Department of Business Humanities and Law

  • Governance, Culture & Learning Unit

Room: POR/18.B-4.133
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(+46) 73 071 37 32
E-mail: jahj.bhl@cbs.dk

Jacob Hjortsberg received his PhD in social anthropology from the University of Bergen, Norway. His dissertation, “Middleman Minority Nation: Globalization and Social Democracy in Singapore”, takes a novel look at the small city-state of Singapore. In it, Dr. Hjortsberg pursues two broad arguments: first, that Singapore is a social democracy adapted to the conditions of globalized capitalism; and second, that the form that this social democracy takes can best be understood as a scaling up of the developmental tactics of so-called “middleman minorities”, i.e. ethnic minority groups that have achieved greater economic success in various host societies than the ethnic majority groups among whom they live (e.g. the Jews of Europe, the Chinese of Southeast Asia, the Parsis of India, and the Ibos of Nigeria).

Currently, Dr. Hjortsberg is involved in two research projects. On the one hand, he is doing research on labour law and worker reskilling in Sweden, as part of a research project at the Ratio Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, which looks broadly at the future of the so-called “Swedish model” of industrial relations.

On the other hand, Dr. Hjortsberg is a postdoctoral fellow within the ERC-funded research project “Global Value Chain Law: Constituting Connectivity, Contracts and Corporations (GLOBALVALUE)” at CBS, led by professor Poul F. Kjaer, where he focuses on the pharmaceutical industry in Southeast Asia, mapping its worldwide economic reach through global value chains. 

Primary research areas
  • Globalization
  • Global Value Chains (GVCs)
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Asia
  • Industrial Relations
Curriculum Vitae
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Selected publications

Hjortsberg, Jacob (forthcoming). Singapore: A Social Democracy for the 21st Century? Working Paper.

Hjortsberg, Jacob (2024). Middleman Minority Nation: A New Conceptualisation of the State in Singapore. Asian Studies Review.

Hjortsberg, Jacob (2022). Singapore Is Not a Free-Market Paradise. National Review.

Hjortsberg, Jacob (2022). Middleman Minority Nation: Globalization and Social Democracy in Singapore. University of Bergen.

Hjortsberg, Jacob (2015). Moral, All-Too Moral: Satire, Morality, and Charlie Hebdo. In Zagato, Alessandro (ed.). The Event of Charlie Hebdo: Imaginaries of Freedom and Control. Berghahn.