Dr. Anselm Küsters

Affiliate Researcher

Main Focus

  • The history of European integration, especially the history of EU competition law
  • Digital Humanities, especially Text Mining methods from Natural Language Processing
  • Quantitative history of ideas
  • Discourses on technology and innovation from a historical perspective

Anselm Küsters’ research in economic and legal history revolves around the extent to which specific historical lessons and traditions of thought have influenced – and still influence – political decision-makers and national cultures. His doctoral thesis, carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Theory and successfully submitted to the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, examined the ordoliberal influence on European competition law by examining Commission decisions and Court rulings in this field of law. Based on new quantitative text analysis methods from the field of Digital Humanities, the now-completed project shifts the focus from the alleged influence of ordoliberalism on the genesis of EU competition law to a consideration of the actual relevance and dissemination of ordoliberal concepts in EU competition policy.

Taking a similar perspective, his M.Phil. thesis examined the annual reports of the German Council of Economic Experts (1964-2017) by applying a computational Text Mining technique. It concluded that ordoliberal thought was not permanently present in German economic policy advice but that specific ordoliberal ideas have been reactivated during domestic crises. In a related paper, Anselm tested Barry Eichengreen’s popular hypothesis that during the financial and subsequent eurozone crisis, economic and political elites used lessons from the past in their decision-making. The article conducts a quantitative exploration of all 1,009 speeches given by ECB Executive Board members between 2007 and 2015. It argues that some of the Board’s economists paid tribute to a cultural preference for price stability and balanced budgets grounded in specific German lessons from the interwar period.

In his current habilitation project, which he pursues in cooperation with the Chair of Digital History at Humboldt University Berlin (Prof. Torsten Hiltmann), Anselm is looking at technological change and regulatory discourses from a digital history perspective.

Further information is available on the Humboldt University website.


Completed Project

Curriculum Vitae

Anselm Küsters is Head of the Department of Digitisation / New Technologies at the Centre for European Policy (cep) in Berlin. He continues to work in the field of Digital Humanities as an affiliated researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory in Frankfurt am Main and as a post-doctoral researcher at the Humboldt University in Berlin. His current research uses Natural Language Processing to analyse and classify discourses on technology from a historical perspective. Anselm holds a doctorate from Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Dr. Phil.) and studied Economic and Social History at the University of Oxford, UK (M.Phil.), European Law at the University of Würzburg (LL.M.), and History, German Literature, and Economics at the University of Heidelberg (B.A. and B.Sc.).

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