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headshot of Douglas R. Holmes

Douglas R. Holmes

Distinguished Professor



For many years Douglas Holmes has investigated the emergence of contemporary fascism across Europe, a fascism that unfolds in our midst, at “eye-level.” Broadly, his work addresses how and why the most discredited ideas and sensibilities of the modern era—ideas that yielded the indelible horrors of the twentieth century—have become persuasive, compelling even, in the new century. More recently, he has turned his attention to the operations of central banks and the design of a distinctive monetary policy regime. In Stockholm, London, Wellington, and two venues in Frankfurt, he has spoken to bank personnel and to policy makers examining how they model the economy and the financial system with language, establishing a radically communicative and relational dynamic at the center of monetary affairs. Holmes is the author of an ethnographic trilogy: Cultural Disenchantments: Worker Peasantries in Northeast Italy (Princeton 1989); Integral Europe: Fast-Capitalism, Multiculturalism, Neofascism(Princeton 2000); and Economy of Words: Communicative Imperatives in Central Banks (Chicago 2014). He has also authored with George E. Marcus a series of texts exploring experiments in ethnographic collaboration particularly as they are achieved within cultures of expertise.

Research Interests

  • Contemporary fascism
  • Central banks and monetary policy
  • Technologies of money
  • Sovereign wealth funds
  • Experimental ethnography