Dr Christoph Rausch, MA (C.)
Dr. Christoph Rausch is associate professor of Economic Humanities at University College Maastricht (UCM). He co-founded (and serves on the steering committees of) the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH) and the Maastricht Experimental Research in and through the Arts Network (MERIAN). Rausch has been a visiting research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, the Berlin Centre for Art Market Studies, as well as the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne.
Dr. Rausch situates his work between the Social Sciences and Humanities. Drawing from critical repertoires of cultural anthropology and sociology, as well as history and philosophy, he has a particular interest in establishing new norms and forms of doing Economic Humanities.
Rausch has published on the intersections of the art and heritage worlds with a focus on the study of values, including economic and financial value. His book Global Heritage Assemblages: Development and Modern Architecture in Africa appears in the Routledge Studies in Culture and Development series. Rausch is editor-in-chief of the book series Studies in Art, Heritage, Law and the Market published by Springer.
Dr. Rausch’s current research is on the global relations between art and finance in the 21st century. Studying the emergence and proliferation of novel types of art storage spaces, including so-called freeports in offshore financial centers, he asks how an increasing financialization of art in and through storage problematizes public and private relations of ownership and display, speculation and risk, as well as regulation and taxation. Having conducted fieldwork at and around these new art storage spaces, Rausch currently finalizes a monograph (Better than Gold: Art in Storage and the Making of Financial Value) analyzing the contested technologies, politics, and ethics of art storage and art financialization practices.
As Principal Investigator (PI) Rausch leads the research consortium Priceless Assets of Subversion: Financial Crime and the Valuation of Unique Goods (PRICELESS). PRICELESS has a budget of EUR 1.3 million and is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), as well as partly by public and private partners.
Dr. Rausch is a member of the accountability body of ABP, one of the largest pension funds in the world with assets under management of more than EUR 500 billion.
Sociology of Art and Finance
Dr. Rausch defended his PhD in 2013. His dissertation was selected by the Boekman foundation and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) as one of the three best theses written in the Netherlands between 2012 and 2014 in the fields of arts, culture, and related policymaking.
Dr. Rausch is an activist for better working conditions and career prospects for academics. Between 2012 and 2017, Rausch first represented the Dutch scientist union (VAWO, now AOb) to Maastricht University’s executive board, which he currently advises again as a member of the local consultative body. Having participated in the national movement “De Nieuwe Universiteit” since its 2015 beginnings, as well as in subsequent initiatives such as (currently) WO-in-actie, Rausch is an advocate for academic freedom and progressive reform of the modern research university in the Netherlands and in Europe.
From September 2017 until September 2019, Rausch was appointed head of the department of Human Resources Management at Maastricht University. The capstone of Dr. Rausch’s time as head of department is the drafting of a new academic career policy for all academic staff of Maastricht University, improving transparency and implementing tenure- and career-track principles.
As HRM head of department, Dr. Rausch contributed to policy making on a national level. Together with colleagues at the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU), Rausch led a project group to draft an initial position paper redefining existing frameworks for the recognition and reward of academics. Aiming at a differentiation of academic career pathways, as well as at the renewal of research assessment methodologies and the promotion of open science, this initiative sparks debate and continues to gain momentum also internationally. It includes the call for a better acknowledgment of the collaborative efforts and accomplishments of teams in the advancement of individual academic careers.
During his two-year interim tenure as transition manager at the HRM department, Rausch was tasked with a comprehensive restructuring of the HRM advising section of Maastricht University. Next to the full day-to-day management of the department, he was the principal HRM advisor to the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine, the M4I research environment, and the Department of Cognitive Neurosciences.
Dr. Rausch has served on various boards and committees, including the committee Studium Generale, the editorial board of Maastricht University’s independent magazine Observant, the board of the Observant foundation, as well as Maastricht University’s Arts and Heritage committee. Between 2020 and 2024 Rausch was elected member and served as vice chair of the Maastricht Young Academy. From 2015 until 2023 he was a co-founding member of the Ethics Review Committee Inner City Faculties (ERCIC) of Maastricht University.