Political Economy Reading Group (PERG)

The reading group is interested in interdisciplinary approaches investigating the links between economic doctrines and their political and sociological premises. Treating economic ideas and analyses as normative assumptions and cultural and social constructs, the reading group is interested in studies that bridge the division between ideology and material structure, between market, state and civil society, and between politics and economics.

The reading group is student-managed, headed by Rasmus Skov Andersen, and includes around 20 active members.It explores a broad range of topics related to the history of modern political economy. Focusing on both the newest research on the history and ideology of various political economy regimes as well as classic and field-defining books, the reading group aims to bring together faculty members and students at all levels. 

The reading group sets out two aims:

  • Connecting students at all levels with faculty members around a shared interest in the history of modern political economy, we hope to create an engaging and inclusive learning environment, thereby furthering the knowledge of and interest in the history of modern political economy. 
  • Linking the reading group’s activities with other CEMES activities and research groups, as well as arranging and hosting seminars and lectures ourselves, we aim to facilitate networks of scholars and students, both nationally and internationally. 

PERG past events


  • 6/5 Nordic Socialism.
    Text: Excerpts from Pelle Dragsted’s Nordisk Socialisme (2021)
  • 17/3 Climate, Power and New Materialism.
    Texts: Excerpts from af Lars Tønder’s Om Magt i Den Antropocæne Tidsalder (2020) and Timothy Mitchell’s Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil (2013)


  • 14/10 Authoritarian Liberalism.
    Text: Excerpts from Grégoire Chamayou’s The Ungovernable Society: A Genealogy of Authoritarian Liberalism (2021).
  • 26/2 Key actors in neoliberalism; the investor and the debtor.
    Texts: two contributions to Niklas Olsen's, Jacob Jensen's & Mikkel Thorup's forthcoming book on the key actors of neoliberalism. The texts deal with the 'investor' and the 'debtor', respectively.
  • 5/2 Conservatism: reaction and argumentation.
    Texts: Corey Robin The Reactionary Mind (2011); Søren Krarup: ”De konservative og deres konservatisme” (1970) and ”Opgør med borgerligheden” (1972); Henning Fonsmark: ”En frontberetning fra efterkrigsårenes kulturrevolution” (1974).


  • 17/12 The modern tech industry and its ideological basis. Excerpt from Fred Turner From Counterculture to Cyberculture (2006) and Adrian Daub What Tech Calls Thinking (2020).
  • 24/11 Capitalism and International Law: Capitalism as Civilisation: A History of International Law (2020) by Ntina Tzouvala.
  • 9/10 Capitalism and Democracy: Ellen Meiksins Wood: Democracy Against Capitalism (1995) & Wolfgang Streeck: How Will Capitalism End? (2016)
  • 15/6 Financialization: Ivan Ascher: Portfolio Society (2016), Donald MacKenzie: An Engine, Not a Camera (2006) & Mathias Schmelzer: “What Comes After Bretton Woods? Neoliberals Debate and Fight for a Future Monetary Order”.
  • 15/5 Lecture by Anton Jäger (Cambridge University): A Conceptual History of American Populism (Zoom)
  • 5/5 Capitalism, Inequality, Ideology: Thomas Piketty: Capital and Ideology (2019)
  • 28/2 Climate and Political Economy: Geoff Mann & Joel Wainwright: Climate Leviathan 28 februar – Geoff Mann & Joel Wainwright: Climate Leviathan (2018)
  • 23/1 Capitalism and Law: Katharina Pistor: Code of Capital (2019)


  • 1/7 Leftism in the 20th century: Stephanie Mudge: Leftism Reinvented (2018)
  • 21/5 Law and Democracy: David Sing Grewal: “Law and Inequality after the Crisis” (2017) & David Sing Grewal & Jedediah Purdy: “Introduction: Law and Neoliberalism” (2014)
  • 24/4 Lecture by Daniel Zamora (Université Libre de Bruxelles): An Intellectual History of Basic Income (Co-organized by CEMES and PERG)


From the University of Copenhagen

Niklas Olsen, associate professor, History
Christoffer Koch, master's student, History
Emil Larsen, master's student,  History
Signe Wesenberg-Lund, PhD, Law
Lars Harhoff, master's student, Economics
Niels Olav Holst-Larsen, master's student, History
Jacob Jensen, postdoc, History
Erik Sporon Fiedler, PhD, Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
Sebastian Lundsteen, master's student, History
Rune Korgaard, master's student, History
Aysel Kucuksu, postdoc, Law
Jesper Vestermark Køber, postdoc, History
Laurids Hvidberg Nielsen, master's student, History
Clara Lyngholm Mortensen, master's student, History
Julian Michael Svejgaard Jørgensen, master's student, Economics
Rasmus Skov Andersen, master's student, History

External members

Ludvig Goldschmidt Pedersen, PhD, History of Ideas, Aarhus University

The CEMES Student Forum

The Political Economy Reading Group (PERG) is part of CEMES Student Forum.

CEMES Student Forum has been established with the intention to create a platform for students from different departments of the Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Theology with an interest in European studies. The forum aims to organize events a couple of times per semester.

The forum will also provide a link between students and researchers at CEMES, and enable students to give input and suggestions to events held by CEMES as well as the possibility to organize events on their own. The forum has an open agenda and new ideas are more than welcome. So, if you are interested in creating an active environment for humanities perspectives on European studies, contact us to hear when the next meeting is held.