International Security Studies at Yale

International Security Studies (ISS) at Yale was founded in 1988 and is co-directed by Paul M. Kennedy and Adam Tooze. Our unit is supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Jewett Foundation, and the Friends of ISS.  John Lewis Gaddis directs the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, which operates under ISS’s auspices.

Although ISS is not a degree-granting program, our faculty members write and teach about numerous aspects of international history and world affairs.  Our interests range from high politics and economic change to cultural transfer and nongovernmental activism.  We are pedagogical pluralists—interested in explaining the genealogy of modern times, and developing holistic, comprehensive ways to think about the twenty-first century.

ISS organizes an array of extracurricular activities each academic year.  We host lectures, dinner debates, conferences, colloquia, and discussion groups.  In addition to publishing a paper series about the historical roots of contemporary issues, we provide competitive summer grants to support language training and archival research for Yale students. Postdoctoral fellowships and predoctoral fellowships are available to scholars from other universities, and for serving members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

International & Global History at Harvard University

Harvard University is a major center for research and teaching in international and global history. Related activities include:

Forums for new research: An annual graduate student conference, which convenes each spring, and a seminar series, which meets several times each term to discuss cutting edge research.

Courses: To explore the courses offered in international & global history, please visit individual faculty pages.

Ph.D. program: International History is a vibrant track within the History Department’s graduate program, typically admitting several new students each year. For current international history graduate students, see here.

International & Global History at Harvard University is supported by the Department of History, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History.

For more information, see

Center for Global Studies, George Mason University

The Center for Global Studies (CGS) at George Mason University was founded to promote multidisciplinary research on globalization and international affairs.

CGS is a research center comprising more than 100 associate faculty members whose collective expertise spans the full range of the humanities, the social and natural sciences, and information technology and engineering, as well as practice-oriented fields, such as conflict resolution, public policy, law, management, and health.  CGS also coordinates outreach efforts in the area of global studies, facilitating access to the university’s full range of global expertise for multiple communities and audiences.

Global society in the 21st century is marked by unprecedented levels of interconnectedness and flow. Actors and institutions, old and new, negotiate complex paradoxes of conflict, cooperation, development, and sustainability. Peoples, cultures, commodities, and capital traverse transnational networks, challenging existing models of geography, polity, and market.

Traditional approaches to the study of geopolitics and area studies have become increasingly unable to account for the complexities of global life. The emergence of globalization as a world reality has prompted the development in recent years of new research paradigms and programs that seek to better understand this intense interconnectedness.

CGS multidisciplinary research themes include:

  • Human Rights and Globalization
  • Globalization and Urbanization
  • Globalization and Education
  • and Globalization and Developing Societies

CGS outreach and public education activities include:

  • Collaborative work with universities, think tanks, and research centers
  • Briefings and publications for policy makers and global affairs professionals in both the public and nongovernmental sectors
  • Provision of resources and expertise to local community organizations and schools

The Center for Global Studies is a member of the Globalization Studies Network, an international consortium of university research centers dedicated to the study of globalization.

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CFP: The UN and the Post-War Global Order: Dumbarton Oaks in Perspective after 70 years, SOAS, 17-18 May

H-Net Discussion Networks – CFP: The UN and the Post-War Global Order: Dumbarton Oaks in Perspective after 70 years, SOAS, 17-18 May.

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS, University of London 17-18 May 2014

Two Day Colloquium: Keynote Presentation by Professor Tom Zeiler
(University of Colorado) Author of “Unconditional Defeat – Japan, American and the End of World War II” (2004) and Annihilation: A Global Military History of World War II (Oxford, 2011).

The history of ‘Dumbarton Oaks’ is overshadowed in the formation of the post-war order in many ways; most notably by the San Francisco conference of April 1945 which gave birth to the United Nations Organisation. Yet in a number of important ways it was the Dumbarton Oaks conference, or the “Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization” to give it its full and formal title, that shaped the “postwar international organisation” agreed to in the 1943 Moscow Declaration. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Conversations in the Georgetown suburbs of Washington DC, this colloquium will explore the conference, its antecedents, machinations and legacies.

The deadline for paper (and panel) proposals is 30th March 2014.

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Sleuthing the Origins of “Global History”

History does not repeat itself. The historians repeat one another.

—Max Beerbohm, 1896.

Historians are often charged — sometimes correctly — with precipitously proclaiming a “new” field of study: a field that, upon further investigation, is shown to be remarkably similar to earlier turns in the historiographical timeline. The post-colonial and subaltern “turns” of the 1980s are cases in point, as they, however unwittingly, tended to ignore the prodigious and overlapping work within Area Studies that had appeared in preceding decades. I duly began to wonder if the term “global history” might prove to be yet another illustrative example.

Indeed, in recent months, historiographical debates have arisen at the New Global History Forum, the Imperial & Global Forum, and the New Republic, among others, over the promises and perils of the growing field of global history. Despite our disagreements, there was common consensus that “global history” was a relatively new historiographical phenomenon that arose in the 1990s — and one that rose in popularity in the early 2000s.[1]

But is “global history” really so new?

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The Contexts of Global History

Historians care about context. When setting out to explore any historical question, professional historians want some familiarity with the customs, institutions, social structure, economic system, and ideas prominent in the relevant place and time. Indeed, much of the training for a career in historical research aims to provide a broad understanding of the region and era expected to be the context of future research. But does global history have a context?

