German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050



Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor


The Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship is a co-operation between the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the German Historical Institute London (GHIL), and the Gerda Henkel Professor’s home university. Its purpose is to promote awareness in Britain of German research on the history of the German Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic, and to stimulate comparative work on German history in a European context. The first professorship was awarded in 2009.


Prof Alexander Nützenadel

+44 020 7309

Alexander Nützenadel is Professor of Economic and Social History at Humboldt University Berlin and the current Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor at the LSE and the German Historical Institute London in 2021/2022.

His main research interests lie in European Economic History in the twentieth century. He specialises in financial history, the history of economic expertise, and the political economy of fascism in comparative perspective.

He is currently working on three projects: a book on the evolution of economic expectations since the nineteenth century (together with Jochen Streb), a study on banking regulation since the 1930s and a comparative analysis of economic conflict and the rise of right-wing populism in Europe between the two World Wars. He also directs the Priority Program PP 1859 ‘Experiences and Expectations: Historical Foundations of Economic Behavior’ (funded by the German Research Foundation, in cooperation with Jochen Streb).

Professor Nützenadel studied for his undergraduate degree in History and Economics at the University of Göttingen, before he was a doctoral fellow at the German Historical Institute in Rome. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cologne in 1995 and held visiting appointments at Columbia University (New York), the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (Wassenaar) and the University of Bologna. He joined Humboldt University Berlin in 2009.

Expertise: European History; Comparative Fascism; Economic Populism and Financial History


Inaugural lecture

Fascism and Finance. Economic Populism in Interwar Europe

The Gerda Henkel Foundation Visiting Professorship Lecture 2021, hosted by the German Historical Institute and London School of Economics and Political Science, will be held online and at the GHIL on Wednesday, 24 November 2021 at 6.00pm (UK time).

This is a hybrid event: invited guests may take part in person at the GHIL but all others should join the talk online via Zoom (join here)

After 1918, populist movements regularly appealed to economic conflicts between nations and to a loss of financial sovereignty. By comparing Italy, Germany, France and Britain, this lecture will explore the emergence of economic populism and its transnational dynamics in inter-war Europe. Authoritarian models of financial regulation, often based on a combination of charismatic leadership and technocratic government, gained tremendously ground. They transcended fascist rule and had a lasting impact on economic policy after 1945.

The Visiting Professorship is a joint project of the GHIL and the International History Department of The London School of Economics and Political Science and is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Download flyer (PDF)

Online Event

Research Project

Economic Populism and the Rise of Fascism in Interwar Europe

This project explores the relation between economic conflict and the rise of right-wing populism during the inter-war period. By comparing Italy, Germany, France and Britain, I will ask how democratic polities were challenged by social and economic cleavages and how populist movements mobilized mass media for their political purposes. I will also explore how new forms of economic nationalism pervaded public debates. The project contributes to a comparative history of European Fascism, but also to recent discussions about economic populism.

Recent Publications

  • "The financial crisis of 2008 – Experience, memory, history", in: Journal of Modern European History (=Forum: The Financial Crisis and Its Legacies), 19,1 (2021), 1-5.
  • Deutsche Bank. The Global Hausbank 1870-2020, (London, 2020) (with Catherine Schenk and Werner Plumpe)
  • "State, Banks and the Financialization of Sovereign Debt in Italy since the 1970s", in: Nicolas Barreyre, Nicolas Delalande (eds.), World of Public Debts: A Political History, (Basingstoke 2020), 405-25.
  • Bureaucracy, Work and Violence. The Reich Ministry of Labour in Nazi Germany, 1933–1945, (Oxford/New York 2020) (ed.)
  • "Transformation in Interbellum Fascist Europe", in: Wolfgang Merkel/Hans-Jürgen Wagener (eds.), Handbook Transformation, (Oxford 2018), 270-279.
  • The Political Economy of Public Finances. Taxation, State Spending and Debt since the 1970s, (Cambridge 2017) (ed. with Marc Buggeln and Martin Daunton)
  • "Memories of Crisis. The Great Depression and the German Economic Debate after 1945", in: Thomas Lindenberger and Martin Sabrow (eds.), German Zeitgeschichte. Konturen eines Forschungsfeldes, (Göttingen 2016), 193-209.


Gerda Henkel Foundation:
Dr Sybille Wüstemann
Tel.: +49 0211 936524 0


German Historical Institute London:
Dr Michael Schaich
Tel.: +44 020 7309 2014

Previous Gerda Henkel Visiting Professors

2020/2021Prof Dr Martina Kessel (Bielefeld): The imagined individual:

Narratives of self, history, and politics in modern Germany


Prof Dr Ulrich Herbert (Freiburg): Migration Policy in Germany and Europe, 1980–2019


Prof Dr Johanna Gehmacher (Vienna): Records and Notes from Trans/National Networks: Politics and Women’s Movements around 1900 in the Personal Papers of Käthe Schirmacher (1865–1930)


Prof Dr Arnd Bauerkämper (Berlin): Security and Humanity in the First World War: The Treatment of Civilian 'Enemy Aliens' in the Belligerent States


Prof Dr Dominik Geppert (Bonn): A History of Divided Germany, 1945–1990


Prof Dr Lutz Raphael (Trier): Transformations of Industrial Labour in Western Europe between 1970 and 2000


Prof Dr Kiran Klaus Patel (Maastricht): Welfare in the Warfare State: Nazi Social Policy on the International Stage


Prof Dr Dorothee Wierling (Hamburg): Coffee Worlds. Trade in Green Coffee and its Agents: The Hamburg Coffee Merchants in the 20th century


Prof Dr Andreas Rödder (Mainz): The History of the Present


Prof Dr Ute Daniel (Braunschweig): Media and Politics: An entangled History (c. 1900–1980)


Prof Dr Christoph Cornelißen (Frankfurt am Main): The British and German Welfare States After 'the Great Boom': Public Debates on Social Inequality and Social Justice since the 1970s


Prof Dr Johannes Paulmann (Mainz): International Aid and Solidarity: Humanitarian Commitment and the Media in Germany, c. 1950–1985