An interview with Dr Christopher Wylde
Why did you choose to work at St Mary’s?
A new Politics and International Relations programme was starting at St Mary’s, which represented an interesting challenge for me as I had to build a new department from the ground up.
This gave me an opportunity to call upon fifteen years of lecturing experience and build a legacy that can positively influence students’ lives.
Do you have any tips for someone looking to begin a career in Politics related industries?
A politics degree can lead you to a wide range of research-based careers, and not just the typical ones that people usually think about in terms of think-tanks, International Organisations, or domestic civil services. A politics career can take you almost anywhere you want to go, so make sure you keep an open mind when thinking about your future career after your studies.
My advice would be to make the most of what the university has to offer in the widest possible sense, to help hone your research skills and facilitate intellectual discovery. This will ultimately help you to decide where you want your degree to take you and what you’re most interested in.
Make use of the industry contacts we have as a department and take part in our Peer Mentor Scheme, which sees students matched with mentors in politics. One of our politics students has recently shadowed the Rt Hon Ruth Kelly, the former Minister for Education, and now has invaluable experience on top of her knowledge from the course, which will improve her employability.
Additionally, in the third year of our Politics and International Relations programme, you have an opportunity to specialise in a research topic, allowing you to hone your research skills and critical faculties, which are important for success in the workplace.
Which past experiences do you bring to your lecturing?
I have now been lecturing for over a decade: on three different continents in two languages, at research institutes and universities, as well as in the developing world. From these experiences I can give a wide perspective on the topics I discuss with my students as part of the politics programme.
I like to encourage my students to debate what we talk about in class, as the rich experiences of multi-cultural cohorts are so necessary when studying International Relations.
Can you tell us a bit about your research?
My research focusses on the political economy of development, particularly in post-crisis states. My early studies focused on the political economy of Argentina after their 2001 crisis and the rise of the left in the first decade of 21st Century Latin America. My latest book takes a more comparative agenda through an examination of the South East Asian development experience in addition to Latin America.
I am currently preparing a manuscript on the nature of Power in the Americas from colonisation to the so-called ‘Pink Tide’ that swept across the Latin American continent after the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998. I am also exploring the theoretical differences between neo-structuralism and post-neoliberalism and trying to develop a taxonomy of the modern (developmental) state.
View Christopher's academic profile