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Can Globalisation Benefit All? Research Project

Developing an Economy of Belonging

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Principal Investigator: Henrietta Moore

Professor Dame Henrietta Moore is the Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity at UCL, where she also holds the Chair in Culture, Philosophy and Design. A distinguished anthropologist and cultural theorist, she has focused her recent work on the notion of global sustainable futures.


By rethinking how knowledge is produced, challenging current economic models, and identifying social and political dynamics, Professor Moore’s approach places notions of wellbeing, institutional change, citizenship, and social justice at the focal point of her research.


She is actively involved in the application of social science insights to policy at all levels, and is committed to involving grassroots communities in the production of new types of knowledge through ‘citizen science’. Professor Moore retains an ongoing interest in issues of globalisation, gender, social transformation and livelihood strategies, as well as the relationship between self-imagining and democratic political decision-making.


Co-Investigator: Andrew Percy, Juan M. Moreno, and Georgios Melios (Institute for Global Prosperity, UCL)

Project Summary

For a long time, the goal of economic policy has often been about improving productivity across regions as a pathway towards prosperity and wellbeing. This is problematic both because productivity figures are based on aggregate values of income, wealth, GDP, and GVA and because it is widely recognised that a series of factors including geography, institutions, culture, infrastructure and governance impact directly on productivity differences. The weight and significance of these factors remain poorly understood, and this accounts in large part for the continuing frustration of the UK ‘productivity puzzle’ and structural inequalities.

The prosperity of individuals and communities cannot be reduced to aggregate analyses of income, wealth or GDP; it encompasses a series of effects produced in specific times and places through the relationships established by living well together in functioning social, economic, political and ecological systems. Furthermore, the close relationship between political institutions, citizen needs and perceptions, and successful economic transformation in the 21st century has laid down new parameters and created new forms of uncertainty and volatility.

In the current context of the Covid-19 crisis, understanding these relationships and identifying what the priorities, infrastructures and mechanisms necessary for developing an economy of belonging, make exploring how to integrate emerging macroeconomic analysis with more local level knowledge a priority.

This definitively different from policies formulated through demands to raise GDP, prevent overheating in the economy or determine labour market performance. It requires a new approach directed towards quality of life and long-term prosperity of people and places.


This research project explores how macroeconomics can take account of these new uncertainties. By setting up the case and challenges for developing an economy of belonging, this project seeks to rework the relationship between macroeconomics and policy development, on the one hand, and place, livelihoods and infrastructures, on the other hand.



Working Papers

Working Paper I:

Identifying and Understanding Local Priorities for Developing an `Economy of Belonging': A Case Study of Eight Areas in the UK

Henrietta L. Moore, Juan M. Moreno and Georgios Melios | January 25, 2021

Anchor 1

Working Paper II:

How Effective are Political Cycles in the UK in the Micro-Level?

Georgios Melios | January 25, 2021

Working Paper III

Europe in Crisis: Political Trust, Corruption and Austerity

Georgios Melios | January 25, 2021

Anchor 2
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