H-Diplo Roundtable on The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and The United States, 1939-1950

The Emergence of Globalism coverHow should we greet the recent outpouring of works on the history of international thought since the Victorian era?[1] Sent to trace this tidal wave back to its epicenter, will we point to George W. Bush’s steroidal cocktail of American exceptionalism and democracy promotion; the tightening noose of big data on Google Earth; the 1930s’ mantras and 1890s’ gilt of Donald Trump’s America; the false prophets of history’s end circa 1991; or the diminishing life support systems on Spaceship Earth? While the answer most likely eludes us at present, the persistent appeal of the topic indicates that it is no fad. If humanity maintains course toward mounting accumulations of wealth, inequality, hotspots, carbon, and hyperlinks, will we not be borne ceaselessly into the past in search of answers to how we arrived here, and where we might go next?

H-Diplo Roundtable Review
Volume XIX, No. 27 (2018)
28 March 2018

Roundtable Editors: Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins and Diane Labrosse
Roundtable and Web Production Editor: George Fujii
Introduction by Jonathan Hunt

Or Rosenboim.  The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and The United States, 1939-1950.  Princeton University Press, 2017.  ISBN:  9780691168722 (hardcover, $37.95/£31.95).

Originally published on 28 March 2018 at H-Diplo, in the H-Net Commons

PDF: http://www.tiny.cc/Roundtable-XIX-27


© 2018 The Authors.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Introduction by Jonathan Hunt, University of Southampton

How should we greet the recent outpouring of works on the history of international thought since the Victorian era?[1] Sent to trace this tidal wave back to its epicenter, will we point to George W. Bush’s steroidal cocktail of American exceptionalism and democracy promotion; the tightening noose of big data on Google Earth; the 1930s’ mantras and 1890s’ gilt of Donald Trump’s America; the false prophets of history’s end circa 1991; or the diminishing life support systems on Spaceship Earth? While the answer most likely eludes us at present, the persistent appeal of the topic indicates that it is no fad. If humanity maintains course toward mounting accumulations of wealth, inequality, hotspots, carbon, and hyperlinks, will we not be borne ceaselessly into the past in search of answers to how we arrived here, and where we might go next?

Or Rosenboim’s The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and the United States, 1939-1950, is an exemplary marker of our growing interest in how previous generations pitched the task of fostering community and preventing anarchy at broader and broader levels. Gathering, evaluating, and in some cases rehabilitating a host of philosophers, geographers, economists, planners, jurists, and theists, Rosenboim offers a master class on global thinking at the end of what Albert Camus called “more than twenty years of an insane history:” the First World War, the Great Depression, Hitler’s rise, Stalin’s purges, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the Holocaust, the Iron Curtain and, finally, “a world threatened by nuclear destruction.”[2] No wonder, Ira Katznelson notes, a decade bookended by the Anschluss and the Korean War strikes us as “an age of broken certainties.”[3]

One such certainty was the hermetically sealed nature of national polities. Put otherwise, happenings far away would inevitably affect those nearer by. Rosenboim captures the light (rather than the heat) of intellectual discourse about political order across vast expanses in her gallery of thinkers, some of whom, such as French philosopher Raymond Aron, Austro-Hungarian economist Friedrich Hayek, English historian E. H. Carr, English writer H. G. Wells, and Hungarian-British polymath Michael Polanyi, need little introduction. Others, such as Romanian theorist David Mitrany, American geographer Owen Lattimore, British federalist Lionel Curtis, British sociologist Barbara Wootton, and American philosopher Richard McKeon, may. The result is a sure-footed, albeit selective, survey of mid-century intellectual innovation in the 1940s, when thinking about politics across bigger and bigger scales enjoyed its heyday, with Rosenboim placing the diversity, ingenuity, and richness of these viewpoints on full display.

Our three reviewers are well-positioned to attend to The Emergence of Globalism’s big claims and major themes, and to assess its contributions to the larger history of international thought in the decade of the Atlantic Charter, Bretton Woods, the United Nations, the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, the Acheson-Lilienthal Plan, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Collectively, they judge Rosenboim to have achieved a judicious treatment that astutely splits its thinkers more often than it lumps them together, recovering along the way the variety and urgency of political theorizing in this pivotal decade.

Sarah Claire Dunstan speaks for the rest of the panel when she praises Rosenboim for “a compelling and meticulously researched book which offers a new way of conceptualising both the mid-century moment and the well-known figures she studies.” She lauds the recovery of Catholic ideas about the universal and the global, as Rosenboim joins Udi Greenberg, Wolfram Kaiser, and Samuel Moyn in divining the conservative wellsprings of human rights and social welfare in these years.[4] One is left wondering whether the more ecumenical International Committee of the Red Cross (whose blindness to the Nazi’s crimes matched the Vatican’s) warranted inclusion alongside Jacques Maritain and other Catholics. Dunstan taxes Rosenboim, on the other hand, for her subjects’ lack of representativeness, calling attention to the silence of colonial and postcolonial voices, including those who lived in the United States and drew salaries from Howard University, a nexus between the American civil rights and pan-African movements. She admits that such discordant voices as W.E.B. Du Bois and George Padmore might have jarred against a chorus largely composed of liberal internationalists. Nonetheless, to exclude Ralph Bunche, who helped draft the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (and who won a Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the 1949 Armistice Agreements on behalf of the UN Palestine Commission), “seems a more striking omission.” As we expand the tent of intellectual history, “we need to be careful,” Dunstan cautions, “to thoroughly include women and people of colour in the construction process.”

Jennifer Van Vleck situates The Emergence of Globalism in a grander arc of writing contemporary history—the movement away from treating the nation or the nation-state as the basic unit and essential vessel of our narratives. In a wide-ranging exposition, she remarks that the conspicuous absence of the United Nations, which helped to make the modern nation-state the building block of postwar international political organization, is indicative of Rosenboim’s historiographical intervention. As Rosenboim herself notes in her conclusion, by leaving behind “the centrality of the state to history writing,” ways of imaging a world without nation-states re-emerge from history’s margins (277). Van Vleck notes other absences as well, which, to be fair, the book’s subtitle telegraphs—what “of alternative globalisms, visions of world order that did not reproduce the hierarchy of the West?”

