Professor Donatella Alessandrini

Professor of Law,
Director of Postgraduate Research,
Co-director Social Critiques of Law (SoCriL)
01227 (82)4289
Professor Donatella Alessandrini


Professor Donatella Alessandrini completed her PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, in 2007. Her earlier work has focused on the political economy of ‘development’ in multilateral trading relations, with an emphasis on the World Trade Organisation (WTO). She is currently working on two projects. The first aims to provide a sustained analysis of the WTO’s contribution to the proliferation of global value chains, and to the unequal distribution of the economic value produced along these chains. It also aims to develop a conceptual framework that can adequately embrace productive and reproductive activities of workers involved in value chain trade. The second project is concerned with exploring contemporary approaches to conceptual and normative understandings of the production of value in today’s financialised economies, and with imagining the possibility of institutional arrangements able to affect current value-making processes.  

Research interests

Professor Alessandrini’s research lies at the intersection of law and political economy, with a particular interest in development studies, critical trade and development literature, feminist political economy and political theory. Her earlier work has focused on the political economy of ‘development’ in multilateral trading relations, with an emphasis on the World Trade Organisation. Her current research interrogates the claims of International Economic Institutions about the development potential of Global Value Chains. In particular it examines the role international economic law plays in the production and unequal distribution of economic rewards along these networks, asking what kind of arrangements might be able to shift current processes of global value making, with a focus on alternative labour, trade and finance-related arrangements. Informed by feminist economics and world system theories, her research therefore explores the relations between legal arrangements and inter/national economic inequalities. 

April 2019: Professor Alessandrini awarded £162k for unique analysis of world trade law.



  • Public Law 2


  • WTO law and Practice
  • The international law on foreign investment


Professor Alessandrini is happy to supervise research projects on International Economic Law (and its intersection with studies of value production and measurement); Critical Trade and Development (particularly work on global value chains, development and gender); Financial Capitalism; post-Fordism; and Feminist Political Economy.


Editorial Work

Professional Societies

  • International Association of Feminist Economics
  • Society of International Economic Law
  • Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics  

Blog posts

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