Underground empire: how America weaponized the world economy

Hosted by the Department of International Relations

In-person and online public event (Old Theatre, Old Building)


Professor Henry Farrell

Professor Henry Farrell

Professor Abraham L Newman

Professor Abraham L Newman

Ann Pettifor

Ann Pettifor


Professor Leslie Vinjamuri

Professor Leslie Vinjamuri



Dr Nikhil Kalyanpur

Dr Nikhil Kalyanpur

This event will be a book launch and discussion with Abraham Newman and Henry Farrell on their forthcoming book Underground Empire: how America weaponized the world economy.

The panel will discuss debates around the weaponization of the global economy with the sustainability of these tactics, how different major and emerging powers are reacting, and what role the UK has to play in both utilizing and mitigating these tactics.

Meet our speakers and chair

Henry Farrell (@henryfarrell) is the SNF Agora Professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, 2019 winner of the Friedrich Schiedel Prize for Politics and Technology, and former Editor-in-Chief of The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Farrell has written for publications such as The New York Times, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Boston Review, Aeon, New Scientist, and The Nation.

Abraham L Newman is a professor at the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University. He is a 2022-2023 Berlin Prize winner and his work has been published in leading outlets like The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, Nature, Science, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Harvard Business Review, and Politico.

Ann Pettifor (@AnnPettifor) is a political economist, author and public speaker. Her latest book, The Case for the Green New Deal, was published in hardback by Verso in 2019. She is the Director of PRIME (Policy Research in Macroeconomics), a network of economists that promote Keynes’s monetary theory and policies, and that focus on the role of the finance sector in the economy. She hold a variety of posts: including as a Council Member of the Progressive Economy Forum, Chair of the advisory board of Goldsmith’s College Political Economy Research Centre; an honorary fellowship at City University’s Political Economy Research Centre, and she is also a fellow of the New Economics Foundation.  

Leslie Vinjamuri (@londonvinjamuri) is a Professor of International Relations with research interests in US foreign policy, international order, geopolitics and human rights at SOAS University of London. She is currently leading research initiatives on Reimagining Multilateralism; the US, China and the Global Recovery; and The Global Implications of Threats to US Democracy. She is also director of the US and Americas programme at Chatham House, where she is Dean of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy. Leslie has a BA from Wesleyan University, an MSc (Distinction) from LSE, and a PhD from Columbia University. She has also taught at LSE and Columbia University, and has held fellowships at Harvard University and LSE.

Nikhil Kalyanpur is Assistant Professor in LSE’s International Relations Department. He researches issues at the intersection of international political economy, business-government relations, law, and global governance. More specificlly, he analyses how the proliferation of global rules and legal forums can serve as a channel for economic protection and a mechanism to target political competition.

More about this event

This event will be available to watch on LSE Live. LSE Live is the new home for our live streams, allowing you to tune in and join the global debate at LSE, wherever you are in the world. If you can't attend live, a video will be made available shortly afterwards on LSE's YouTube channel.

The Department of International Relations at LSE is a global leader. We are now in our 95th year - one of the oldest as well as largest IR departments in the world, with a truly international reputation. We are ranked 2nd in the UK and 4th in the world in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2023 tables for Politics and International Studies.

This event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2023, taking place from 21 October to 17 November with events across the UK.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEIR

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Underground empire: how America weaponized the world economy.

A video of this event is available to watch at Underground empire: how America weaponized the world economy.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

LSE Blogs

Many speakers at LSE events also write for LSE Blogs, which present research and critical commentary accessibly for a public audience. Follow British Politics and Policy, the Business Review, the Impact BlogEuropean Politics and Policy and the LSE Review of Books to learn more about the debates our events series present.

Live captions

Automated live captions are available at this live event. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription and is not 100% accurate.


Photographs taken on behalf of LSE are often used on our social media accounts, website and publications. At events, photographs could include broad shots of the audience and lecture theatre, of speakers during the talk, and of audience members as they participate in the Q&A.

If you are photographed participating in an event Q&A but would not like your photograph to be stored for future use, please contact


We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1 week after the event. Podcasts and videos of past events can be found online.

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTube

LSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer.


If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, as well as on accessibility and special requirements, please refer to LSE Events FAQ.  LSE aims to ensure that people have equal access to these public events, but please contact the events organiser as far as possible in advance if you have any access requirements so that arrangements, where possible, can be made. If the event is ticketed, please ensure you get in touch in advance of the ticket release date. Access Guides to all our venues can be viewed online.

WIFI Access

LSE has now introduced wireless for guests and visitors in association with 'The Cloud', also in use at many other locations across the UK. If you are on campus visiting for the day or attending a conference or event, you can connect your device to wireless. See more information and create an account at Join the Cloud.
Visitors from other participating institutions are encouraged to use eduroam. If you are having trouble connecting to eduroam, please contact your home institution for assistance.
The Cloud is only intended for guest and visitor access to wifi. Existing LSE staff and students are encouraged to use eduroam instead.
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.