Elizabeth Cobbett
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Personal profile

Academic Background

PhD (2012)               Carleton University, Ottawa

South Africa in the New World Order: Power, Finance and Society

MPPA (2006)              Concordia University, Montreal 

BA (2003)                 Concordia University, Montreal 

Political Science

Administrative Posts


Elizabeth Cobbett is a lecturer in International Political Economy at the University of East Anglia, UK. She earned her PhD at Carleton University in 2012 through her dissertation: South Africa in the Changing World Order: Power, Finance, and Society. Her current research agenda centres on emerging financial geographies of transnational monetary power across Africa as the continent deepens its integration into global capital networks. More specifically, her work examines the different ways in which global finance seeks profitable opportunities within localised social structures and outlines how African actors are extending their reach to embed global financial networks within national and local settings. Her current research is being conducted in Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa with a view to publication of a monograph, The Political Economy of African Financial Centres: The New Realm of Global Finance (forthcoming, Edward Elgar). Elizabeth has published in scholarly journals such as Third World ThematicsJournal of Critical Globalization Studies and Journal of Islamic Studies. She has contributed numerous book chapters notably in Making Things International: Vol 1. Circulation, edited by Mark Salter (Minnesota) and in The Power of Cities in International Relations, edited by Simon Curtis (Routledge). She is recipient of the ISA Robert and Jesse Cox 2012 Graduate Essay Award, a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s CGS Doctoral Scholarship in 2007, the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada: Graduate Student Award of Merit in 2004, as well being the winner of the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada essay competition: Canada’s Experience with NAFTA. In 2018 she was visiting fellow at Universidad Autonoma in Madrid and visiting scholar at Carleton’s BGInS in Ottawa, Canada in 2019.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

The key area of my research in the political economy of finance within the African context. Within this large category, my investigation maps the emerging geography of finance across the continent. I am interested in how powerful public authorities and governments are shaping the way financial processes take place within Africa. This includes examining the rise of sub-regional hegemons, such as Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya reach out and embed financial networks within their territory and how sub-national authorities, such as Lagos State and Gauteng, endeavour to position their leading cultural and economic hubs as anchors for global finance. I conduct my research within the context that African countries are part of tremendous global changes as the world economic centre of gravity moves East. An important aspect of this is that African politicians and leaders face huge and urgent developmental challenges and, in response, are increasingly turning to alternative sources of funding, such as private capital markets and public funding from the global South.

Teaching Interests

I teach global political economy, International Relations and contemporary African politics and international relations from a perspective that situates global North and global South relations as dynamics of entanglement. As a lecturer, I increasingly endeavour to decolonise both my mind, my research and my teaching. I work towards creating a strong community of scholarship to foster a vibrant environment for students and to reinforce research networks and affiliations.

Professional Activities

I am on the editorial board of IAS journal: Nokoko https://carleton.ca/africanstudies/research/nokoko/

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Carleton University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2012