Dr Michael F. Keating

Professor of International Political Economy

Dr Michael F. Keating

Dr Michael F. Keating

Prior to working at Richmond, Dr Keating taught in Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick (2001 to 2006), in Politics and International Studies at Murdoch University, Western Australia (2000), and in Political Science at the University of Western Australia (1998-2000).

Dr Keating graduated with a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick in 2006. Previously, he studied Political Science at the University of Western Australia, graduating with a BA (1st Class Honours) in 1998, and an MA (by Research) in 2000. Dr Keating is a member of the Political Economy of Energy in Europe and Russia (PEEER) Steering Committee, and an Associate Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), at the University of Warwick. He is also a member of BISA’s International Political Economy Group (IPEG) and BISA’s Africa and International Studies Working Group, the UK’s African Studies Association (ASAUK), the Royal African Society, the Association of South-East Asian Studies in the United Kingdom (ASEAUK), and is a Global Development Network registered researcher.

Faculty Research

The Global Energy Challenge: Environment, Development and Security, Palgrave. Forthcoming (May 2015) (with C. Kuzemko and A. Goldthau)
‘Asia Catches Cold, Russia Sneezes: The Political Economy of Emerging Market Crises in 1997/1998’, in Fouskas, V. (ed.) The Politics of International Political Economy, Routledge, 2014.
‘The Policy Brief: Building Practical and Academic Skills in International Relations and Political Science’, in Politics, 2009, (29)3: 201-8; republished 2013 as a special ‘Virtual Edition’ on Teaching and Learning (with J.D. Boys).
‘Global Best Practices, National Innovation Systems, and Tertiary Education: A Critique of the World Bank’s Accelerating Catch-up (2009)’, in International Journal of Public Policy, 2012, 8(4/5/6): 251-65.
‘Can Democratization Undermine Democracy? Economic and Political Reform in Uganda’, in Crawford, G. and G. Lynch (eds.) Democratization in Africa: Challenges and Prospects, Routledge, 2012.
Dynamics of Energy Governance in Europe and Russia, Palgrave, 2012 (co-edited with C. Kuzmeko, A. Goldthau, A. Belyi).
‘Re-Thinking EU Energy Security: The Utility of Global Best Practices for Successful Transnational Energy Governance’, in Kuzemko, C., A. Goldthau, A. Belyi and M. Keating (eds.) Dynamics of Energy Governance in Europe and Russia, Palgrave, 2012.
‘Dynamics of Energy Governance in Europe and Russia: Introduction’ (with C. Kuzemko, A. Goldthau and A. Belyi) in Kuzemko, C., A. Goldthau, A. Belyi and M. Keating (eds.) Dynamics of Energy Governance in Europe and Russia, Palgrave, 2012.
‘Can Democratization Undermine Democracy? Economic and Political Reform in Uganda’, in Democratization, 2011, 18(2): 415-42.
‘The Policy Brief: Building Practical and Academic Skills in International Relations and Political Science’, (with J.D. Boys) in Politics, 2009, 29(3): 201-8.

Extract from Research

Excerpt from ‘Global best practices, national innovation systems, and tertiary education: a critique of the World Bank’s Accelerating Catch-up (2009)’, International Journal of Public Policy, Vol 8, Nos. 4/5/6, p.260.