Jamie Martin admires how the act of “[s]howing paths not taken can shed light on what made one option viable and another less so.” He then gently chides Rosenboim for excluding “bureaucrats, national officials, and economic powerbrokers and interest groups that wielded power as well.” Their stories might have allowed her to better trace why some ideas took root while others were left as seed corn. After all, Martin reminds us, John Maynard Keynes was both the most famous academic economist alive and an envoy of the British government when the Bretton Woods institutions were conceived. He also reminds us that the United Nations and its satellite organizations were prefigured by the League of Nations and its subsidiaries. Institutions, like physical objects, bear inertia; it was easier to reform, rebuild, or recreate from old templates than to start from scratch, much to the chagrin of more innovative or visionary thinkers. Martin throws cold water on the viability of far-reaching schemes, as the United States (whose Senate had rejected a supranational organization once already) was unlikely to accept “a significant relinquishment of American sovereignty.” And yet, if the United Nations were “a major disappointment to many internationalists,” Rosenboim’s seers proved more clairvoyant than their more influential peers in diagnosing the constitutional limitations of the United Nations Charter.

In her response, Rosenboim concedes Dunstan and Van Vleck’s point that her “dramatis personae” could have been expanded to accommodate people of color and more women, namely Barbara Ward (of whom she is making a study), Bunche, or Hannah Arendt. Her efforts to reconstruct a “web of personal and scholarly connections between these scholars” who were in dialogue with one another in some way, she explains, ended up circumscribing her analytical scope. But although her cast of characters is imperfectly diverse in terms of race and gender, she notes that “in the 1940s the experience of migration, exile, and persecution was also important.” The resonances with today’s progressive global disorder are clear and sobering. As for Martin’s curiosity about the invisibility of powerbrokers, including those who, like Keynes, hopscotched around the Ivory Tower and the corridors of power, a focus on “public intellectuals” is necessary lest the aperture through which we espy “mid-century globalist thought” narrows artificially to those who wielded power.

Speaking personally, I hope these scholars bring their own insights and discoveries into the public forum. At a moment when so many politicians and pundits treat international law, organization, and diplomacy, as either fool’s errands or traitorous forfeits of a Platonic ideal of “sovereignty,” historians can explain how from the start those who engaged in “globalist discourse struggled to reconcile the universalising and the pluralistic aspects of their visions of world order” (10). As Martin remarks, “what counted as realistic in the 1940s was up for grabs.” One wonders what our future historiographers will have to say about the 2010s.


Or Rosenboim is a Lecturer in Modern History at City, University of London. Her research focuses on the history of international thought in the twentieth century, exploring ideas about international order, universalism and empire in Europe and the United States. In 2014, she completed her doctorate thesis at Cambridge University, which was awarded the Prix Raymond Aron and Lisa Smirl Prize. Before joining City, she was a Research Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge and a visiting fellow at Sciences-Po, Paris and LUISS, Rome.

Jonathan Hunt is a Lecturer in Modern Global History at the University of Southampton. He is finishing his first book, “Atomic Reaction: The Spread of Nuclear Weapons and the New American Mission, 1945-1970,” which challenges the prevailing narrative of a postwar nuclear revolution, recovering how an international community of thinkers, leaders, and diplomats worked to bring order to the realm of nuclear science and technology in ways that blended global markets, postcolonial rights, and liberal intervention. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013, and has held fellowships and taught at Stanford University, Emory University, and RAND Corporation.

Sarah Dunstan is an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow with the International History Laureate at the University of Sydney. She has just submitted a doctoral thesis entitled “A Tale of Two Republics: Race, Rights and Revolution, 1919-1963” at the University of Sydney.  She was a Postgraduate Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University, New York in 2014 to 2015 and a Visiting Postgraduate Scholar at Reid Hall Columbia Global Center in Paris in semester one 2016. For 2017 she was a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Teaching Fellow. Her publications have appeared in the Australasian Journal of American Studies and Callalloo, a journal of the African diaspora. She is also an Editor of the Journal of the History of Ideas website.

Jamie Martin is Assistant Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Department of History at Georgetown University. His work focuses on the history of capitalism, with an emphasis on modern Europe and international order. He holds a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University, and was an ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney. His forthcoming book, Governing Global Capitalism in the Era of Total War, investigates the earliest international schemes to govern the world’s capitalist economy, exploring their origins in efforts to stabilize European political and economic orders in the aftermath of the First World War. In 2018-2019, he is a visiting fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

Dr. Jenifer Van Vleck is Curator of Aeronautics at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University, and was Assistant Professor of History and American Studies at Yale from 2010 to 2016. Her work focuses on the history of U.S. foreign relations, the history of technology, and cultural history—with a particular emphasis on globalization.


Review by Sarah Claire Dunstan, University of Sydney

Writing her memoir, In a World I Never Made, the economist Barbara Wootton observed, “Practical men in positions of power can always demonstrate the impracticality of idealistic proposals by the simple device of making sure these are never tried.”[5] Wootton’s observation, made in 1967, was particularly applicable to the proposals of global democratic federalism she, amongst others, had made in the 1940s. It is true, too, of most of the public intellectuals who form the focus of Or Rosenboim’s new book, The Emergence of Globalism. They include the French political scientist Raymond Aron and the Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain, the American cultural critic Lewis Mumford, and the Austrian-British economist and philosopher F.A. Hayek, amongst others. The works of these scholars are well known. Rosenboim offers fresh insight by discussing their thinking within the framework of globalism and arguing persuasively that this analytical category is important to understanding how these scholars understood the possibilities of the decade.

As Rosenboim contends, the 1940s were “a significant moment of world crisis, understood in terms of change and transition, if not decisive innovation (11).” A succession of major crises and world transformations from the Great Depression to the Second World War and the turbulent demise of British and French empire persuaded many thinkers during this period that world problems had to be confronted on a global level. Such a conviction prompted sustained and diverse intellectual campaigns to reconfigure world politics. It is to Rosenboim’s credit that she does not attempt to force their thinking into an overarching argument. To the contrary, the book is structured to emphasise these thinkers’ myriad intellectual approaches and interests. The result is a series of compelling portraits of a transnational network of ‘globalist thinkers’ as they sought to develop economic policies, geo-strategic calculations, and legal frameworks that could guarantee peace on an international level.

Rosenboim’s examination of Catholic efforts to “rethink their attitude towards democracy on a global scale, not only a national scale” is particularly absorbing (242). Her work is part of a recent flurry of interest in Catholic participation in the public sphere at mid-century.[6] Focusing on the work of two leading Catholic thinkers who spent the war years in the United States—Maritain and the Italian priest and politician, Luigi Sturzo—Rosenboim explores with great clarity the intersection of their competing brands of Catholicism and ideas of pluralistic democratic order. The arguments she makes about the relationship between these thinkers’ Catholic faith and their political proposals link elegantly with ideas around rights, welfare, and colonial liberation raised throughout the book.

