stephen wertheim

home book  /  scholarship  /  commentary  /  reviews  /  interviews  /  about



Stephen Wertheim is a historian of the United States in the world and analyst of contemporary American grand strategy. He is a Senior Fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is also a Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Center for Global Legal Challenges at Yale Law School.


A person in a suit

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceHe specializes in U.S. foreign relations and international order from the late nineteenth century to the present. In his book, Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy (Harvard University Press, 2020), he reveals how U.S. leaders made a sudden decision to pursue global military dominance, which they had previously regarded as unnecessary at best and imperialistic at worst.


Stephen regularly writes about current events. His essays have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. In 2020, Prospect magazine named him one of “the world’s 50 top thinkers for the Covid-19 age.”


Stephen has also published scholarly articles on U.S. ideas and projects of diplomatic engagement, international law, world organization, colonial empire, and humanitarian intervention. His research on the intellectual origins of the League of Nations won the Fischel-Calhoun Prize from the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.


Before coming to Carnegie, he was Director of Grand Strategy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think-tank he co-founded in 2019. He was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor in history at Columbia University and a permanent Lecturer in history at Birkbeck, University of London. He has also been a Research Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, a Junior Research Fellow at King’s College, University of Cambridge, and a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Values and Public Policy at Princeton University.


Stephen received a PhD from Columbia University in 2015. He also received an MPhil from Columbia in 2011 and an AB summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2007.


In his spare time, Stephen thinks up comedy ideas, talks about them, and fails to carry them out.