Dr Leah Downey

Leah Rose Downey

Research interestsPolitical theory is the study of how people ought to live together. Political economy considers how people produce what they need to live. These endeavours are, and always have been, fundamentally and inextricably linked. It is in the shadow of this observation that Dr Downey's research employs the tools of political theory to better understand the relationship between macroeconomic policy and democracy.

Her doctoral thesis explored what it would look like to democratise monetary policy. Recognising that the creation and allocation of money are among the state’s most distinctive powers, she argued that instituting an approach to monetary policymaking that respects the integrity of domestic democracy would have radical implications for both domestic and global economic governance.

As a Fellow at St John’s, Dr Downey will extend her research into the relationship between macroeconomic policy and democracy to explore how different notions of time employed by policymakers in modern democracies shape the power and possibilities of macroeconomic policymaking. This is an urgent task for two reasons: first, because it is essential to unlocking the state’s macroeconomic policymaking powers in the face of an existential climate crisis, and secondly, because doing so is critical for achieving the full realisation of a flourishing democratic state.