Even more engrossing, at least from my perspective, is Rosenboim’s turn to the colonial context as a framework for understanding these thinkers and their trajectories in the 1940s. As Rosenboim observes, for all their globalist aspirations, few of the intellectuals she studies had any real connections or knowledge of the colonial world. Moreover, their conception of the ‘global’ was firmly grounded in the primacy of Western civilization. Rosenboim concludes her book by arguing that this insular perspective was a large part of these scholars’ inability to gain real traction with their thinking. Their “globalist discourse struggled to reconcile the universalising and pluralistic aspects of their visions of world order” (10) and it was thus “hardly surprising,” (281) that they failed. The African American political scientist Merze Tate made a similar observation of her white contemporaries in 1943 when she wrote: ‘‘Those Englishmen and Americans who envision plans for an approach to the problems of lasting peace have an egocentric view of the world and think primarily in terms of Europe, the Western World … They think and write entirely too much in terms of saving European civilization.”[7] Tate’s colleague at Howard University, Alain Locke, also made this point but phrased it more fiercely. Locke, who was a philosopher and the first African American Rhodes Scholar, argued in Survey Graphic in 1942 that “forces which have all but annihilated longitude and latitude” meant that any post-war planning had to be on a global level. In dark tones he warned that the failure of U.S. foreign policy to reckon with “the paradox of race” would only result in one international consequence, “a global color war.”[8]

Both Tate and Locke would have been good candidates for Rosenboim’s study. Like their colleague the political scientist and future Nobel Prize Winner Ralph Bunche or perhaps even the Pan-Africanist historian, Rayford W. Logan, they were engaged in thinking through the questions of state sovereignty, democratic federalism, and the global balance of power that were the central preoccupations of thinkers such as Wootton, Owen Lattimore, and Nicholas J. Spykman.

Why Rosenboim did not include these thinkers is unclear. The category of ‘public intellectual’ that she employs in the book could well have extended to those with stronger ties or, indeed, with visions that extended beyond the Western world. Rosenboim’s intellectuals are noticeably all liberal thinkers, so it is no surprise not to see more radical thinkers such as W.E.B. Du Bois or George Padmore included in discussions of questions of federalism, for example. Bunche, Logan, Locke, or Tate, however, would fit comfortably alongside the thinkers she does include.

Bunche, in particular, seems a striking omission. From the 1930s onwards, he offered a sustained critique of the current international system and urged proper engagement with the racism of the status quo.[9] As a member of the Phelps-Stokes funded Committee on Africa and Peace Aims, he was the principal author of a document entitled, The Atlantic Charter and Africa from an American Standpoint.[10] In it, he urged the global application of the Charter’s principles, rather than a repeat of the errors of the League of Nations before it. Bunche channelled his personal thinking through the institutional framework of the United Nations when he took part in planning for that organisation at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in 1944 and then became involved in setting up the Trusteeship system. In the process of mentoring the 1947 UN Special Commission on Palestine, he wrote the UN Partition Plan for Palestine. The Palestinians refused to accept it but his plan was underpinned by his own approach to the necessity of a ‘globalist’ approach to world government. Perhaps Bunche does not fit into the category Rosenboim envisages by virtue of his very real involvement in the United Nations. However, Maritain and Richard McKeon, who do appear in the book, also played an influential role in drafting the United Nations declaration of Human Rights.

Alternatively, it seems important to reflect upon the fact that Wootton is the only woman whose work is included in the book. There are a number of other female intellectuals who made significant contributions to discussions around ‘globalism’ in the 1940s. One such example would be another Barbara, the British economist Barbara Ward. Throughout the 1940s Ward worked for The Economist, writing on issues of economic and foreign policy. A dedicated Catholic, she also believed in the guiding value of Christian belief in international governance. From the United States, Edith Wynner and Georgia Lloyd might have been other possible subjects for study.[11] Together, they compiled a 607-page book entitled Searchlight on Peace Plans: Choose Your Road to World Government.[12] First published in 1944 and re-issued in 1946 and again in 1949, the work was an annotated compendium of plans for world government since ancient times and included Wynner’s own ideas about the best way to reform global systems.

Bunche’s exclusion, and the decidedly white and male cast of characters that are included in The Emergence of Globalism, raise important questions about the way we write intellectual history. Rosenboim has written a compelling and meticulously researched book which offers a new way of conceptualising both the mid-century moment and the well-known figures she studies. To what extent is it reasonable to ask that she includes other scholars all too often elided from the narrative by virtue of their race or gender?

On the subject of race, Robert Vitalis, in his recent history of U.S. International Relations, White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations, argued that it is impossible to understand the “early decades of the discipline without understanding the long and globe-spanning freedom movements that are central to its intellectual, social, and institutional development.”[13] In Towards an Intellectual History of Black Women, Mia E. Bay, Farah J. Griffin, Martha S. Jones, and Barbara Savage argue that it is long past “time for the varied and unique intellectual labors of women of Africa and its diaspora to claim a more distinct place in” intellectual history.[14] There is a long history of absence of black and female thinkers from traditional narratives of intellectual history and the history of international relations. As Rosenboim herself shows in the chapter covering Wootton, women were often not taken seriously by their male contemporaries. This was also the case for thinkers of colour. Black women like Tate were twice ostracised. We lose a great deal if we do not position the work of these public intellectuals in dialogue with those of better known figures such as David Mitrany and Aron.

In the book’s concluding lines, Rosenboim points to the contemporary significance of understanding the implications of globalisation. She writes that “a historical understanding of the basic terms of the debate will furnish a more sophisticated and nuanced foundation for reflection about the global space of politics.” (283) The Emergence of Globalism is a fine contribution to the groundwork for this bigger project. But if we want the foundations to stand firm we need to be careful to thoroughly include women and people of colour in the construction process.


Review by Jamie Martin, Georgetown University

A recurring theme in Or Rosenboim’s important book is that what counted as realistic in the 1940s was up for grabs. The Emergence of Globalism traces several ambitious projects of global reordering that were pitched as practical solutions to a crisis of unprecedented scope, not as idle utopias: “what may have seemed utopian or nearly so in the past,” the Italian intellectual Giuseppe Borgese wrote to Thomas Mann in 1948, “should seem today more realistic than all the realisms that have failed” (201).

Rosenboim admits that many of these schemes did not get very far. Some slowly shifted the terrain of the imaginable: the writings of economist F.A. Hayek on European federalism only achieved institutional realization, some have argued, with the neo-liberal turn that began in the European Union in the 1980s.[15] Others were taken up more quickly: the functionalist ideas of the British-Romanian political theorist David Mitrany were “reflected” in the 1951 Treaty of Paris, while the work of the Federal Union group shaped postwar mobilization for European integration around Italian federalists like Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi (275). Other ideas all but disappeared: the ‘world constitution’ drafted at the University of Chicago was never close to realization. Other schemes could be added to Rosenboim’s list: widely discussed plans for an international guarantee of full employment and a system of commodity price stabilization went unrealized in the postwar economic settlement, while programs for international development ultimately achieved pride of place. Blueprints for an international trade organization were quashed by the U.S. Congress, while the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was signed relatively easily.

