Head of the Research Group on the Sociology of Public Finances and Debt, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne. Previously Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science. His current major interest is in studying and theorizing roles and forms of state organisation in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. For that purpose, Leon conducts research on how the expansion of “finance-led capitalism” has turned central banks into the most powerful arms of the state – institutions, whose techniques of governing are isomorphic to the current structures of financial markets. In his next book, he aims to confront this development with questions about political authority and the governability of 21st century capitalism.
Prior to joining the LSE, Leon lived and worked in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and France. His personal trajectory is thus strongly associated with Europe. Leon believes that we need effective and legitimate state structures on the transnational level, not least to create capacities for confronting transnational corporate power. This makes it urgent to re-think the European project.