Mr Richard Bronk

Mr Richard Bronk

Visiting Senior Fellow

European Institute

Key Expertise
Philosophy of Economics; History of Ideas; European Political Economy

About me

Richard Bronk is a writer and part-time academic, with particular expertise in the philosophy of economics, history of ideas and European political economy.

Richard was educated at Merton College, Oxford from 1979-1983, where he was awarded first class honours (Mods and Finals), and has an MA (Oxon) in Literae Humaniores (Classics and Philosophy). He then spent seventeen years in the City of London – with positions including head of European equities at Baring Asset Management, European equity strategist at Merrill Lynch, and Adviser on European capital markets and political economy at the Bank of England. From 2000-2007, Richard was a Teaching Fellow at the European Institute, LSE – lecturing on varieties of capitalism, EMU and EU enlargement, and on theoretical concepts in political economy.

Since 2007, he has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute, where he now is a Visiting Senior Fellow. Richard is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, has appeared in a number of BBC radio shows, and is a regular speaker at literary and philosophy festivals.

Research interests

Richard’s research interests now centre on the role of imagination, language and metaphor in economics, the dangers of analytical and regulatory monocultures, and the epistemology of markets. His approach to philosophy of economics is grounded both in a history of ideas perspective and in his practical experience in markets and economic policy. He is currently working on decision-making in conditions of uncertainty, the relationship between innovation and uncertainty, and the economic role of imaginaries, narratives and calculation. For further details on Richard’s research interests and publications, visit his personal website here

New book and recent papers, podcasts and talks 

Richard is co-author with Wade Jacoby of new discussion paper, The Epistemics of Populism and the Politics of Uncertainty, LSE 'Europe in Question' discussion paper series (152/2020). For paper, click here

Richard is co-editor with Jens Beckert of Uncertain Futures: Imaginaries, Narratives, and Calculation in the Economy, published by Oxford University Press in August 2018 (hardback) and in a new paperback edition in September 2019. Uncertain Futures considers how economic actors visualise the future, form expectations, and decide how to act in conditions of radical uncertainty. With contributions from the disciplines of economic sociology, economics, anthropology, and psychology, it demonstrates the market impact of shared calculative devices, social narratives, and contingent imaginaries, and underlines the rationale for a new form of narrative economics. 

For the LSE public event discussion panel on Uncertain Futures to mark the launch of the book, click here; and for a joint lecture with Jens Beckert on ‘Economics for uncertain times’ at the RSA, click here.  

A recent Rhodes Center Podcast from Brown University, Rhode Island, where Richard and Jens are interviewed on Uncertain Futures by Mark Blyth, is available here. The associated talk and discussion at the Watson Institute, Brown University is available here

A new paper written by Richard and Jens which draws out some implications of their volume for the science of economics and for politics and policy is available here.

For Richard’s latest Rebuilding Macroeconomics blog, 'Imagining a resilient future of equity finance', please click here.

Expertise Details

Philosophy of Economics; History of Ideas; European Political Economy; Uncertainty; Market Narratives; Imaginaries; Analytical and Regulatory Monocultures

Selected Publications

Richard is author of two books:

Bronk, Richard (2009) The Romantic Economist - Imagination in Economics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9780521513845

Bronk, Richard (1998) Progress and the Invisible Hand - the Philosophy and Economics of Human Advance, Little Brown, London, UK. ISBN 075152660

Richard is co-editor of a new book:

Beckert, Jens and Richard Bronk, eds (2018), Uncertain Futures: Imaginaries, Narratives, and Calculation in the Economy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780198820802

Select academic articles include:

Bronk, Richard and Wade Jacoby (2020), The Epistemics of Populism and the Politics of Uncertainty, LSE 'Europe in Question' discussion paper series (152/2020). The London School of Economics and Political Science, London.

Beckert, Jens and Richard Bronk (2019) Uncertain Futures: Imaginaries, Narratives, and Calculative Technologies  MPIfG Discussion Paper, 19/10. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, Germany. 

Bronk, Richard and Wade Jacoby (2016) Uncertainty and the dangers of monocultures in regulation, analysis, and practice MPIfG Discussion Paper, 16/6. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, Germany. 

Bronk, Richard (2013) Hayek on the wisdom of prices: a reassessment Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 6 (1). 82-107. ISSN 1876-9098 

Bronk, Richard (2013) Reflexivity unpacked: performativity, uncertainty and analytical monoculturesJournal of Economic Methodology, 20 (4). 343-349. ISSN 1350-178x

For details of other recent publications, see Richard’s main publications entry in LSE experts or LSE Research Online

For podcast of recent public lecture at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, entitled: ‘Uncertainty and the dangers of monocultures in regulation, analysis and practice’, visit:

Selected Media and Blogs include:

Bronk, Richard (2020), Imagining a resilient future of equity financeRebuilding Macroeconomics (17 April 2020) Blog entry

Bronk, Richard (2019), Uncertain Futures and the Politics of Uncertainty, STEPS centre (University of Sussex) (3 Sep 2019) Blog entry

Bronk, Richard (2018), Might economists be partly to blame for Trump and moves towards a ‘full British Brexit’?, LSE European Politics and Policy Blog (27 June 2018) Blog entry 

Bronk, Richard (2017) Do institutional networks support a monoculture in macroeconomics? Rebuilding Macroeconomics (11 Dec 2017) Blog entry

Bronk, Richard (2017) Book review: cents and sensibility: what economics can learn from the humanities Society of Professional Economists (5 Dec 2017) opinion

Bronk, Richard (2016) Let young people move: why any post-Brexit migration deal must safeguard youth mobility, LSE European Politics and Policy Blog (30 July 2016)

Coleridge at the G20, The Guardian (21 March 2009) opinion