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Anton Jäger

Anton Jäger

PhD Candidate

Girton College


I took my BA in Politics and Philosophy at the University of Essex. I then went on to do the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History at Cambridge, with Chris Bickerton (POLIS) as supervisor. My MPhil-dissertation, entitled 'Perspectives on Populism in Post-war Political Science from Pluralism to Discourse Theory, 1955-2005', was an attempt to write a conceptual genealogy of the term 'populism' in the post-war political sciences, focusing on the work of thinkers such as Ernesto Laclau, Richard Hofstadter, and Pierre-André Taguieff. 

My PhD-thesis (preliminary title 'Populism and the Democracy of Producers in the United States, 1877-c.1896') will seek to elaborate further on the historical work done during my MPhil, focusing specifically on writing an intellectual history of the Populist movement in the late nineteenth-century United States. Additional intellectual interests are recent theoretical innovations in Marxism (in particular the so-called 'Neue Marx-Lektüre' in Germany, accelerationism) and methodological debates in contemporary political theory (Realism).

Research Supervision

I supervise both History and POLIS students for papers 11 (History of political thought since c. 1890) and 4 (History of political thoght from c.1700 to c.1890). I also teach on 'Postmodernism' and 'Nations and States' for Historical Argument and Practice (HAP). 

Other Professional Activities

Together with Daniel Allemann, I served as the co-convenor for the Graduate Workshop in Political Thought and Intellectual History for the academic year 2016-17.

I am also on the editorial board for the Cambridge-based PTIH-podcast, Interventions, which features sessions by intellectual historians:


  • American History

Key Publications

‘The Semantic Drift: Images of Populism in Post-war American Historiography and Their Relevance for (European) Political Science’, Constellations, September 2017.

‘Review Essay What is Populism? (Jan-Werner Müller) and Populism: a Very Short Introduction (Cas Mudde and Cristobal Kaltwasser): Accomplishments and Limits of the ‘New’ Mainstream in Contemporary Populism Studies’ (with Yannis Stavrakakis), European Journal of Social Theory, August 2017. 

'Introduction: Approaching Space in Intellectual History' (with Daniel Allemann and Valentina Mann), Global Intellectual History, May 2018.