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William Vlcek


Room: 304

Office Hours: by appointment

Tel: 2913



With a collection of degrees in Political Science, Computer Science, Military History and International Relations (PhD, LSE), before joining the School of International Relations in 2009 I taught Aerospace Studies at the College of the Holy Cross and Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts (1987 – 1991); Vehicle Communications Networks to automotive industry engineers and technicians in North America and Europe (1995 – 2000); and Globalisation and Development at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London (2006 – 2008).


IR3004 - International Political Economy

IR4547 - Shadows in the global political economy

IR5039 - Political Economy of Conflict

I have contributed lectures on IR1005, IR1006, IR2005, IR2006, IR3008, IR5003 and IR5036 and previously offered the module IR4534 - Terrorist Finance.


Keywords: Offshore financial centres, small states, money laundering, terrorist finance, international political economy, governmentality, casinos, accumulation by dispossession

I have been investigating questions of global financial governance involving the offshore dimension since 2002.  The revised PhD thesis was published as Offshore Finance and Small States: Sovereignty, Size and Money (Palgrave, 2008), and offshore finance has been a central factor in more than a dozen publications.  Particular topics of interest with the global governance of offshore finance include taxation, money laundering and terrorist finance.  Beyond these are further publications interrogating global initiatives to counter the financing of terrorism and to regulate international taxation.  A second project investigates the role and application of casinos as economic development, starting from the case of Macau and its use as a model for casino development by other jurisdictions in Asia and beyond. And I am collaborating with Dr Faye Donnelly on research that explores the intersections between finance and security in the global political economy.


Offshore Finance and Global Governance: Disciplining the Tax Nomad (2017). Link.

Offshore Finance and Small States: Sovereignty, Size and Money, in the Palgrave Macmillan International Political Economy series (2008). Link.


2015; "Securitising money to counter terrorist finance: some unintended consequences for developing economies", International Studies Perspectives, 16(4): 406 - 422. Link.

2015; "Taking other people’s money: development and the political economy of Asian casinos", The Pacific Review 28(3): 323 - 345. Link.

2014; "From Road Town to Shanghai: situating the Caribbean in global capital flows to China", The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 16(3): 534 - 553. Link.

2013; "Crafting human rights in a constitution: Gay rights in the Cayman Islands and the limits to global norm diffusion", Global Constitutionalism - Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, 2(3):345 - 372. Link.

2013; "The global pursuit of tax revenue: would tax haven reform equal increased tax revenues in developing states?", Global Society 27(2): 201 - 216. Link.

2012; "Power and the practice of security to govern global finance" Review of International Political Economy 19(4): 639 - 662. Link.

2011; "Global anti-money laundering standards and developing economies: the regulation of mobile money", Development Policy Review 29(4): 415 - 431. Link.

2011; "Offshore finance in Ghana: why not?", a contribution to the Debate section of Review of African Political Economy 38(127): 143 - 149. Link.

2010; "Byways and highways of direct investment: China and the offshore world", Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 39(4): 111 - 142.

2010; "Along-side global political economy–a rhizome of informal finance", in the special issue "Deleuze and Guattari and International Relations", Journal of International Relations and Development 13(4): 429 - 451.  Link.

2010; "Money laundering prevention and small state development: insights from the case of the Bahamas", Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 48(3): 373 - 391. Link.

2009; "A Level Playing Field and the Space for Small States", Journal of International Relations and Development 12(2):115 - 136. Link.

2009; "Behind an offshore mask: sovereignty games in the global political economy", Third World Quarterly 30(8):1465 - 1481. Link.

2009; "Hitting the right target: EU and Security Council pursuit of terrorist financing", Critical Studies on Terrorism 2(2): 275 - 291. Link.

2008; "A Leviathan Rejuvenated: Surveillance, Money Laundering, and the War on Terror", International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 20(1 - 4): 21 - 40. Link.

2008; "Competitive or coercive? The experience of Caribbean offshore financial centres with global governance" in the special issue "The Competitiveness of Small Vulnerable Economies: Insights from the Caribbean", The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs 97(396): 439 - 452. Link.

2008; "Development vs. Terrorism: Money Transfers and EU Financial Regulations in the UK", British Journal of Politics and International Relations 10(2): 286 - 302. Link.

2007; "Why Worry?  The Impact of the OECD Harmful Tax Competition Initiative for Caribbean Offshore Financial Centres", The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 96(390): 331 - 346. Link.

2007; "Surveillance to Combat Terrorist Financing in Europe: Whose Liberty, Whose Security?", European Security, 16(1): 99 - 119. Link.

2006; "Acts to Combat the Financing of Terrorism: Common Foreign and Security Policy at the European Court of Justice", European Foreign Affairs Review, 11(4): 491 - 507.

2004; "The OECD and Offshore Financial Centres: Rearguard Action Against Globalisation?", Global Change, Peace & Security, 16(3): 227 - 242. Link.

Book Chapters

2013; "Sovereignty games and global finance in the Cayman Islands" in European Integration and Postcolonial Sovereignty Games: The EU Overseas Countries and Territories, Rebecca Adler-Nissen and Ulrik Pram Gad, eds., Routledge in the New International Relations series, 115 - 129.

2012; "Contingent liability or moral hazard after the global financial crisis: Cayman, Westminster and global finance" in The Non-Independent Territories of the Caribbean and Pacific: Continuity or Change?, Peter Clegg and David Killingray, eds., Institute of Commonwealth Studies,  143 - 162.

