stephen wertheim

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Stephen Wertheim is a historian of the United States in the world. He is Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, which he co-founded. He is also a Research Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.


Stephen 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, he reveals how U.S. leaders made a sudden and unexpected decision to pursue global military dominance, which they had previously regarded as unnecessary at best and imperialistic at worst.


Stephen regularly writes essays on current affairs. His pieces 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 a range of subjects, including grand strategy, 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.


He was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University; a permanent Lecturer in History at Birkbeck, University of London; a Junior Research Fellow at King’s College, University of Cambridge, where he was a fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law; and a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Values and Public Policy at Princeton University, where he was part of the University Center for Human Values and the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance.


Stephen received a PhD with distinction from Columbia University in 2015. Stephen 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.