Alexander Leipold

Alexander Leipold is a doctoral candidate at the Center for the Study of Democracy at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg. In his dissertation project he examines the importance of policy expertise for corporate tax reforms in Germany since 1965. Leipold studied political science and public administration at the University of Hagen after completing vocational training as an administrative assistant. Since 2019, he has been an adviser in the department of university strategy at Universität Hamburg. Leipold's main areas of interest are political sociology, global political economy, and the history of ideas.

A picture of Alexander Leipold.

Research Project

In his dissertation project, Leipold examines a particular variant of property conflicts: corporate tax legislation. The taxation of capital (in the form of corporations) is an important instrument to achieve distributive justice and thus also for establishing political equality. It is particularly prone to conflict because only a few individuals own businesses and the economic power that goes with them. Nevertheless, taxes on mobile capital in particular have been steadily reduced in recent decades. Tax increases for the wealthy and business owners evoke a high potential for protest. One example is the debate over inheritance taxation in Germany, in which "family businesses" effectively framed their case for tax exemptions as a form of ownership worth preserving. The dissertation project is designed as a longitudinal analysis of ten case studies. Individual statements made in policy debates and hearings in the German Bundestag are visualized utilizing Discourse Network Analysis to show actor participation. The resulting dataset comprises some 36,000 statements on tax reform proposals between 1965 and 2016. In addition to the empirical analysis, Leipold examines rival concepts of corporate taxation that have over time increasingly converged towards neoliberal beliefs. The project is supervised by Marion Reiser and Dieter Plehwe.


  • Die Entwicklung des „Steuerstaates“: Ursprung, Aufstieg und Ende eines finanzwirtschaftlichen Fortschrittsparadigmas (mit Sebastian Huhnholz), 2021, Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte 20, 505–552. DOI: 10.1515/jbwg-2021-0018.
  • Steuervermeidung und liberale Steuertheorie. Ein Beitrag zum konzeptionellen Wandel von Besteuerungsgrundsätzen nach 1945, 2021, Zeitschrift für Politische Theorie 11, 273–290. DOI: 10.3224/zpth.v11i2.07.
  • Debates about Causes of and Remedies for Tax Evasion from Antiquity to the 20th Century. Tagungsbericht. Historikertag 2021, H-Soz-Kult:
  • Zwei Streitschriften über Produktion und Legitimation politischer Ungleichheit, 2021, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 62, 405–408. DOI: 10.1007/s11615-021-00314-1.
  • Besprechung: M. Böick: Die Treuhand. Idee–Praxis–Erfahrung. 1990-1994, 2020, Neue Politische Literatur, 65, 568–570. DOI: 10.1007/s42520-020-00321-3.
  • Neue Beiträge zur Krise des demokratischen Kapitalismus, 2020, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 61, 655–658. DOI: 10.1007/s11615-020-00264-0.
  • Risiko Plattformarbeit, 2020, Makroskop. Magazin für Wirtschaftspolitik 4, 70-75.