Alec Walker

Alec Walker's picture
Alec is a fifth year PhD Candidate in the department, primarily interested in European intellectual history, global economic history, and political economy. His research centers around two questions: how do capitalist economies conceptualize and enforce economic stability? and how do policies of stability impact the way in which crisis is imagined and managed? His dissertation project focusses on the political economic policy of West German social democrats in an integrating Europe from the postwar period to the present. His project analyzes the intellectual preconditions and economic constraints that shaped German social democracy’s turn towards Keynesian-influenced crisis management. This reorientation allowed social democrats to propel themselves to electoral success and overcome West Germany’s first economic recession in 1966. In developing a repertoire of macroeconomic tools geared towards growth and stability, they articulated a politics of social democratic stability, aimed at managing the national economy in the present in the name of a just, modern, and international future. The project traces how this vision was exported in the process of European integration, critiqued by interlocutors to the left, and challenged by the polycrisis of the 1970s. By developing and deploying a toolkit by which macroeconomic turbulence could be seen and potentially overcome, the politics of social democratic stability altered the way in which crisis was conceptualized and managed, with consequences extending into the present, well beyond Germany’s borders
Prior to coming to Yale, Alec received a BA in History at Boston College. He served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Dresden, Germany, and then taught history for a year at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. At Yale, Alec has served as co-coordinator of the International History Workshop and helped co-found the Approaches to Recent and Contemporary History working group. His work has been supported by the Fox Fellowship, the Macmillan International Dissertation Research Fellowship, and the Fulbright-Schuman Program.
Alec is based in Berlin. He is happy to speak with anyone interested in applying to the program.