Jasper Theodor Kauth


kauth jt

Migration Studies (2019 cohort)

My DPhil project focuses on the historical dimension of migration politics in Europe and the United States. While the second half of the 19th century had been largely characterised by a “liberal moment” in migration politics, the European and American “open border” tradition came to a definite end in the inter-war period. From this point onwards, migration politics were mostly separated from liberal economic and trade considerations, and immigration was framed as a potential source of threat. By drawing from ideational critical juncture and institutional order arguments and by comparing political developments in several European countries as well as the United States, I set out to show that this institutional and ideational shift was not pre-determined. I argue that the “non-entrée” paths and negative frames chosen during the 1920s affect migration politics to this day. In my research, I am interested in combining approaches from history and the social sciences to uncover long term political traditions and the interactions of ideas and institutions. My work employs qualitative, interpretive-historical, and comparative methods. My supervisor is Desmond King.                                     


Before starting the DPhil in Politics at Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations and Nuffield College, I studied for the MSc in Politics Research (Comparative Government) at the University of Oxford (St Hilda’s College). I hold a double-major BA in History and Political Science from Heidelberg University (Germany). During my studies at Heidelberg, I spent a year at St Hugh’s College (Oxford) taking undergraduate and postgraduate classes in history and politics. Throughout my studies in Heidelberg and Oxford, I was supported by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. My graduate and doctoral studies have been sponsored by St Hilda’s College, Nuffield College, and the ESRC. I was a long-term research and teaching assistant at the Chair for Public History (Cord Arendes, History Department Heidelberg), a permanent freelance docent at the President Friedrich Ebert Memorial and Foundation (Heidelberg), and translated academic publications from German into English. In 2012-13, I was the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP) Fellow at the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture (both Pittsburgh, PA). I acted as the Allianz Foundation Fellow at ARSP (Philadelphia, PA) in 2017. Additional previous and current projects include research on migrant detention and expulsion, anti-Semitism, illiberalism, citizenship, legal and constitutional history and theory, law and politics – and the history of asparagus cultivation.