Part of Department of Sociology
The Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI) is interdisciplinary, global and comparative in scope, addressing big issues facing the world today.
We provide a space for the development of a shared set of theoretical and empirical interests, encouraging dialogue between different perspectives and approaches in order to advance the field of economic sociology.
On the basis of our breadth and range of research interests, our combination of economic sociology and political and cultural economy, our interest in the multi-modality of capitalist economies, and a strong focus on consumption and innovation, we have developed a distinctive identity.
A strong feature of our research culture is the global reach of our research, and an approach that is both historical and comparative. International collaborative research in Europe, USA, South America and the Asia Pacific are established areas of our research.
The Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI) was established by Founding Director Professor Mark Harvey in 2007. Professor Harvey is the author of numerous influential books, including, most recently, Inequality and Democratic Egalitarianism: Marx's Economy and Beyond' and Other Essays, written in 2018 and co-authored with Professor Norman Geras.
With his strong research focus on political economy, the circulation of global commodities, and theories of economic justice, Professor Harvey positioned CRESI to play an important role in national and international discussions about efforts to combat growing global economic inequality and environmental degradation. As Emeritus Professor at the University of Essex, Professor Harvey remains an involved and inspiring presence at CRESI.
From 2017 to 2023, Professor Linsey McGoey was Director of CRESI. A social theorist and economist sociologist, her key publications including No Such Things as a Free Gift (Verso, 2015), and The Unknowers: How Strategic Ignorance Rules the World (Bloomsbury, 2019). Prof McGoey played a core role in expanding the reach of CRESI’s international collaboration and scope, hosting over 40 seminars with national and international guest speakers, and pioneering a new role for student involvement with CRESI events through multiple mentorship and frontrunner schemes, and through co-hosting CRESI events with Essex Students’ Union and the Black Social and Political Society (BSPS). Like Professor Harvey, Professor McGoey remains on the steering group of CRESI.
Our working paper series is internally refereed and a central vehicle for the dissemination of our research. It aims to achieve rapid and wide dissemination of the achievements arising from the full range of our research projects, as well as provide a route to publication for doctoral students. Since it has been established, it has a record of high levels of downloads across the world.
CRESI staff are recognised experts in their fields and are frequently asked to give advice to national government departments, local authorities, NGOs and commercial organisations.
Our projects have included advice on business strategies, masterclasses and workshop sessions as well as contributions to steering boards and reviews of evidence.
The Centre provides a focus and a magnet for existing PhD students currently supervised by staff in the Department of Sociology, and for new students.
Our series of seminars and workshops assist the development of a research culture and identity around economic sociology. By stimulating interaction and enhancing the cohesion of a substantial part of the Department’s research activity, we provide a forum for developing research agendas.
We encourage you, as a doctoral student, to get involved in our research projects, giving you the opportunity to participate directly in the core research of the Centre. You will be very much ‘part of the team’ of a already supportive research environment.
For more information on how to get involved with CRESI, please contact our Co-Director.
The Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation plays host to a lively postgraduate research community. If you want to become a postgraduate research student or find research supervision, we can help you.