It does, because global history, however uncommon it may be, is methodologically unexceptional. Even the most ambitious global histories operate within limitations, letting principal topic and central method set standards of relevance that allow limits, including chronological and geographical ones. Like all historical work, global histories establish their own rules of relevance. The more imaginative and original the work, the more likely it is to delineate its context from a cluster of questions that constitute historical problems. These, however, are then addressed with arguments based on kinds of evidence and methods of analysis familiar in historical research. Distinguished by its conceptual scale and sometimes by the historical problems it addresses, global history proceeds in normal fashion to establish the context it must engage.

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Workshop: Exploring Traditions: Sources for a Global History of Science, Cambridge, 30 November 2013

Exploring Traditions: Sources for a Global History of Science

University of Cambridge 30 November 2013

CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT – SG1&2

This workshop is the second in a series that continues an important set of debates and reflexions on the interaction between histories of the sciences and models of global history. These debates ask fundamental questions about what science has meant on the global stage and how sciences have come to take form through global confrontations, connections and politics. The first workshop marked the visit to Cambridge of two scholars from South Africa and India: Prof. Keith Breckenridge (Witwatersrand) and Prof. Irfan S. Habib (Delhi). The keynote speakers at the second workshop will be Dr. Lauren Minsky (NYU, Abu Dhabi) and Dr. David Lambert (Warwick). An aim of these workshops is to link UK-based scholars with those working elsewhere in the world on questions of the sciences’ past. The network is also connected with the Centres of South Asian Studies and African Studies and the Faculty of History and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science in the University of Cambridge. Papers will be presented by post-graduate students and by post-doctoral scholars. Lambert will discuss his new book from Chicago University Press. We hope that students and scholars engaging with histories of science from different vantage points and at different stages will attend.

Read full post here. (Originally posted 7 November 2013)

AHA Annual Meeting Affiliated Society Session, Toynbee Prize Foundation

The Intersections of Global and Diplomatic History

Toynbee Prize Foundation
Saturday, January 4, 2014: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Calvert Room (Omni Shoreham)
Chair: David Ekbladh, Tufts University

H-Net Review Publication: Wu on Gabaccia, 'Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective'

Donna R. Gabaccia. Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012. 288 pp. $29.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-691-13419-2.

Reviewed by Judy T. Wu (Ohio State University)

Published on H-Diplo (October, 2013)

Commissioned by Seth Offenbach

Immigrant Foreign Relations

In Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective, Donna R. Gabaccia offers a bold new interpretation that brings diplomatic history into conversation with U.S. immigration history. While the former has traditionally focused on the actions of elite state actors, the latter has tended to offer social histories of immigrants, their families, and communities. Gabaccia examines instead the “intersection of transnational linkages created ‘from below’ by immigrants,” or what she describes as “immigrant foreign relations,” with “American international or foreign policies, created ‘from above’ by the federal government.” The result is a sweeping rereading of American history that emphasizes the need to understand immigration and the United States in global perspectives. As Gabaccia states, “Immigrants, much like diplomats and State Department officials in Washington, are deeply concerned with the world beyond U.S. borders” (p. 1). In addition, “no one understands better than immigrants the continuing power of national governments to draw borders and to set rules for crossing them. Immigrants experience the power of nation states in an extremely intimate fashion, sometimes on a daily basis” (pp. 2-3).

Gabaccia offers several intriguing insights in her study of American immigration and foreign relations. First, she expands the chronological timeline of most immigration histories. Instead of beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, with the arrival of the “first wave” of immigrants from western and northern Europe as well as Asia, Gabaccia starts with the colonial and early Republic periods to emphasize the ongoing connections that “Americans” had with the world. Her biographical account of Crevecoeur, author of the famous Letters from an American Farmer, reveals how his own life was at odds with the proclamation that the American is a “new man … who leaves behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners” (p. 28). Instead, Crevecoeur, like many other Americans of the early Republic period, lived in multiple countries, held multiple citizenships, and had kinship and economic ties across various borders. Although Crevecoeur helped to articulate an ideology of American exceptionalism and American isolationism, his life experiences, Gabaccia argues, is more representative of American immigrant experiences. Crevecoeur’s letters reveal how transnational “Americans” were from the beginning of the nation’s history.

Read full post here. (Originally posted October 28, 2013)

Empires, bureaucracies and religion arise from war

Computer simulation shows that conflict fueled political consolidation in ancient and medieval history.

War drove the formation of complex social institutions such as religions and bureaucracies, a study suggests. The institutions would have helped to maintain stability in large and ethnically diverse early societies. The study authors, who tested their theories in simulations and compared the results with historical data, found that empires arise in response to the pressure of warfare between small states.

Peter Turchin, a population dynamicist at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and his colleagues set out to understand why social institutions came about when they were costly for individuals to build and maintain. “Our model says they spread because they helped societies compete against each other,” says Turchin. The results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1.

The team looked at a part of world history in which competition was fierce: Africa and Eurasia between 1500 bc and ad 1500. In the first millennium bc, nomads on the Eurasian steppe invented mounted archery, the most effective projectile weaponry technique until gunpowder. As that technology spread, evolving into chariot and cavalry warfare, conflict intensified.

The researchers developed a model in which Africa and Eurasia were divided into a grid of cells 100 kilometres on a side. Each cell was characterized according to the kind of landscape, its elevation about sea level and whether or not it had agriculture — because the first nations were agricultural societies. At the start of the simulation, each agricultural cell was inhabited by an independent state, and states on the border between agrarian societies and the steppe were seeded with military technology. The team simulated the diffusion of that technology and looked for effects on the intensity of warfare and the development of social institutions.

Read full post at (originally posted on September 23, 2013)