I am a historian of political economy and international order in Western Europe’s long twentieth century, from the Great Depression of the 1870s-1890s through to our contemporary neoliberal moment. My work examines how the European economy was conceived, defined, contested, organized and governed. Key topics of interest include European integration, federalism, state and business organization, war and reconstruction, varieties of capitalism and transnational governance.
My dissertation explores the rise and fall of European “cartel capitalism” in the long transwar moment. I argue that a reckoning with the “cartel question” by wide sectors of society (government officials and politicians, economists, legal scholars and war crimes tribunals, wartime resistance fighters, socialists and labour groups, industry and organized consumers) was central to the transformation of European capitalism and global governance from the 1890s through the end of the 1950s. From the downturn of the 1880s and 1890s through the interwar crisis, cartels proliferated across Europe. Nearly all contemporaries viewed cartels positively as the optimal means of organizing markets and stabilizing an increasingly unstable economy, reducing social conflict, managing growing tensions over free trade and protectionism and providing the scaffolding for a more rationalized and unified European economy. After World War II, cartels would suddenly become delegitimized and illegal across the continent, while the European Coal and Steel Community (1951), followed by the European Economic Community (1957) would be founded on the principle of decartelization. It is this great reversal, and all its implications, which my dissertation seeks to grapple with and ultimately explain.
Much of my current thinking sprung from research on the European and international co-operative movement: a movement which diagnosed and anticipated many of the developments of European and global capitalism in the early twentieth century, notably the rise of consumer and monopoly capitalism.
I passed my general examination fields with distinction in Winter 2019/2020: 1) Modern Europe, 1848-1989 (Philip Nord & Natasha Wheatley), 2) Global Economic History (Harold James), and 3) Modern Britain & the World (David Cannadine).
Prospective students interested in studying modern European or economic history at Princeton should feel more than welcome to reach out to me with any questions or inquiries. I have been delighted to co-convene the Modern Europe Workshop for the past two years and to co-found the Economic History Workshop with my colleague Robert Yee, in addition to initiating the recent student-run History of Political Economy Reading Group (see here: https://ehw.princeton.edu/).