Matthew Amengual

Official Fellow

Associate Professor in International Business

Saïd Business School

AB Environmental Studies (Brown), MA and PhD (MIT)

Matthew Amengual is Associate Professor of International Business at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Broadly, he investigates the politics of promoting economic development that is both equitable and sustainable.  His work focuses on the interactions between firms, government bureaucracies, and societal organisations in countries with weak institutions.  His first book, Politicized Enforcement in Argentina: Labor and Environmental Regulation, was published by Cambridge University Press.  This book asks the question: Why do states enforce regulations in some places, and in some industries, but not in others? It develops a framework for analysing enforcement in middle-income and developing countries, showing how informal linkages between state officials and groups within society allow officials to gain the operational resources and political support necessary for enforcement.

Dr Amengual is currently writing a book on contestation between societal actors and firms engaged in large-scale mining operations in Latin America.  This project develops a theory of direct contestation—unmediated demands by societal actors on firms for redistribution and regulation—as a form of regulating economic activity that is distinct from traditional state-centred institutions.  Empirically, the book develops case studies of mines in Bolivia and Peru, drawing on semi-structured interviews and household surveys.  Beyond its theoretical contribution, this work will inform strategies employed by various actors to make extractives more likely to foster inclusive local development.

He also has an active research agenda on the ways in which labour standards are enforced in global supply chains.  He is currently studying how lead firms integrate sourcing and labour compliance when structuring their relationships with suppliers.  This research builds on previous work he conducted on developing country firm preferences for labour regulation and the interactions between international and state labour regulation.

Dr Amengual’s research has been published in World Development, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Regulation & Governance, Politics & Society, and Desarrollo Económico.  He is currently an Associate Editor at the Industrial and Labor Relations Review.   Prior to joining the Saïd School, Amengual was an Associate Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Amengual received his AB in environmental studies from Brown University, and his Master’s in city planning and PhD in political science, both from MIT.