Marcel works on social theory and intellectual history. His research interests are in the theory and history of antisemitism, especially in relation to liberalism and nationalism.
He is currently working on a project comparing how race and antisemitism figured in the thinking of late-nineteenth-century German and British liberals, especially in their views on capitalism, modernization and imperialism. This research links back to his first monograph, The State, the Nation and the Jews, Liberalism and the Antisemitism Dispute in Bismarck’s Germany (University of Nebraska Press, 2008), dealing with Treitschke, Mommsen, Lazarus and others, and the edited volume Antisemitism and the Constitution of Sociology (University of Nebraska Press, 2014), which discusses the ambivalent attitudes toward Jews and antisemitism among some of those liberals who became the founders of the discipline of sociology, and their theories of antisemitism. His latest contribution is ‘Capitalism, the nation and societal corrosion: notes on “left-wing antisemitism”’ (Journal of Social Justice 9, 2019, 1-45).