Watson Institute at Brown University
Public Policy
Mark Blyth

Mark Blyth

Mark Blyth

Eastman Professor of Political Economy
Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs

Areas of Interest: International and Comparative political economy with Europe and US as core areas. Global financial markets, banks and non-banks. History of political economy. The politics of economic ideas.


Mark Blyth is a political economist whose research focuses upon how uncertainty and randomness impact complex systems, particularly economic systems, and why people continue to believe stupid economic ideas despite buckets of evidence to the contrary. He is the author of several books, including Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2002, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford University Press 2013, and The Future of the Euro (with Matthias Matthijs) (Oxford University Press 2015)


Currently trying to stop talking about the macroeconomics of austerity but bad ideas never seem to go out of fashion so it's hard to stop. New projects on economic knowledge as a macro-structural property rather than as an individual property; why the Baby-Boomers constitute a threat to future prosperity and political stability; and why long and low inflation rates and interest rates are here to stay for much longer than we think.


“Capitalism in Crisis: What Went Wrong and What Comes Next” Foreign Affairs, Summer 2016

“Ideas and Historical Institutionalism.” Contribution to the Oxford Handbook of Historical Institutionalism (New York: Oxford University Press 2016) With Oddny Helgadottir and William Kring.

“The New Ideas Scholarship in the Mirror of Historical Institutionalism: A Case of Old Whines in New Bottles?” European Journal of Public Policy, December 2015.  

“Just Who Put You in Charge? We Did: Credit Rating Agencies and the Politics of Ratings,” chapter for Alexander Cooley (ed.), Rankings and Ratings Organizations and Global Governance (Cambridge University Press 2015) (with Rawi Abdelal).

Matthias Matthijs and Mark Blyth (eds.), The Future of the Euro (New York: Oxford University Press 2015).


Spring 2016 PLCY 2235 – The Political Economy of Hard Policy Problems

Spring 2016 POLS 1415 – Classics of Political Economy

Fall 2016 POLS – Money and Power in the International Political Economy

News|Recent News

Nigel Farage, Leader of the Brexit Party

Will Brexit pollsters again help hedge funds make millions? (comments by Mark Blyth)

July 16, 2019 Deutsche Welle

Political economist Mark Blyth comments on the allegations that Nigel Farage may have influenced markets to help hedge funds on Brexit referendum night in 2016, and if it could happen again on October 31. "If you have a leading politician pushing in that direction, this gives the hedge funds a one-way bet, with insurance against failure. And that's the type of 'option' hedgies love the most."


Two Watson Faculty Make The Political Science 400 List

January 11, 2019 Cambridge University Press

Professors Peter Andreas and Mark Blyth are mentioned in an article published by the Cambridge University Press that "identifies the 100 currently most-cited scholars, the 25 most-cited in each PhD cohort and subfield, the 40 most cited-women scholars, and the 25 most-cited emeriti."


Adam Posen on central banks, China and the enduring power of the dollar

January 11, 2019 Financial Times

Mark Blyth, director of the Rhodes Center for International Economics and Finance, spoke with the Financial Times about the politicking of central banking, the hurdles to finding a U.S.-China trade war resolution, and how China can manage the financial risks building in its economy.