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Queen's University

Department of Global Development Studies

Susanne Soederberg

Susanne Soederberg

Professor and Canada Research Chair, Global Development Studies
D.Phil (Political Economy) Universität Frankfurt, Germany

Curriculum Vitae (PDF 265KB)

phone: 613-533-6000, ext 78391 
fax: 613-533-2986

Global Development Studies
Mac-Corry Hall A406
Winter Term Office Hours: By appointment.

Research Interests:

•  Global Political Economy
•  Global Finance
•  Geopolitics of Debt (Consumer and Sovereign)
•  Corporate Power
•  Global Governance
•  Housing Rights for the Poor

My research and teaching emphasise the political economy of development, with special emphasis on the role played by politics of the financial system ranging from the United States to Latin America and South East Asia. In my published work I have tried to debunk the commonly held belief that finance is a technical issue best left to those with expert knowledge, i.e., economists. One way I achieve this objective is by exploring - both theoretically and empirically - the role of, and intersections between, the rule of law and money. I investigate these themes across a variety of spatial scales (e.g., global, national, local) by exploring various topics such as: development aid, financial crises, corporate governance and socially responsible investment, and debt.

I have recently completed a book, Debtfare States and the Poverty Industry: Money, Discipline and the Surplus Population (2014). In this book, I interrogate critically the social power of money and new forms of neoliberal governance such as debtfarism. Building on this framework, I examine several case studies ranging from payday lending and the student loan industry in the United States to micro-lending and low-income housing finance in Mexico.

Building on this research, my next five-year project focuses on housing rights for low-income families living in some of the world’s largest slums and informal settlements in Mexico City, Manila and Mumbai. In this project, I am interested in examining the on-going marketization of housing rights and its connection to wider questions of power and social reproduction, climate change adaption (i.e., managing and negotiating flood zones, and, more generally, global disaster governance), and the juncture between public and private modes of governance.


Supervisory interests

I particularly welcome applications from graduate students, who are interested in conducting research in the political economy of low-income housing, the informal sector, and social reproduction in slums.  More generally, I am happy to supervise students, who are interested in conducting research on various topics listed above.

Other Appointments:

Cross Appointed
Department of Political Studies



DEVS 230: Global Political Economy of Development (fall term)

DEVS 494: Global Governance and Development (fall term)
DEVS 893/POLS 891: Global Political Economy of Slums, Development and Governance (fall term)

Selected Publications:

Single-Authored Books

Debtfare States and the Poverty Industry:  Money, Discipline and the Surplus Population. London: Routledge/RIPE Series in Global Political Economy, 2014. URL:

Corporate Power and Ownership in Contemporary Capitalism: The Politics of Resistance and Domination. London:  Routledge/ RIPE Series in Global Political Economy, 2010. URL:

Global Governance in Question: Empire, Class, and the New Common Sense in Managing North-South Relations.  London:  Pluto Books and Ann Arbor: University of     Michigan Press, 2006.

The Politics of the New International Financial Architecture: Reimposing Neoliberal Domination in the Global South.  London:  Zed Books / New York:  Palgrave, 2004,

Editor of Special Issues in Scholarly Journals

‘The Politics of Debt and Discipline: Law, Money and the State, ' with Adrienne Roberts Critical Sociology, forthcoming, 2014.

'Repoliticizing Debt', with Gavin Fridell Third World Quarterly, Vol. 34(4), 2013.

Governing the New International Financial Architecture,’ Global Governance , Vol. 7(4), 2001. 

Scholarly Journal Articles
'The US Debtfare State and the Credit Card Industry: Forging Spaces of Dispossession,’ Antipode: Radical Journal of Geography, Vol. 45(2), 2013, pp. 493-512. 

'The Mexican Debtfare State: Micro-Lending, Dispossession, and the Surplus Population,’ Special Issue: ‘The Rebound of the Capitalist State: The re-articulation of state capital relations in the global crisis,’ Globalizations, Vol. 9 (4), 2012, pp. 561-575.

Cannibalistic Capitalism:  The Paradoxes of Neoliberal Pension Securitization,’ Leo Panitch, Greg Albo, Vivek Chibber (eds) Socialist Register 2011: The Crisis this Time, London: Merlin Press, 2010, pp. 224-241.

The Marketization of Social Justice:  The Case of the Sudan Divestment Campaign,’ New Political Economy, Vol. 14 (4), 2009, pp. 211-230.

Deconstructing the Official Treatment for “Enronitis”:  The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Neoliberal Governance of Corporate America.’ Critical Sociology, Vol. 34 (5), 2008, pp. 657-680.

The Transnational Debt Architecture and Emerging Markets:  Politics of Paradoxes and Punishment,’ Third World Quarterly, Vol. 26 (6), 2005, pp. 927-950.

A Historical Materialist Account of the Chilean Capital Control: Prototype Policy for Whom?’ Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 9 (3), 2002, pp. 490-512

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000