Why were some of these plans successful and others less so? Rosenboim’s book focuses less on this question than on recapturing the full range of debate within a network of British and American “public intellectuals” working “outside the realm of political power” (277). She avoids discussion of bureaucrats and politicians, and argues that a focus on state power risks reinstating “teleological” narratives of institutional and political development and missing the richness of political thought of the 1940s (278). This is an important, and often overlooked, point: even the ideas that made it directly into policy were formed in competition with those that did not. Showing paths not taken can shed light on what made one option viable and another less so. And looking only at ideas that were translated into specific institutions can miss what later mobilized resistance against them. But one might also be tempted to ask which of these ideas were, in fact, ‘realistic’ in the 1940s, and which remained wishful thinking. If the war provided an opportunity for thinking big, what kind of ambition was rewarded, and what held it back?

When it came to the economic settlement, a few basic parameters can be set. First, the plans for new international organizations that were successful were the ones that had direct predecessors. The International Monetary Fund emerged from the League of Nations’ Financial Section, and the World Health Organization from its Health Organization. The Food and Agricultural Organization absorbed the International Agricultural Institution. Other bodies were more direct holdovers, like the International Labour Organization and the Bank for International Settlements. These continuities were a source of frustration to many of the thinkers Rosenboim considers: the United Nations, as she shows, was a major disappointment to many internationalists, since its continuities with the League, its reinforcement of state sovereignty, and its perpetuation of imperial hierarchies were all glaring reminders that powerful states still called the shots (273). But building new international organizations was a difficult task, and the ones that proved viable were the ones with these at times uncomfortable continuities. Once in place, international organizations—even weak and unpopular ones—tend to have impressive staying power. But getting them off the ground is a slow process.

This task is also easier when it occurs outside the public spotlight, and avoids explosive distributional questions. This was why it was so difficult to create an international trade organization: trade was always a question that involved stiff competition between interest groups and had made and broken political parties for generations. Recognizing this fact, planners for Bretton Woods focused first on finance, since questions of monetary stabilization were thought to arouse fewer public passions. This was a winning gambit: while the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement was passed by the U.S. Congress, plans for an International Trade Organization were shot down. It would take another fifty years for a World Trade Organization to be created.

Another, perhaps obvious point is that the international organizations that required a significant relinquishment of American sovereignty had a poor chance of success. Keynes’s original plans for an international clearing union—one of the starting points of the Bretton Woods discussions—would have required major sacrifices from creditor nations like the U.S. The compromise institution agreed to by American officials, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), gave the U.S. state much greater discretion over what it could and could not do.

But even the creation of an organization like the IMF—one that had clear predecessors, that skirted explosive debates about trade, and that entrenched rather than constrained U.S. power—should be considered an extraordinary innovation, one that only a few years earlier would have looked ambitious to the point of absurdity. For the first time ever, the U.S. would be a leading member of an organization dedicated to stabilizing the global capitalist system. After the First World War, plans for an international financial organization had been vehemently rejected by U.S. officials. It had taken the Depression, the New Deal, and the precedent of the League of Nations’ financial work to slowly shift what was thought possible and politically acceptable. Understanding the origins of the economic settlement after the Second World War requires understanding how assumptions about policy-making, institution-building, and capitalism itself were transformed between 1919 and 1945.

For this task, Rosenboim’s method is powerful: showing how gradual intellectual innovation can lead, through twisting paths, to major institutional transformations and political development down the road. But getting from ideas to policy requires moving beyond a strict focus on intellectuals to look at the bureaucrats, national officials, and economic powerbrokers and interest groups that wielded power as well. The bureaucracies of the British and American states during the 1940s were full of just as ambitious—and with hindsight, improbable—schemes as the academic sites that are the focus of The Emergence of Globalism. Some offices were wildly creative; others less so. Some were staffed by figures that appear in Rosenboim’s book, such as Lionel Robbins and Henry Wallace. The dividing line between ‘official’ and ‘public intellectual’ was less strict in the 1940s than at other times: Keynes, after all, was both a world-famous thinker and a powerful representative of the British state. Moving beyond intellectuals may also bring a more diverse cast of characters into focus: understanding how Bretton Woods Agreement was shaped, as Eric Helleiner has recently argued, has for decades focused on the debates between British and American economists at the cost of ignoring the large, non-Western delegations at the Conference, particularly from China and India, which were staffed by a broad array of officials and experts: from universities, financial institutions, government offices, and private firms.[16] In the 1940s, the competition of ideas between power-brokers was at least as wide-ranging as that which occurred between the thinkers that are the focus of Rosenboim’s book. Keynes’s most ambitious plans, for example, were rejected by his U.S. counterparts, and only after he himself had sidelined some of the more ambitious schemes of his younger protégés. It was out of this competition that the compromise settlement was reached. Far from reinscribing a teleology of development, looking at the translation of ideas into power shows how open-ended, at moments of crisis, this process can be.


Review by Jenifer Van Vleck, Smithsonian Institution

The 2009 annual meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA), organized around the theme “Globalizing Historiography,” embodied the historical profession’s shift away from what Thomas Bender described as “its unexamined assumption that the nation was the natural container and carrier of history.”[17] That year, the word “global,” or variations thereof, appeared in the titles or descriptions of over two hundred AHA panels and papers.[18] Global history was, of course, nothing new. Yet amidst the so-called transnational turn of the early twenty-first century, the AHA’s call for the globalization of historiography advocated not a revival of grand narratives—like the civilizational paradigms that had dominated the “old” world history—but, rather, “a plentitude of narratives” (to quote Bender again) emplotted both within and across multiple units of spatial scale, such that national, regional, and even local histories could be freshly understood in relation to broader transnational or global processes.[19]

