I completed my PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London in April 2018. I focused on examining the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) from a political and critical perspective, specifically looking at the development of their International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-Sized Entities (IFRS for SMEs). This research is innovative, unique as it draws on Post-Structuralist Discourse Theory to examine geo-political, technocratic regulation and is transdisciplinary as it operates at the intersection of accounting, politics, policy, regulation, economics, development and the impacts of debt.
Traditionally accounting is presented as apolitical and objective. My research challenges this by exploring the political and subjective nature of accounting and its impact upon society, through the deconstruction of the politics of numbers. In this I draws on theories of Neo-liberalism, Hegemony and Emancipation, specifically theorisations from: Laclau, Mouffe, Gramsci, Foucault, Marx, Derrida, Luxembourg, Althusser, Lazzarato, Butler, Post-colonial theory, Gibson-Graham and through the methodological framing of Glynos & Howarth’s Logics of Critical Explanation.
As my research is transdisciplinary I have explored connections of accounting to various other disciplines including public policy, regulation, geography, politics, philosophy and discourse theory through strong empirical, theoretical and methodological research.
Since completing my PhD I have become involved in and started a number of new projects with colleagues nationally and internationally. These include a transdisciplinary project with collaborators in politics and policy interrogating the politics of numbers and technologies of governance across various spaces and a project focusing on accounting and regulatory challenges for social enterprises, community and cooperative based organisations and alternative economies. In particular, I am undertaking projects that examine the impact of accounting and valuation in non-traditional entities. This research considers various core themes at the cutting edge of accounting, regulatory, policy and politics research including austerity, indebtedness, notions of accountability, neo-liberalism, alternative economies and communities, and extends previous research in my PhD and publications. Though this I have significant experience qualitative-based case study research.
My research crosses a number of different concepts, projects, boundaries and interests:
a) accounting for Small and Medium-Sized entities (SME’s)
b) technologies of governance
b) austerity and indebtedness
c) notions of accountability
d) regulation, regulatory reform and the impact of regulation on SMEs
e) accounting challenges for social enterprises, community and cooperative based organisations
In the emerging technologies of governance project, we are focused on examining the role of accounting and economic discourses in politics, policy and regulation. By understanding accounting and economic information as contestable, constructed practices, this provides an important insight into the increasing adoption of accounting and economics into regulation and regulatory decisions. By contesting the ‘objectivity’ of such information, our research provides new insights into approaches to governance and regulation.
This project focuses on bringing together transdisciplinary researchers interested in governance, regulation, politics, accounting, and economics to interrogate the politics of numbers, and the role of accounting and economic technologies in politics, policy and regulation. The research programme deconstructs the dominant technologies of governance and examines alternative regulatory approaches to challenge the status quo and develop new pluralistic discourses that open the space for new techniques to emerge. The project will discuss and engage with a variety of different case studies (such as airports, pharmaceuticals, telecommunication, financial crisis) and operate as a forum for discussion of those cases, themes and topics to extend our understanding of the impact of accounting and economics socially, politically and culturally, but in a direction that has not been the direct focus of the socially-constructed nature of accounting research to date.
In a project focused on technologies of governance, myself and my collaborators hope to bring together people working in the area of the politics of numbers within technologies of governance, to initiate and promote collaboration between those working in the area of governance, politics, regulation, accounting and economics. These will look at four different aspects:
1. How do technologies of governance operate in practice?
2. What is the impact of the rhetoric employed?
3. What strategies can be employed by interested actors?
4. Are there regulatory and governance alternatives?
As part of the final question above we explore alternatives to capitalist economies, alternative organizations and community economies, exploring non-traditional forms of organisation, social accounting and critiques of the structural barriers created by traditional forms of accounting. Traditionally, accounting information is presented as apolitical, objective, neutral and capable of resolving conflict and contestation. With other researchers I interrogate how this operates at the methodological, technical and political level.