics (Published September 2017)

Enclosures and Discontents: Primitive Accumulation and Resistance Under Global Capital (co-authored with A. Kumar and T. Cowan) City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action (Published 2017)

Evictions, ‘Social Housing,’ and the Rationalisation of Kampung Life in Jakarta. (Co-authored with J.Elias and L.Rethel) Asia Pacific Viewpoint (forthcoming 2018)

"Well, City Boy Rangoon, it's time to stitch up the evening": material, meaning, and Man in the (post)colonial city. In Jackson, M. (Ed.) Coloniality, Ontology, and the Question of the Posthuman, Routledge (Published 2017).

Immanent Politics in the Kampungs: Gendering, Performing, and Mapping the Jakarta Economic Subject. In A. Lacey (Ed.) Women, Urbanization and Sustainability, Palgrave Macmillan (Published, March 2017).

Global Environmental Harm, Internal Frontiers, and Indigenous Protective Ontologies (co-authored with A. Parasram) In O. Rutazibwa and R. Shilliam (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics (Accepted, Forthcoming 2017)

Decolonizing the Study of Capitalist Diversity: Epistemic Disruption and the Varied Geographies of Coloniality. In M. Ebenau, I. Bruff, C. May (Eds.) New Directions in Comparative Capitalisms Research: Critical and Global Perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan (Published March 2015).

Special Issues

Co-editor: Raced Markets: A special issue on race and political economy for the journal New Political Economy (forthcoming 2017/18)

Co-editor: Cultivating the “exemplary centre” in Southeast Asia: Internationalist Urbanism and Rebellious Alternatives. A special issue for the journal Asia Pacific Viewpoint (forthcoming 2018)

Co-editor: Enclosures and Discontents: A special issue examining the concept of ‘primitive accumulation’ today from various global theoretical and empirical perspectives for the journal City (published 2017)

Co-editor: Theory for a Global Age: A special issue for the journal European Journal of Social Theory (forthcoming 2019)

Selected Blogs and Media Contributions

Review: Connected Sociologies. E-International Relations

The Making of the ‘White Working Class’. Wildcat Dispatches

Fragments from a Critical Geography Conference. The Disorder of Things

Negotiating Ramadan in Indonesia. Discover Society

Nina Simone. Global Social Theory

Sylvia Wynter. Global Social Theory

The Human. Global Social Theory

Public Engagement

I co-founded the collaborative research project Raced Markets, which explores ‘race’ in relation to political economy, and my other positions include Associate Editor of the pedagogical resource Global Social Theory, co-convenor of the Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial Working Group of the British International Studies Association (CPD-BISA), and Steering Committee Member of the Global Development Section (GDS) of the International Studies Association.

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