Christopher Mitchell

Christopher Mitchell, Assistant Professor of International Relations and Politics

Name: Christopher Mitchell

Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Politics, International Relations

Areas of study: political economy, finance and banking, Europe

Research focus: Christopher Mitchell’s research focuses on the politics surrounding construction of the European banking union. His doctoral work examined how the structure of national financial systems shapes financial rescue policies, specifically, how differing forms of bank interdependence in the 2007-2009 crisis produced policies in Germany that preserved private ownership and insulated bank shareholders and creditors from losses, while the United States and United Kingdom favored bank nationalization approaches which imposed costs on bank shareholders. His past experience includes work at the U.S. International Trade Commission, the World Bank, the United Nations Foundation and as a Congressional staffer.

What drew you to your area of study: I’ve been interested in politics for as far back as I can remember. The 2007-2009 financial crisis hit when I was in graduate school and I became fascinated by the policies states adopted to respond to the crisis. From there it was a natural fit to realize that I could focus on the politics of finance and banking professionally.

What appeals to you about being a professor at Mount Holyoke: I’m very excited about being able to forge direct connections with the students I teach, and to teach bright students in a small-class environment.

What do you like about teaching: I love the ability to share perspectives with students. One of the great parts of teaching is when either I or a student come to see a familiar concept from a new perspective, or provide a framework that allows the logic explaining certain events to become clear.

What do you look forward to at Mount Holyoke: I am very excited to get to know the Mount Holyoke students, and to start engaging with students on research topics and international developments. I’m also very excited to be back in the New England fall!

What are your proudest accomplishments, academic or other: My proudest accomplishment is being a father to my son, Tom, age 4. My proudest academic accomplishment has been when students have approached me after a semester has ended and said how much they enjoyed and learned from my classes.

What was your favorite class as an undergraduate: My favorite class was Nietzsche and History, which I loved because it identified links between the art, music, philosophy and politics of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This class was one of my first experiences of the benefits of an interdisciplinary perspective.

What do you like to do when you are not working: I love to ski, hike and run — as the weather allows. I also enjoy a good book and occasionally play guitar badly.

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