I am an historian of political economy in Modern (Western) Europe, with a particular focus on transformations spanning the 1820s through the 1980s: from the advance of industrial capitalism and the attendant beginnings of the modern working-class movement through the first globalization boom and the high imperialism of the fin-de-siècle era (1870-1914), to the development of social reform and its consolidation in the form of post-WW2 welfare state, all the way to the advent of neoliberalism.
After spending the first three years of my B.A. at the University of British Columbia in political science, economics, and philosophy, I turned to history; particularly to the transnational and comparative history of modern capitalism in Britain, France, Belgium, and Germany to understand how economic and political power operates in the modern world. A thoroughly committed historian, I retain a particular interest in causal questions and explanations, the importance of formal institutions just as much as language and culture, and in interdisciplinary methodological frameworks that also reach beyond national boundaries. At the same time, my work pays especially close attention to the role of contingency in explaining the course of history.
My B.A. thesis on the history of the co-operative movement in Britain from 1848 through 1890, explored how workers and reformers attempted to craft alternative modes of economic organization to factory wage-labor and the joint-stock company. My current research investigates the connection between the local and transnational dimension of the co-operative movement’s vision for an alternative economy, perhaps even society, by examining the activities of the International Co-operative Alliance from the late 1880s through the early 1920s.