Meritocracy in work and education
History of Nazi Germany
Elite sports and meritocracy
Michael's research interests focus on the the history of meritocracy, examining meritocratic concepts in work and educational settings during the Twentieth century.
He recently published a cultural history of performance (Leistung) in Germany that analyses the efforts of German elites, from 1890 to 1945, to raise the productivity and psychological performance of workers through the promotion of mass sport. It examines how politicians, sport officials, medical professionals, and business leaders articulated a vision of a human economy that was co-opted in 1933 by Nazi officials in order to promote competition in the workplace.