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Benjamin Moeckel, Ph.D.

University of Cologne
Historical Institute
50923 Köln


I am a historian of modern European history with a special focus on transnational and global entanglements. My research combines approaches from social and cultural history with a particular interest in the intersections of politics, economy, and everyday life. My research particularly focuses on 1) a social and cultural history of the economy, especially concerning social and moral discourses about consumption, trade, and production, 2) the history of individual experiences and biographies, especially concerning personal memories of war and violence, and 3) the history of human rights and humanitarianism, especially concerning their representation in media and popular culture.

I've just finished my second book which deals with the history of moral consumerism in the 20th century. The title is: "The Invention of the moral consumer: Global products and political protest since the 1950s".

From 2018-2022, I was head of the DFG-Research Network "Economy and Morality. Norms and economic practices in the long 20th century". We have published the edited volume: "Economy and Morality in the 20th century" in 2022.

At the moment, I am working on a research project on "Conflicts of Sustainability" and I am sketching a research project on "exnovation" as historical-analytical concept.

My key Publications include:

  • What has Posterity ever done for me? Future Generations and the Politics of Longtermism in the 20th Century, in: History and Theory (forthcoming, 2023).
  • Reassessing Moral Economies. A Commentary, in: Martin Lutz/Tanja Skambraks, Reassesing the Moral Economy. Religion and Economic Ethics from Ancient Greece to the 20th Century, Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming, 2023)
  • (co-edited  withJürgen Finger), Ökonomie und Moral im langen 20. Jahrhundert. Eine Anthologie, Göttingen 2022 (link).
  • (co-edited with Michael Homberg), Human Rights and Technological Change. Conflicts and Convergences since 1945, Göttingen 2022 (link).
  • Endtimes of Human Rights? Neue Forschungen zur Geschichte der Menschenrechte, in: Neue Politische Literatur 65 (2020), S.473-501 (DOI: 10.1007/s42520-020-00307-1).
  • (mit Aniruddha Bose): Responsible Consumption and Production: Sustainability and the World of Goods since the Industrial Revolution, in: Martin Gutman (ed.), Before the SDGs. A Historical Companion the the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Oxford University Press 2022, S.355-384 (DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780192848758.003.0013).
  • The Material Culture of Human Rights. Consumer Products, Boycotts, and the Transformation of Human Rights Activism in the 1970s and 1980s, in: International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity 6,1 (2018), S.76-104 (DOI: 10.18352/hcm.540).
  • Humanitarianism on Stage: Live Aid and the Origins of Humanitarian Pop Music, in: Joachim Häberlen/Mark Keck-Szajbel/Kate Mahoney (Hg.), The Politics of Authenticity. Countercultures and Radical Movements across the Iron Curtain, 1968-1989, Oxford 2018, S.233-255 (DOI: 10.1515/9781789200003-013).
  • Erfahrungsbruch und Generationsbehauptung. Die Kriegsjugendgeneration in den beiden deutschen Nachkriegsgesellschaften, Göttingen 2013 (Dissertation) (link).