Now nearly a decade later, “globalizing historiography” has become almost de rigueur, as evidenced not only by monographs, but also by a profusion of edited volumes and state-of-the-field articles,[20] new journals explicitly dedicated to transnational or global history,[21] and job descriptions ending in “______ and the World.” The field of diplomatic history, once perceived as outmoded and elitist, has undergone a veritable renaissance; in 2009, the same year that the AHA endorsed the globalization of historiography, Thomas C. Zeiler authored an influential American Historical Review essay entitled, tellingly, “The Diplomatic History Bandwagon: A State of the Field.”[22] Recent scholarship on the anthropocene, too, has, mobilized a potent interpretive framework for researching and writing history on a planetary scale.[23] Meanwhile—and most importantly for the purposes of this review—scholars have moved beyond globalizing historiography toward historicizing “the global” itself. Rather than simply replacing the nation with the world as history’s new “natural container and carrier,” some of the best new work on global history aims to interrogate the field’s foundational unit of analysis, revealing how conceptions of the world, as a legible spatial entity, have originated, changed over time, and advanced and/or contested particular political agendas.[24]

Or Rosenboim’s The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and The United States, 1939-1950, makes important contributions to this body of scholarship. Focusing on American and British visions of world order during the 1940s, Rosenboim offers nuanced insights into the vicissitudes of globalism during one of the most cataclysmic eras in twentieth-century international history—a decade bookended by World War II and the outbreak of the Korean War. She argues that the global, as an intellectual and political category, came into being during the 1940s as a result not only of technological innovations that shrunk spatial distances, but also in response to the intertwined epochal crises of world war, the collapse of empires, the rise of totalitarian regimes, and the development of the atomic bomb. The stakes could not have seemed higher: as American cultural critic Lewis Mumford (one of the book’s protagonists) wrote in 1946, “Madmen govern our affairs in the name of order and security…. And the fatal symptom of their madness is this: they have been carrying through a series of acts which will lead eventually to the destruction of mankind.”[25] Globalism, as a political imperative and indeed a moral principle, thus emerged as both a product of and a potential solution to world disorder.

In eight lucidly written chapters, Rosenboim traces “an intellectual history of the complex and nonlinear genealogy of globalism in mid-century visions of world order” (2). Her genealogy follows a spatial logic, moving from smaller to greater units of scale: rather than proceeding chronologically, the book is structured as a series of progressively larger concentric circles. Rosenboim begins with debates about the nation-state and then expands the frame to encompass, respectively, discussions of regional geopolitics, federalism, and schemes for global governance (namely, the world constitution movement). The latter two chapters examine science and religion as catalysts of global thinking. This thematic and spatially-oriented structure embodies the author’s insistence that the history of globalism is “complex and nonlinear”; mid-twentieth-century conversations about world order revolved around common sets of questions but did not yield predetermined or predictable outcomes.

In its chronology, The Emergence of Globalism may seem to tell a familiar story; numerous scholars have identified the 1940s as a, if not the, pivotal decade in the history of globalism, and Anglo-American globalism in particular.[26] This was the decade in which Wendell Willkie’s One World (1943) shattered nonfiction bestseller records, Life magazine devoted centerfold spreads to Richard Edes Harrison’s globalist cartography, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt instructed Americans to ‘get out their maps’ as his fireside chats broadcast news of the war into their living rooms. Meanwhile, the imperative to forge world order out of disorder resulted in the creation of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Bretton Woods system, and numerous other supranational institutions and agreements. Google Ngram analysis, as Rosenboim notes, shows that use of the term “world order” in English-language publications rose steadily beginning in the mid-1930s, peaked in 1945, and steadily declined through the mid-1950s—with its frequency then remaining more or less at a plateau until another upward tick in the late 1980s through mid-1990s, when the end of the Cold War and the rise of economic neoliberalism revived discourse on global interconnectedness (now recast as “globalization”).[27] The relatively brief ascendancy of mid-twentieth-century globalism collapsed, Rosenboim argues, not only due to international institutions’ failure to forestall either the onset of the Cold War (and the outbreak of another ‘hot’ war in Korea) or the nuclear arms race, but also—crucially—due to globalism’s internal limitations and contradictions. As imagined by white intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic, “the ‘global’ sphere was less inclusive than its proponents suggested” and “did not necessarily include a substantial promise of political, economic, and social liberation, while the notion of the ‘nation’ did” (275-276). While globalism appeared to offer an alternative to empire, and to valorize pluralism as the foundation of democracy, the American and British intellectuals whom Rosenboim examines stopped short, to varying degrees, of endorsing genuinely egalitarian visions of world order.

‘To varying degrees’ is an important qualifier: Rosenboim uncovers a multivalent set of conversations from which “no one authoritative version of the ‘global’ ideology emerged.” Rather, “many competing visions strove to attain political purchase and public support” (16). Alongside well-known public intellectuals such as Raymond Aron, Friedrich Hayek, and Owen Lattimore, the book’s protagonists include uncanonized “minor” thinkers—David Mitrany, Nicholas J. Spkyman, Luigi Storzo, Jacques Maritain, Barbara Wootton—whose ideas may not have attained widespread public renown, yet nonetheless shaped mid-twentieth century discourse on globalism. This transnational cohort of public intellectuals, linked by both professional and personal bonds, shared an investment in the global as an analytical framework and sphere of political intervention. However, they elaborated distinct and sometimes incongruous conceptions of world order, as each chapter of the book—structured around debates between two or more thinkers—reveals. Take, for example, Lattimore and Spykman, whose divergent ideas about globalism are examined in Chapter Three.[28] Both conceived of the global as fundamentally geopolitical: “vast spaces that undermined or replaced the nation-states” would become “the basic components of world order” (61). Yet while Spykman endorsed a regional balance of power that largely preserved imperial hierarchies—his tripartite world order parceled the globe into spheres of U.S., British, and Soviet spheres of influence—for Lattimore geopolitics enabled “a critique of empire” (77) that acknowledged the rising power of Asia (and China particularly) in the context of decolonization. This debate, admittedly oversimplified here for the sake of brevity, underscores Rosenboim’s argument that globalism was not a unified ideology but a multihued tapestry of visions, mobilized in the service of political objectives that were often at odds with one another.

Rosenbaum’s eschewal of totalizing or teleological definitions of globalism also extends to her treatment of international institutions. Much previous scholarship on the 1940s has focused on the creation of the United Nations, which may strike some readers as a curious absence in this book. Yet, the United Nations “did not reflect the global change” that Rosenboim’s protagonists envisioned, and instead “embodied important and undesirable continuities with earlier imperial and state-centric conceptions of world order” (273). In this view, the United Nations limited the possibilities of postwar global governance by affirming traditional notions of state sovereignty and, via the Security Council, enshrining great-power politics within its very structure. Moreover, by foregrounding ideas rather than institutions, and by focusing on public intellectuals instead of politicians and diplomats, Rosenboim makes a broader historiographical intervention that challenges “the centrality of the state to history writing” (277). Joining other scholars of non-state actors, she prompts us to consider how the field of international history, in its etymologically defined emphasis on relations between states, risks reifying the nation-state and therefore obscuring more complex, expansive, and contingent genealogies of globalism.