2010; "Development – Great and small: “Greater China”, small Caribbean islands and offshore finance" in Greater China in an Era of Globalization, Sujian Guo and Baogang Guo eds., Lexington Books, 205 - 220.

2009; "The Caribbean Confronts the OECD: Tax Competition and Diplomacy" in The Diplomacies of Small States: Between Vulnerability and Resilience, Andrew F. Cooper and Timothy M. Shaw, eds., Palgrave Macmillan International Political Economy series, 264 - 278.

2009; "A Semi-Periphery to Global Capital: Global Governance and Lines of Flight for Caribbean Offshore Financial Centres" in Globalization and the ‘New’ Semi-peripheries, Owen Worth and Phoebe Moore, eds., Palgrave Macmillan, 177 - 197.

2009; "Governing the offshore: non-independent Caribbean jurisdictions, the EU and the International" in Governance in the non-independent Caribbean: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century, Peter Clegg and Emilio Pantojas eds., Ian Randle Publishers, 98 - 118.

2008; "Action and consequence: the predicament of EU measures against the financing of terrorism", in Europe and Transnational Terrorism: Assessing Threats and Countermeasures, Franz Eder and Martin Senn, eds., Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2008, 145 - 171.


IR1005/IR1006 Course Coordinator (2013 - 2016)

School Examinations Officer (2010 - 2013)

Member, Teaching Learning and Assessment Committee (2010 - 2016)


British International Studies Association (2002 - present)

International Studies Association (2007 - present)

Society of Automotive Engineers (1996 - 2001)


Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (2010) - £1750.00 awarded for fieldwork in support of the project "Sovereignty under stress: (re)negotiations in the British Caribbean".

Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2008) - £8006.00 awarded towards research expenses for fieldwork in support of the project "Global governance of international corporate firms".

Invited Talks, Lectures and Seminars

Lectures presented on the NATO training course, ‘Financial Aspects of Combating Terrorism’ at the Centre of Excellence-Defence Against Terrorism (COE-DAT), Ankara, Turkey, 25 - 29 April 2016.

‘Casino taxation: effective revenue generation or wealth transfer mechanism?’, presented at Globalization and the Tax State around the World, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany, 31 July - 2 August 2014.

‘Crafting human rights in a constitution: Gay rights in the Cayman Islands and the limits to global norm diffusion’, at The Global Politics of LGBT Rights, Rules and Responses, Centre for Global Constitutionalism, School of International Relations and Department of Philosophy, University of St Andrews, 4 April 2014.

‘Securitization and Counter-Terrorist Financing’, presented in the Politics and International Relations Seminar Series, School of Humanities, University of Dundee, 18 February 2014.

‘A Pension Casino? Global capital and public pension provision in a small economy’, presented  by invitation at the international workshop Welfare State Diffusion around the World - Shapes and Challenges in the 21st Century, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany, 12 - 13 September 2013.

‘Asiatic capital across an onshore/offshore divide’, presented by invitation at Deconstructing Offshore Finance: From state of the art towards a research agenda, Interdisciplinary Seminar – Smith School of Enterprise and Environment and St Peter’s College, Oxford University, 2 - 3 September 2013.

‘Securitising money to counter terrorist finance: some unintended consequences for developing economies’ presented by invitation at the international workshop on The civil society-security nexus – facing the challenges of international terrorism and domestic resistance, Forum for Asian Studies, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, 2 - 4 May 2012.

‘Supply, demand and the enduring challenge of sovereignty’, Comment for the workshop: Onshoring the Offshore – The Future of Financial and Fiscal Systems, Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, 12 - 13 December 2011.

‘Sovereignty under stress: (re)negotiations in the British Caribbean’ presented at the opening workshop for the Microstates in the Margins of Europe project, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 31 May - 1 June 2010.

‘Global anti-money laundering standards and small states: Protecting society from dangerous money’ presented by invitation to the workshop Small States in the International Political Economy at the University of Cambridge, 12 November 2009.

‘The Caribbean confronts the OECD: tax competition and diplomacy’ presented by invitation to the seminar The Diplomacy of Small States, organised by the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and held at the Institute of International Relations, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, 20 - 21 February 2008.

‘Governing the offshore: non-independent Caribbean jurisdictions, the EU and the International’ presented by invitation to the seminar Governance in the Non-Independent Caribbean: Challenges and Opportunities, University of the West of England, Bristol, with funding from The British Academy, 22 - 23 November 2007.

‘Competitive or coercive? The experience of Caribbean offshore financial centres with global governance’ presented by invitation to the seminar International Competitiveness of Small Vulnerable Economies, hosted by The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London, 12 July 2007.

Current Research Students

Martin Skold (2011 – present) ‘Winning A Race With No Finish Line: Assessing the strategy of interstate competition’ – first supervisor

Lori Davis, School of Management (2013 – present) ‘Power and Rhetoric: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Diamond Industry’ – co-supervisor with Dr Philip Roscoe (Management)

Completed Research Students

Nicola Morfini (2016) ‘Does Culture Matter in Bargaining? A Network Perspective’ – co-supervisor with Professor Sally Cummings

PhD Supervision topics

In general, any research question dealing with international political economy.

More specifically:

  • small state economies
  • global financial governance (including the governance of criminal finance - money laundering and terrorist financing)
  • informal economies as a feature in the global political economy


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