My research revolves around the question of political community in early modern Northern Europe, that is on the British Isles and in Scandinavia as well as in the Baltic area. In particular, I am trying to understand how power and authority worked, and which elements were important in creating a political community and identity. My work is much inspired by recent approaches from cultural history as well as from political thought – politics were and are man-made, and therefore it matters what people think and experience, be it political or legal discussions in parliaments, economic restraints, cultural experiences, family obligations, or religious insights. More recently, I have studied the impact of military and economic aspects on polities, and the role warfare and logistics played in early modern societies.
I did my PhD on deposing monarchs in Scandinavia and the British Isles, 1500-1700, at the University of Mainz (Germany) where I also taught for several years early modern European history. I joined the History Department of the University Oxford in 2019, contributing to Peter Wilson's project on the European Fiscal-Military System 1530-1870 with a case study on the Baltic region. The book resulting from this research is under contract with Brill.
At Oxford, I teach on the MSt-Strand "History of War", contribute to early modern European history undergraduate teaching, and tutor at Balliol College early modern history.
- Political Culture and Identity (Northern Europe: British Isles and Scandinavia)
- Monarchy, Rulership, and Premodern Courts
- Early Modern State Formation
My research focus is mostly on the political history of sixteenth- and seventeenth century Northern Europe, i.e. the British Isles, Scandinavia, the Baltic region, Northern Germany, and the Low Countries. It is also my understanding that the history of these centuries cannot be understood without considering the developments at least since ca. 1300, and that this history influenced political communities far into the modern age. Therefore, my interests also include late medieval political and cultural history, and especially long-term influences to these polities.
In my first monograph, Deposing Monarchs (Routledge, 2022), I studied how ideas and practices of authority ("Herrschaft") were applied in times of crisis. My research demonstrates that the deposition of monarchs was essential in the early modern state-building processes, and places these events in the context of contemporary discussions on "Herrschaft" (authority, power, rule, government) rather than merely analysing them as singular events in the national context. The understanding of depositions at a specific form of political conflict highlighted the role ideas of political consensus played in early modern societies, which, in times of crisis, also superseded religious ideas of divine right of monarchs.
More recently, I edited a book on Women and Economic Power in Premodern Royal Courts (ARC Humanities Press, 2020) which emphasizes the surprisingly strong financial agency premodern women could have. I am continuing this work by looking at the Economic Agency of Danish Queens, 1445-1848. Furthermore, I am co-editor of the book series Studies in Monarchy & Money (Amsterdam University Press), encouraging more research into the financial, economic, business, and administrative aspects of monarchical rule.
I am also writing a book about the role of the Baltic within the European Fiscal-Military System, again focussing on economic and business aspects. With the help of quantitative data from the Soundtoll Registers, this research will answer questions on the interdependence of war campaigns, political contexts, war business, and weapon industries in early modern (Northern) Europe.
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