If The Emergence of Globalism illuminates the varieties of global thinking in the 1940s, the book’s focus on American and British intellectuals—all white, all male with the exception of Wootton—nonetheless has some limitations. As Rosenboim emphasizes, Anglo-American globalism largely failed to dispense with notions of civilizational hierarchy, often conceiving world order as a less formalized, more benign iteration of imperial tutelage. To take one example, for proponents of Britain’s Federal Union, “it was always the ‘West,’ embodied in Europe, the United States, and the dominions, that was to set the road map for political progress, giving up on imperial rule but retaining a set of informal means of imposing their worldview onto the colonial populations” (128). Rosenboim thus acknowledges how the specter of empire haunted mid-century visions of “one world”—those conceived by white American and British intellectuals, at least. But what of alternative globalisms, visions of world order that did not reproduce the hierarchy of the West? Recent scholarship has shown that such visions thrived before, during, and indeed after the 1940s.[29] Explicitly anti-imperial conceptions of globalism emerged in the nonwhite world during World War I, amidst debates about the League of Nations and the postwar fate of empires; African American global consciousness can be traced to the dawn of the twentieth century—whose central problem, as the influential African-American historian and activist W. E. B. DuBois famously proclaimed, would be the problem of the global color line; and in the Cold War era, the nonaligned movement reinvigorated debates about the meanings and political stakes of “world order,” even if Google Ngrams suggest that English usage of that term declined after 1950. To note such examples is by no means to dispute the considerable merits of Rosenboim’s account, but merely to suggest how the book might be placed in productive conversation with work on anti-imperial and/or non-Western globalisms.

Without veering too much into presentism, one cannot help but read The Emergence of Globalism in the context of contemporary debates about world order. If the transnational turn in historiography began at a time when the word ‘global’ carried mostly positive connotations, the same cannot be said of our current political moment. It is all the more important, then, for the historians and public intellectuals of our own time to uncover the complex genealogies of globalism, to analyze how and why conceptions of world order have changed over time, and to understand the global itself as a mutable, historically constructed category.


Author’s Response by Or Rosenboim, City, University of London

I am delighted to participate in this forum, and would like to extend my thanks to the reviewers for their thoughtful comments. I would like to thank Daniel Steinmetz Jenkins for his insightful introduction, and the editorial team of H-Diplo for granting a place for this conversation.

The Emergence of Globalism explores the intellectual history of political spaces. One of the main arguments of the book is that mid-century political thinkers in Britain and the United States identified global interconnectedness as the world-making condition of their times. They sought to come up with new visions of world order conceived on a planetary scale. Despite the differences in their approaches to international affairs, they were united by a common concern with the global dimension of politics. Thus, I analyse their ideas under the banner of ‘globalism,’ a conceptual category that conveys their spatial perceptions. Globalism here does not reflect an ambition on my part to tell an intellectual history of the whole globe, or a global history of political thought. Rather, the book investigates some of the mid-century perceptions of the global space and their influence on ideas of world order.

The book is organised by order of scale, from the state to the empire, the region and the world. Each chapter looks at a different political space as the core unit of a new world order in the global age: nation-states, empires, regions, continents, transnational states, and the entire planet served as building blocks these competing visions of world order. The chapters seek to shed light on the various ways in which perceptions of the global space affected smaller-scale political units. Global thought extended beyond the imagination of planetary spaces, to considerations of the impact of global transformations on local and regional orders.

Mid-century conceptions of globalism are presented in the book in a thematic rather than chronological structure. At the core of the study there are seven conversations on global order in different disciplinary spheres: political theory, geopolitics, imperial thought, economics, law, philosophy of science, and religion. Each chapter tells a story about a particular conception of the global space and its impact on world order; together, these stories reveal the interdisciplinary, complex and multifaceted nature of global thinking in the 1940s. By consequence, the book does not aim to provide an exhaustive or comprehensive account of globalist ideas at the time, but rather an initial exploration that I hope shall be pursued by future studies on the subject.

The history of mid-century globalism told in the book revolves around a group of authors who lived in Britain and the United States. During the Second World War, these countries were safe havens for refugees and persecuted minorities. Britain and the U.S. provided a platform for political thinkers—who came from Italy, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Romania, and France—to muse about world order and share their ideas with the wide community. While not all of the thinkers I discuss here were household names, they all enjoyed some leverage in the public and political spheres: they were able to publish in widely read outlets and their analyses reached the ‘political establishment.’ At the same time, many of the book’s protagonists were migrants, who struggled—to different degrees—to adapt to new cultural, political, and sometimes religious preferences in their adoptive countries. Some might say that in comparison to other migrants and refugees—in the 1940s or today—these scholars had a relatively smooth migration experience; yet it did not always seem so to them. The experience of migration and exile forced them to question their political identity and their sense of national belonging. Their economic, cultural, and intellectual struggles as migrants played a role, I suggest, in encouraging these writers to imagine a new world order grounded in the global space.

The thinkers that I discuss in the book form, I argue, a loose transnational network of public intellectuals: they shared a conviction that their academic scholarship and expert knowledge should be the foundation for an active engagement in public life. Rather than a privilege, their scholarly experience gave them a responsibility to engage in public debate on the possible and desirable post-war order. The main figures of the study include public intellectuals, such as Raymond Aron, David Mitrany, Owen Lattimore, Nicholas J. Spykman, Barbara Wootton, Lionel Robbins, Friedrich Hayek, Lionel Curtis, Clarence Streit, H.G. Wells, Michael Polanyi, Lewis Mumford, Giuseppe Antonio Borgese, Richard McKeon, Jacques Maritain and Luigi Sturzo. This selection of dramatis personae has advantages but also limits for the study of the idea of globalism, and I am glad that the reviewers’ comments give me the opportunity to address both.

A common query raised by Sarah Dunstan and Jenifer Van Vleck regards the place of women in the history of international thought. In my book, I explored the thought of Wootton, an original thinker in economics, sociology, and international relations. The British organization Federal Union provided her with a framework for political activism and intellectual engagement with the idea of federation as a desirable ordering principle for the post-war world. Yet, as Dunstan mentions in her review, Wootton gave her autobiography the title ‘In a World I Never Made,’ and explored in detail the challenges she faced as a scholar and activist who also happened to be a woman. The limits were set not only by the audience who challenged her authority, but also by the institutions and political establishment that declined her the support and recognition naturally granted to men. Another woman who contributed to the globalist discourse is Elizabeth Mann Borgese, who served as secretary of the World Constitution Committee in Chicago. Despite her intense work on the constitution and various publications in favour of the project, she was not invited to sign the final document. The committee members were exclusively male.

