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Professor Grahame Thompson

Profile summary

Professional biography

Prof Grahame Thompson has spent most of his academic career at The Open University. He trained as an economist and was originally a member of the Department of Economins. He moved to the Department of Politics & International Studies in 2000 and served as Head of Department from 2001 to 2003 and for 2007.

Research interests

Prof Thompson is best known for his work on 'globalization', where, with his then co-author Paul Hirst, he sketched out a basically sceptical position in the book Globalization in Question. A third edition of the book was published in 2008, now jointly written with Simon Bromley and the late Paul Hirst.

In more recent years Prof Thompson's work has moved in several related directions. In the first place, there is an interest in the notion of territory in the contemporary international system ('The fate of territorial engineering: mechanisms of territorial power and post-liberal forms of international governance' International Politics, vol.44, 2007). This is connected to several articles which reflect on the way that fundamentalisms are re-shaping international politics ('Exploring sameness and difference: fundamentalisms and the future of globalization' Globalizations, vol.3, no.4, 2006, and 'Religious fundamentalisms, territories and "globalization", Economy and Society, vol.36, no.1, 2007). In addition, Thompson is developing a research project on 'global corporate citizenship', which involves examining this issue as a significant move within the evolving 'constitutionalization' of the international system ('Tracking global corporate citizenship: some reflections on "lovesick" companies' Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper No. 192, November 2006, Trinity College Dublin, and 'The interrelationship between global and corporate governance: towards a democratization of the business firm', in Handbook of Research on Corporate Citizenship, eds., A.G. Scherer & G. Palazzo, Edward Elgar 2008). Thompson is pursuing this research project while a visiting professor at the Centre for International Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School during 2008. Finally there is on-going research on the international financial system ('The supra-national regionalization of the international financial system: how far and with what prospects?' in G.R.D.Underhill, ed., Global Financial Integration 30 Years On, Cambridge University Press, 2008).

These research projects were conducted under the auspices of two Open University Research Centres: The Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) and the joint Open University and University of Manchester ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC).

Latest publications

'Time, trading and algorithms in financial sector security' New Political Economy, 17 May 2016.

'Interdisciplinary complexities' Journal of Cultural Economy, October 2015.

'Socializing the Constitution?' Economy and Society, Vol.44.No.3, pp.48-493, August 2015.

''The Constitutionalisation of Everyday Life?' -- Chapter 10 (pp.177-198) of The Evolution of Intermediary Institutions in Europe: From Corporatism to Governance edited by Eva Hartmann and Poul F Kjaer, Macmillan Publishers, August 2015.

‘Post-Katrina and Post-Financial Crises: Competing Logics of Risk, Uncertainty, and Security’ – Chapter 8 in: The "Katrina Effect": On the Nature of Catastrophe, edited by  William M. Taylor, Michael P. Levine, Oenone Rooksby and  Joely-Kym Sobott, Bloomsbury Publishers,  August 2015.

Heffernan, Richard and Thompson, Grahame eds. (2011). Politics and Power in the UK (3rd ed.). Power, Dissent, Equality: Understanding Contemporary Politics. Milton Keynes: Open University.

Teaching interests

Prof Thompson has made leading contributions to a range of Open University social sciences courses at all levels. Most recently he has contributed course materials to Living political ideas (DD306) and Earth in crisis: environmental policy in an international context (DU311). He continues to be closely involved with Governing Europe (DD200).


Democracy, citizenship, and corporate governance reform: How to deal with the internationalization of corporate activity (2021-12)
Thompson, Grahame
Thesis Eleven, 167(1) (pp. 42-57)

Deal or no deal? Some reflections on the ‘Baker-Thompson rule,’ ‘matching,’ and ‘market design’ (2020)
Thompson, Grahame F.
Journal of Cultural Economy, 13(5) (pp. 652-662)

'Financial globalisation' and the 'crisis': a critical assessment and 'what is to be done'? (2010-03)
Thompson, Grahame F.
New Political Economy, 15(1) (pp. 127-145)

The global regulatory consequences of an irrational crisis: examining 'animal spirits' and 'excessive exuberances' (2010)
Thompson, Grahame F.
Globalizations, 7(1) (pp. 87-103)

What's in the frame? How the financial crisis is being packaged for public consumption (2009-08)
Thompson, Grahame
Economy and Society, 38(3) (pp. 520-524)

International quasi-constitutionalism and corporate citizenship: language, troubles, dilemmas (2009)
Thompson, Grahame
Hermes Journal of Language and Communication Studies, 43, (pp. 13-22)

The fate of territorial engineering: mechanisms of territorial power and post-liberal forms of international governance (2007-09)
Thompson, Grahame F.
International Politics, 44(5) (pp. 487-512)

Religious fundamentalisms, territories and 'globalization' (2007-02)
Thompson, Grahame F.
Economy and Society, 36(1) (pp. 19-50)

Is the future 'regional' for global standards? (2005-11)
Thompson, Grahame F.
Environment and Planning A, 37(11) (pp. 2053-2071)

Global corporate citizenship: what does it mean? (2005-06)
Thompson, Grahame F.
Competition and Change, 9(2) (pp. 203-224)

Is all the world a complex network? (2004-08)
Thompson, Grahame
Economy and Society, 33(3) (pp. 411-424)

Getting to know the knowledge economy: ICTs, networks and governance (2004)
Thompson, Grahame F.
Economy and Society, 33(4) (pp. 562-581)

The Future of Globalization (2002-10)
Hirst, Paul and Thompson, Grahame
Cooperation and Conflict, 37(3) (pp. 247-265)

Corporate governance and democracy: the stakeholder debate revisited (2002-05)
Driver, Ciaran and Thompson, Grahame
Journal of Management and Governance, 6(2) (pp. 111-130)

Globalization in Question (3rd edition) (2009-02)
Hirst, Paul; Thompson, Grahame and Bromley, Simon
ISBN : 978-0-7456-4152-2 | Publisher : Polity | Published : Cambridge, UK / Malden, MA, USA

Between hierarchies and markets: the logic and limits of network organization (2003-02-20)
Thompson, Grahame F.
ISBN : 019877527X | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford, UK

Myten Om de store danske virksomheder i globaliseringen (2010)
Haakonsson, S. J. and Thompson, G. F.
In: Kaspersen, Lars Bo; Lund, Joachim and Petersen, Ole Helby eds. Offentligt eller privat? Public or private? Historiske og aktuelle udfordringer i politik og økonomi Historical and current challenges in politics and economics
ISBN : 978-87-574-2167-5 | Publisher : DJOF | Published : Copenhagen, Denmark

Politics and Power in the UK (3rd ed.) (2011)
Heffernan, Richard and Thompson, Grahame eds.
Power, Dissent, Equality: Understanding Contemporary Politics
ISBN : 9781848734739 | Publisher : Open University | Published : Milton Keynes

Links between Governance, Incentives and Outcomes: a Review of the Literature (2005-03)
Davies, Celia; Anand, Paul; Artigas, Lidia; Holloway, Jacky; McConway, Kevin; Newman, Janet; Storey, John and Thompson, Grahame
National Co-ordinating Centre for NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R&D (NCCSDO), London, UK.

Foreign Investment, Globalisation and International Economic Governance (1994-05)
Thompson, Grahame
Economics Department, The Open University