Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Alexander Zevin

Alexander Zevin is an Associate Professor of History at the City University of New York and an Editor at New Left Review. He earned his BA from Brown and his MA and PhD from University of California Los Angeles. His research interests include the history of political economy and empire, along with intellectual and media history. His first book, Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist (2019) offered a new interpretation of the dominant strand of liberalism by examining it through the prism of one of the most influential and enduring of self-proclaimed liberal voices – the Economist. Founded in 1843, the newspaper and its editors forged a liberal worldview over the subsequent period, as they navigated the rise of imperial expansion, financial capitalism, and demands for electoral democracy.  

IAS Project

At the IAS, Alexander worked on a project that tracks the relationship between liberalism and socialism – starting from their emergence out of the crashing of the great revolutionary wave of the late eighteenth century, and the criticisms of the socio-economic order that resulted from it posited by the likes of Saint-Simon, Fourier and Owen. What historical dynamics help to explain the often fierce intellectual and political opposition between liberals and socialists since then, as well as their moments of overlap and mutual attraction? He offered a comparative account of the affinities and tensions that have defined this relationship by looking at a set of key thinkers who tried to combine elements of both traditions – from Mill to Keynes, and Polanyi to Piketty. He is especially interested in the role that ideas of planning have played in efforts to craft hybrid forms of liberalism and socialism, and in the particular national contexts and global conjunctures that have given rise to them.