In the mid-century, the challenges facing women were still remarkably daunting, and it is not surprising that their ideas are coming to light only recently. Edith Wynner, Georgia Lloyd and even Hannah Arendt were insightful mid-century thinkers on the challenges of world order, and their writings on international themes still await the historians’ attention. In recent years, historians and International Relations scholars have been paying more attention to the contribution of women to international thought and to their absence from historical studies and disciplinary canons. For example, Robert Vitalis and Lucian Ashworth have highlighted the role of international thinkers such as Merze Tait and Helena Swanwick in shaping ideas about international affairs and world order in Britain.[30] Yet much work is still to be done. A new research network is now organized by Patricia Owens and Katharina Rietzler, with the aim to investigate the history of women in international thought. One of the outcomes of this project will be an edited volume, which includes my new work on the interlocking histories of two economists, Wootton and Barbara Ward. Ward was a fascinating international thinker who extended her gaze to the colonial world in the post-war period and kept close ties with many Catholic spheres in Britain. Since her globalist thought was not part of the conversations I mapped in the book, it features prominently in my new project.

It is worth explaining, at this point, the motivations behind the selection of the book’s protagonists. The ambitious thematic range of the book demanded some difficult choices in the selection of thinkers and ideas. How did I decide who would make the cut and who would be left out? There were four main concerns in selecting the protagonists and the conversations for the book.

First, I sought to outline a Republic of Letters, based on concrete historical links between thinkers. It is possible to chart a web of personal and scholarly connections between these scholars: they knew each other or read and commented each other’s works. As we shall see, the decision to structure the book around this transnational network evidently implies the exclusion of other globalist thinkers who did not make part of it. Some thinkers, such as Ward, Bunche, or Arendt, who developed a fascinating vision of federal order in the 1940s, were left out. Their ideas will hopefully become the subject of further research.

Second, the book draws the contours of global thinking in the specific intellectual and political contexts of Britain and the United States. I was particularly interested in understanding the intellectual debates on world order in the relatively free and liberal countries that, after the war, made decisive contributions to shaping global politics. The focus on specific geographical spaces and social and intellectual milieus served to outline a concrete historical background for the formation of the globalist discourse. Britain and the United States were not the exclusive source of global thinking in the 1940s; as Van Vleck and Dunstan suggest, people of colour in Europe, North and South America, and the colonies also participated in what I have called the globalist discourse. Arguably, the reconstruction of historical context runs the risk of replicating a closed mentality of an exclusive social milieu. But this exercise also offers the opportunity to reveal the limits of global thinking in particular social and political circles. ‘Black globalism,’ as Van Vleck suggests, could be a revealing and radical form of thinking about world order. Yet my aim in the book was to enquire how ‘Western’ liberal thinkers who espoused visions of progress, rights, and freedom, were able to ignore or dismiss the significant challenge that colonization, race, and global inequality set for their plans. Later forms of global thinking, such as the Non-Aligned Movement or the New Economic World Order project reflect, to my mind, attempts to overcome the limits of the mid-century visions of world order that my book explores.

Third, the experience of migration, exile and travel was an important common feature in these authors’ lives. Not all the thinkers examined in the book would have considered themselves as mainstream or elite; many saw themselves as outsider observers (Aron’s spectateur engagé) or felt that the experience of displacement had influenced their political views. If today we often perceive gender and race as decisive factors in a person’s sense of identity and community, in the 1940s the experience of migration, exile, and persecution was also important. Aron, Mitrany, Maritain, Polanyi, Sturzo, and Borgese felt conditioned – to different degrees – by their personal and professional experiences as émigrés. Migration was intellectually significant also for Lattimore, Hayek, and Spykman, albeit less traumatic. The quest for a new home generated important cultural, linguistic, economic and political challenges for these individuals, who nonetheless strove to participate in the public political debates of their new country. As Udi Greenberg suggested in The Weimar Republic, displacement left its mark on these thinkers’ personal and intellectual life trajectories.[31] It gave them a particular perspective on world affairs, and motivated their engagement in theorizing the international sphere.

Fourth, I decided to investigate perceptions of political space in the 1940s through the eyes of ‘public intellectuals’ because I was fascinated by the interplay of scholarly knowledge and political imagination. For me, the figure of the ‘public intellectual’ is a person who builds on scholarly knowledge to engage in public debate. Academic expertise generated, for some, a responsibility to share with the general public the fruit of their wisdom. Yet only a few thought that their views would be accepted without debate; rather, they considered as their main task persuading the public to accept and support their ideas. In a democratic society, the public intellectual had to compete, along with many other commentators, politicians, and pundits, for the attention of the citizen. Free from the chains of public office, these thinkers felt at liberty to propose new ideas for post-war order which reflected their personal and intellectual concerns. These debates were transnational in nature and, as Jamie Martin observes, set the stage for formal policies and plans of international organizations and world order.

By looking at an inclusive and heterogeneous group of ‘public intellectuals,’ the book intentionally seeks to step away from the ‘powerbrokers’ of world order, in Martin’s terms, to see a wider image of the mid-century globalist thought. Such exploration may reveal a ‘road not taken,’ a utopian vision that challenges current political conventions, or indeed may bring to light influential figures whose light had since dimmed. While Keynes’s contribution to shaping modern institutions of economic order is well recognised, Wootton’s reflections on federal order and social welfare are still off many historians’ radar. The visions of world order that these intellectuals proposed were not always in line with the official voice of the government or other public organizations. The divide between officials and public intellectuals was perhaps, as Martin suggests, less strict, but it was still visible and important. Thus, it is telling that Robbins highlighted in his 1940 federalist tract that the text was written before he joined the war service. The fortunes of his federalist ideas in the context of Bretton Woods deserve scrutiny in new historical studies which I hope can find inspiration in my book.

When I embarked on the research for this study, back in 2011, it would have been far-fetched to imagine the twenty-first century afterlives of ‘globalism.’ The recurrent uses of the term—often as a slur by President Donald Trump and his followers—gave a new impetus to my work, yet also highlighted the controversial and elusive nature of globalism as a perspective on politics. The book will not, I hope, be the final word on global thinking and its history. At a time when nationalism seems to be on the rise and the world is ravaged by a global refugee crisis, the multiple historical interpretations of the global space and their political implications could set the foundation for a novel imaginary of the potential and desirable spaces of politics.