Accelerating Catch-up is then, at the very least, a clear statement of the enhanced role of
the state that knowledge economies necessitate, even within the framework of neo-liberal
development models. The need for a regulatory state with enhanced governance,
coordination and networking functions reflects the continuing transformation of
capitalism, but also the continuing transformation of neo-liberalism, particularly with
regard to the appropriate role of the state. The deep contradictions of neo-liberalism can
be seen in this transformation: the more the market is called for, the more the state is
necessitated [Watson, (2005), p.144; Polanyi, 2001 [1944]].
Accelerating Catch-up seeks to manage this necessity through the framework of NIS,
where competitive advantage is derived from the distinctiveness of national political
economy. There is a clear contradiction however between this approach and the
neo-liberal global best practices the World Bank also advocates for the tertiary sector.
Despite the World Bank’s stated policy of supporting institutional diversity in
tertiary education, an Africa-wide convergence on the single model of tertiary education
provider is resulting from the pursuit of these best practices: private universities
providing standardised and mass-scale forms of education in a globally competitive
environment. Whether due to World Bank lending practices or pressure on public
universities from fee-based private universities, vocational and other non-university
tertiary providers are becoming attached to universities, or offering degree programmes
[Collins and Rhoads, (2008), p.182; Robertson, (2008), pp.7–10; Sall and Ndjaye,
(2008), pp.47–54; Torres and Rhoads, 2006; Samoff and Carrol, (2004), p.26, (2002),
This convergence in institutional forms is the one-size-fits-all outcome of neo-liberal
reform policies based on global best practices, which the World Bank continues to
promote despite all doubts regarding their veracity. As the previous discussion made
clear, these global best practices for tertiary education are problematic in of themselves.
However, further to this, and whether as the intent of these reforms, or as a consequence
of policy transfer failure, these best practices clearly undermine national institutional
diversity from which, in the NIS framework, competitive advantage might be derived.
Accelerating Catch-up embodies the fundamental contradictions between programmes
tailored to different state’s developmental needs, stating that “country conditions will
matter in the design of the reform package”, and neo-liberal one-size-fits-all development
strategies, advocating on the same page “country strategies that are informed by global
good practice” [World Bank, (2009), p.x].
If the NIS approach is to be taken seriously as a development strategy by sub-Saharan
African states, by the World Bank, and by other donors, it is necessary to recognise that
neo-liberal global best practices do not promote tertiary sector differentiation and
national distinctiveness: they are antithetical to the principle that reform processes should
be adapted to local conditions, building upon existing domestic organisations
and institutional frameworks [Mohamedbhai, (2011), pp.20–21; Sall and Ndjaye,
(2008), pp.47–54; Samoff and Carrol, (2004), p.36]. By leaving the narrow path of
neo-liberalism, nationally contextualised development strategies linked to the promotion
of knowledge economies, in the form of the NIS approach, might be pursued.

Get in Touch

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Dr Keating teaches at Richmond on the International Relations, Political Science, and Development Studies undergraduate degree programmes, and on the MA International Relations and International Development programmes.

Some of the courses I teach:
PLT 3105 Comparative Political Systems
PLT 5200 – Political Economy: Capitalism and Critic
DEV 5100 – Global Development Politics
DEV 6200 – Sustainable Development
DEV 7101 – Theories of International Development

Research Clusters:
The Study of the State, Power and Globalisation

Research Interest & Expertise:
Dr Keating’s research interests revolve around globalisation, governance and development, particularly as this relates to “global best practices”. This project combines comparative and international political economy with public policy, and has a regional focus on Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Policy areas he works on include how developing states manage energy reform (electricity sector), central banking, financial sector reform, and tertiary education policy. Further research interests include economic crises, international institutions and inter-state infrastructure cooperation.

My PhD Thesis was titled ‘Global Best Practice(s) and Institutional Reform in Developing States: Central Banks and the Electricity Sector in Malaysia and Uganda’, and my MA Thesis ‘The IMF, the World Bank and the Political Economy of Development: Inconsistency in the 1990s’. I co-edited Dynamics of Energy Governance in Europe and Russia, which was released by Palgrave Macmillan in March 2012. He is currently working on a co-authored textbook for Palgrave, titled ‘The Global Energy Challenge’, which will come out in mid-2015.

Dr Keating has served as a peer reviewer for the African Journal of Business Management, City Culture and Society, Democratization, Development and Change, Global Policy, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, Journal of Global Ethics, Journal of International Development, Pacific Review, Political Studies, and Polity.

E-mail: keatinm@richmond.ac.uk

Richmond Campus:
Room 3, Floor 2, Taylor Library Building
Tel: +44 (0)20 8332 8307

Kensington Campus:
Room 203, Asa Briggs Hall
Tel: +44 (0)20 7368 8430