Dr Karen Jackson

Dr Karen Jackson

Reader in Economics | Director of International Development (Westminster Business School) 

Research focus

International trade, finance and development


Dr Jackson studied at the University of Sussex (DPhil in Economics), University of Nottingham (MSc Economics) and University of Kent (BA Mathematics and Economics). She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Dr Jackson has been awarded the title of Reader in Economics. She also supports the global engagement activities of Westminster Business School as the Director of International Development. 

During 2018-2023, she managed 20+ staff as part of her role as Assistant Head of School (Organisations, Economy and Society). Moreover, she was Acting Head of School (Organisations, Economy and Society) in 2021.  

She has also previously held positions at the UK Department for International Development (Economist), University of Sussex (Research Officer) and University of Bradford (Head of Economics, China and East Asia Development Director and Senior Lecturer in Economics). 

Consultancy and Advisory Assignments

Dr Jackson has worked as a consultant for the Commonwealth Secretariat and UK Department for International Development. Moreover, she has been called upon to be an expert panel member and peer reviewer for the UK Economic Social Research Council.

She has also undertaken a range of external examiner and expert appointments. 

Partnership Development and Networks

Dr Jackson has extensive experience developing global partnerships. In addition to her current role as Director of International Development for Westminster Business School, she previously worked as China and East Asia Development Director (University of Bradford) while living in China, establishing a foreign enterprise and leading partnership developments across East Asia.

She is also co-convener of the Westminster Development Policy Network, which includes the annual Westminster Development Studies Symposium and the Westminster Development Policy Network Virtual Seminars jointly organised with the International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington, DC) and Westminster International University in Tashkent. 

She also jointly organises the Global Economic Policy Group (GEPG) with FernUniversität in Hagen (Germany) and Shandong University (China). The GEPG has recently received funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).   

PhD Supervision

Dr Jackson has supervised four PhD students to completion (2012, 2014, 2018 and 2023), with all four of these candidates now holding academic positions at UK Universities. She is also currently supervising a further two students.

Personal website...link


"International trade fluctuations: global versus regional factors" (accepted), Canadian Journal of Economics (with K. Beck)

"Transforming East Asia: Regional integration in a trade war era" (2023), Open Economies Review, 34(3), pp. 657 - 672 (with O. Shepotylo)

"An Analysis of the Trade Policy Review of the European Union", (2021), The World Economy, 44(12), pp. 3482-3491

"Belt and Road: The China Dream?", (2021), China Economic Review, 67 (with O. Shepotylo) 

"An examination of EU trade disintegration scenarios", (2021), The World Economy, 44(1), pp. 2-20 (with O. Shepotylo) 

"Trade (Dis)integration: The sudden death of NAFTA", (2020), Open Economies Review, 31(4), pp. 931-943 (with D. Bakas and G Magkonis)

“An inquiry into exchange rate misalignments as a cause of the major global trade imbalances”, (2019), Journal of Economic Studies, 46(4), pp. 902-924 (with M.A. Nasir)

“Identifying networks in social media: The case of #Grexit”, (2019), Networks and Spatial Economics, 19(1), pp. 319-330 (with G. Magkonis)

“Regional trade institutions in West Africa: Historical reflections”, (2018), Journal of International Development, 30(8), pp. 1255-1272 (with E. Bah and D. J. Potts)

“Post-Brexit trade survival: Looking beyond the European Union”, (2018), Economic Modelling, 73, pp. 317-328 (with O. Shepotylo)

The segmentation of Europe: Convergence or divergence between core and periphery, (2017) Palgrave Macmillan (with M. Baimbridge, U. R. Lee and I. Litsios) 

“Evaluating methodological issues in the tourism literature: UK outgoing tourism and trade links”, (2015), Economic Issues, 28(1), pp. 1-42 (with W. Zang)

“Great achievements and great challenges: The EU Common Fisheries Policy” in Re-examining the EU policies in a global perspective edited by M. R. Szeles, (2013), Palgrave Macmillan

“Reconsidering the silk road: Tourism in the context of regionalism and trade patterns“ in Handbook on the Economics of Leisure edited by S. Cameron, (2011) Edward Elgar.

"A Framework for evaluating regional trade agreements involving developing countries", (2005), Report for the UK Department for International Development (with D. Evans, M. Gasiorek, P. Holmes, L. Iacovone, S. Robinson and J. Rollo)

 "Investment incentives in Commonwealth developed countries and the WTO investment negotiations.", (2003), Commonwealth Secretariat Economic Paper Series (with J. Lafortune, J.C.R. Rowley, S.R. Vemuri, and R. Scollay)

Research impact

In the The Daily Telegraph, "Why China's best days are already behind it", (2023), 19 Jan 

"Brexit: what the UK/EU customs changes mean for businesses from January 1", (2021), The Conversation, 21 Dec

Written evidence to the UK Parliament International Trade Committee's inquiry, UK trade negotiations, (2021), 15 Sep (with O. Shepotylo) 

"The Belt and Road Initiative in times of global uncertainty: A trade policy perspective", (2021), China Dialogues (LSE), 24 Jun (with O. Shepotylo) 

"Four reasons why G7 climate finance initiative will struggle against China’s Belt and Road", (2021), The Conversation, 14 Jun (with O. Shepotylo) 

"US-UK trade deal: what can post-Brexit Britain hope to get?", (2021), The Conversation, 4 Jan (with O. Shepotylo) 

"A UK-US trade deal would look less likely under Joe Biden – which means the NHS red line could be crossed", (2020), iPaper, 16 Oct

“China-US trade talks cancelled: why negotiations will still happen eventually”, (2020), The Conversation, 14 Aug (with O. Shepotylo)

"US-UK trade talks have begun – here’s what each side wants and what to expect", (2020), The Conversation, 11 May (with O. Shepotylo)

NAFTA 2.0 is a welcome deal for the US, Canada and Mexico in a time of trade uncertainty, (2019), LSE US Centre, 13 Nov (with D. Bakas and G. Magkonis)

"Winners and losers in the US-China trade war", (2019), The Conversation, 25 Jun (with O. Shepotylo)

"Brexit: breaking up is hard to do", (2019), The Money - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 21 March

"Why a no-deal Brexit would be less costly for the EU than the UK", (2019), The Conversation, 24 Jan (with A. Delis and O. Shepotylo)

"Brexit: four things you need to know", (2019), The UK in a Changing Europe, 11 Jan (with O. Shepotylo)

JVC - BBC Three Counties Radio interview, (2018), 14 Dec

"No deal? Seven reasons why a WTO-only Brexit would be bad for Britain", (2018), The Conversation, 23 Aug (with O. Shepotylo) 

"Post-Brexit trade with the US Donald Trump was right when he said a deal would be tricky", (2018), The Conversation, 20 July (with O. Shepotylo)

"A customs union would free the UK to strike trade deals but it doesnt solve every Brexit problem", (2018), The Conversation, 26 April (with O. Shepotylo)

"The five alternatives to EU single market and customs union would all make UK poorer", (2018), The Conversation, 26 Feb (with O. Shepotylo)

"West Africa: Empirehood and colonialism offer lessons in integration", (2017), The Conversation, 12 December (with E. Bah and D. J. Potts) 

  • Contemporary China Centre
  • Westminster Development Policy Network
  • Global Economic Policy Group