[1] Akira Iriye, Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002); Elizabeth Borgwardt, A New Deal for the World: America’s Vision for Human Rights (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005); Andrew Hurrell, On Global Order: Power, Values, and the Constitution of International Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); Duncan Bell, Victorian Visions of Global Order: Empire and International Relations in Nineteenth-Century Political Thought, Ideas in Context 86 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); Governing the World: The History of an Idea (New York: Penguin Press, 2012); Glenda Sluga, Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013); Susan Pedersen, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015); Marc-William Palen, The “Conspiracy” of Free Trade: The Anglo-American Struggle over Empire and Economic Globalization, 1846-1896 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016); Glenda Sluga and Patricia Clavin, eds., Internationalisms: A Twentieth-Century History (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

[2] Albert Camus, “Speech of Acceptance upon the Award of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Delivered in Stockholm on the Tenth of December, 1957,” in Fifty Years, Clifton Fadiman, ed. (New York: Knopf, 1965), 723.

[3] Ira Katznelson, Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time. (New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2013), 31.

[4] Udi E. Greenberg, The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014); Wolfram Kaiser, Christian Democracy and the Origins of European Union, 1. paperback ed, New Studies in European History (Cambridge: Cambridge University. Press, 2011); Samuel Moyn, Christian Human Rights (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).

[5] Barbara Wootton, In a World I Never Made (London: Allen & Unwin, 1967), 98.

[6] Udi Greenberg, The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015), 120-168; Wolfram Kaiser, Christian Democracy and the Origins of the European Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Samuel Moyn, Christian Human Rights (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).

[7] Merze Tate, ‘War Aims of World War I and World War II and Their Relation to the Darker Peoples of the World,’ The Journal of Negro Education 12:3 (Summer 1943): 523.

[8] Alain Locke, ‘The Unfinished Business of Democracy,’ Survey Graphic 35 (November 1942): 455-61.

[9] See for example, Ralph J. Bunche, A World View of Race (Washington, D.C.: The Associates in Negro Folk Education, 1936). Bunche was also a key contributor to Gunnar Myrdal’s momentous study of race in the United States: Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1944).

[10] Committee on Africa, the war, and peace aims, The Atlantic Charter and Africa from an American Perspective (New York, 1942).

[11] For more on Edith Wynner and on the agency of women in international history, see Glenda Sluga, ‘Women, Feminisms and Twentieth Century Internationalism,’ in eds., Glenda Sluga and Patricia Clavin, Internationalisms: A Twentieth Century History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 61-84.

[12] Edith Wynner and Georgia Lloyd, eds., Searchlight on Peace Plans: Choose Your Road to World Government (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc, 1944).

[13] Robert Vitalis, White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015), 9.

[14] Mia E. Bay, Farah J. Griffin, Martha S. Jones and Barbara Savage, Towards an Intellectual History of Black Women (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015), 3.

[15] Wolfgang Streeck, Buying Time:  The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism (London: Verso, 2014) 97 ff.

[16] Eric Helleiner, Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014).

[17] Thomas Bender, A Nation Among Nations: America’s Place in World History (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006) 5.

[18] American Historical Association, 124th Annual Meeting program, https://aha.confex.com/aha/2009/webprogram/start.html.

[19] Thomas Bender, “Historians, the Nation, and the Plentitude of Narratives,” in Thomas Bender, ed., Rethinking American History in a Global Age (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 1-22.

[20] See, for example, the History of the World series, published by Harvard University Press’s Belknap Press: Akira Iriye and Jürgen Osterhammel, eds., Global Interdependence: The World after 1945 (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2014); Wolfgang Reinhard, ed., Empires and Encounters, 1350-1750 (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2014); and Emily Rosenberg, Akira Iriye, and Jürgen Osterhammel, eds., A World Connecting: 1870-1945 (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2012). Noteworthy state-of-the-field essays include Ryan M. Irwin, “H-Diplo State of the Field Essay on the United States and the World,” H-Diplo State of the Field Essay No. 142 (October 2016), https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/e142_0.pdf; William Keylor, “The Problems and Prospects of Diplomatic/International History,” H-Diplo State of the Field Essay No. 126 (April 2015), https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/e126.pdf; Erez Manela, “The United States in the World,” in American History Now, ed. Eric Foner and Lisa McGirr (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2011), 201-220; Paul Kramer, “Power and Connection: Imperial Histories of the United States in the World,” American Historical Review 116:5 (December 2011): 1348-139; “AHR Conversation: On Transnational History,” American Historical Review 111:5 (December 2006): 1441-1464; and Matthew Frye Jacobson, “More ‘Trans-,’ Less ‘National,’ Journal of American Ethnic History 25:4 (Summer 2006): 74-84.

[21] Two prominent, peer-reviewed examples include The Journal of Global History (established 2006) and New Global Studies (established 2007).

[22] Thomas W. Zeiler, “The Diplomatic History Bandwagon: A State of the Field,” Journal of American History 95:4 (March 2009): 1053-1073.

[23] J.R. MacNeill and Peter Engelke, The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945 (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2016); Jedidiah Purdy, After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015); Prasenjit Duara, The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

[24] Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015); Mark Mazower, Governing the World: The History of an Idea, 1815 to the Present (New York: Penguin Books, 2013); David Armitage, The Foundations of Modern International Thought (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013); and Niall Ferguson, Charles S. Maier, Erez Manela, and Daniel J. Sargent, eds., The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2011).

[25] Lewis Mumford, “Gentlemen: You Are Mad!” Saturday Review of Literature, 2 March 1946, 5-6, quoted in Rosenboim, 209.

[26] Samuel Zipp, “When Wendell Willkie Went Visiting: Between Interdependency and Exceptionalism in the Public Feeling for One World,American Literary History 26:3 (Fall 2014): 484-510; Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); David Reynolds, From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); Elizabeth Borgwardt, A New Deal for the World: America’s Vision for Human Rights (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2005); and Patrick J. Hearden, Architects of Globalism: Building a New World Order during World War II (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2002).

[27] For an image and further discussion of the author’s NGram analysis, see http://toynbeeprize.org/interviews/time-and-space-in-the-history-of-globalism-an-interview-with-or-rosenboim/.

[28] Rosenboim defines geopolitics as “the dynamic, ever-changing interaction between political government and natural geography” (56).

[29] See, for example, Susan Pedersen, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015); Robert Vitalis, White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015); Paul Chamberlin, The Global Offensive: The United States, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and the Making of the Post-Cold War Order (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015); Christopher J. Lee, ed., Making a World after Empire: The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010); Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anti-Colonialist Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); Carol Anderson, Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003); Penny M. Von Eschen, Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonial Nationalism, 1937-1957 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997); and Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993).

[30] Robert Vitalis, White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015); Lucian M. Ashworth, “Feminism, War and the Prospects for Peace,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 13:1 (2011): 25-43.

[31] Udi Greenberg, The Weimar Republic: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015).