stephen wertheim

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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 Lecturer at Yale Law School, where he is a Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Center for Global Legal Challenges, and a Distinguished Lecturer at Catholic University.


A person in a suit

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceStephen specializes in U.S. foreign policy and international order from the late nineteenth century to the present. In Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy (Harvard University Press, 2020), he reveals how American leaders, in the lead-up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, decided to pursue global military dominance as the effectively permanent vocation of the United States.


Stephen regularly writes about current events. His essays have appeared in The Atlantic, 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. Prospect magazine named him one of “the world’s 50 top thinkers for the Covid-19 age.”


He has 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, Stephen was Director of Grand Strategy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think-tank he co-founded in 2019. Prior to that, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in history at Columbia University and a Lecturer in history at Birkbeck, University of London. He has also served as a Research Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University, and a Junior Research Fellow at King’s College, University of Cambridge.


Stephen received a PhD from Columbia University in 2015. He 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.