Liberal Internationalism for Hard Times: An Interview with G. John Ikenberry
Interviews

Liberal Internationalism for Hard Times: An Interview with G. John Ikenberry

"There is a categorization of IR theories that came out of the post-World-War-Two rise of the professional IR field that said that the great debate was between realism (looking at power and capabilities of states) and idealism, which is how liberalism was understood…My book is an emphatic rejection of that framing: liberal internationalism is about managing material reality, modernity, manifest as economics, security and environmental interdependence. In fact, realism is more of a utopian project based on an exaggerated focus on anarchy and power politics. And that misses the material reality that has mattered most in the last two-hundred years, which is this industrial modernizing world of interdependence that has put liberal democracies in a position where they can both take advantage of it and protect themselves from its most dangerous implications." We spoke with G. John Ikenberry in December 2020, a time of disorientation and anxiety in the United States and much of the world. Kansas-born and of German-heritage, Ikenberry is calling for the re-evaluation and the renewal of the liberal tradition one hundred years after the figure of Woodrow Wilson, whose words (“a world safe for democracy”) our Princeton professor still finds inspirational for the big challenges ahead.

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Roundtable Panel—Eric Weitz's A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States
Article

Roundtable Panel—Eric Weitz's A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a sustained increase in the scholarship on the origins and history of human rights. Eric Weitz’s A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States deepens this historiographical corpus, presenting us with an expansive history that covers over three hundred years and spans the world. The book examines the complex politics of human rights history. It exposes the paradoxical relationship between human rights and nation-states whereby states identify as guarantors of the rights of citizens while also exercising the power to exclude groups from the remit of such a guarantee. The scope of the book lends itself to rich discussion, as evidenced by the diversity of comments it elicited from the participants in this panel. Three eminent scholars of diverse historiographical interest reflect on the book’s central themes. Followed by a response from Professor Weitz.

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Theme

Toynbee Coronavirus Series

Living through historically unprecedented times has strengthened the Toynbee Prize Foundation's commitment to thinking globally about history and to representing that perspective in the public sphere. In this multimedia series on the covid-19 pandemic, we will be bringing global history to bear in thinking through the raging coronavirus and the range of social, intellectual, economic, political, and scientific crises triggered and aggravated by it.

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Archival Reflections—Dewi Sukarno Goes to London, or How to Handle an Indonesian VIP during Konfrontasi
Article

Archival Reflections—Dewi Sukarno Goes to London, or How to Handle an Indonesian VIP during Konfrontasi

Archival Reflections

A single folder of British Foreign Office records (FO 371/180366) held at the National Archives in Kew details the private visit to the UK by the third wife of Indonesian President Sukarno, Dewi, in June 1965. British officers, determined to make a good first impression on Dewi to soften her bellicose husband, quickly found themselves attending to out-of-the-ordinary tasks: scrambling to find a “young enough” companion for having tea with Dewi, infiltrating a wedding reception to gather information on her, and even disposing of an unwanted gift that Dewi brought for none other than Queen Elizabeth II.

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BLOG—Phantom Africa: The Topos of Silent Trade
The Blog

BLOG—Phantom Africa: The Topos of Silent Trade

One of the most resilient topoi of writing on Black Africa is that of the so-called silent trade. It first appears in Herodotus and from there it is dutifully repeated in geographies, histories, descriptions and travel accounts that portray African people (in Latin, Arabic, and different European vernaculars) well into the 19th century. So much so that already by the 15th century Venetian captain Alvise Cadamosto concluded in the account of his travel to the rivers of Guinea: “Since it is related by so many we can accept it as true.”

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Building Scholarly Communities in the Time of COVID: Fieldnotes from the Indian Ocean World Podcast
The Blog

Building Scholarly Communities in the Time of COVID: Fieldnotes from the Indian Ocean World Podcast

Like other graduate students and academicians, I lost many opportunities to participate in workshops, conferences, and other learning avenues to widen scholarly networks, discuss research interests, and open conversations. I pondered, how can I overcome this barrier known as 'social distancing' by finding alternative mediums to reach out to my colleagues and continue expanding my scholarly networks?

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Sharing the Burden: An Interview with Charlie Laderman
Interviews

Sharing the Burden: An Interview with Charlie Laderman

Drawing on research in U.S., British, and Armenian archives, Sharing the Burden looks at the evolution of the relationship between the United States and Great Britain from roughly 1894 until 1919. What was known as “The Armenian Question,” a complex knot of dilemmas pertaining to humanitarian intervention, empire, and the evolution of international cooperation, arose time and again in these years, as Armenian people suffered successive massacres under the crumbling Ottoman Empire. At the start of Laderman’s book, the United States still relied on missionary groups—not ambassadors—as its representatives in many parts of the world, and the Sublime Porte in Istanbul still controlled most of the Middle East; by the end, the United States is firmly ensconced as a great power, the League of Nations has been both formed and rapidly undermined, and European colonial mandates controlled much of the Middle East. Sharing the Burden provides a vivid window into these significant transformations, all while charting how various U.S. presidents, missionary leaders, and British officials responded to the question of humanitarian intervention to save the Armenians. Along the way, Laderman brings to light many forgotten projects of the period: an Anglo-American colonial alliance, the drive to establish a U.S.-controlled mandate in Armenia, and the salience of the Armenian question for the American public—tantalizing counterfactuals, indeed.

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The Foundation

The Toynbee Prize Foundation — a Hub for Global History

Named after Arnold J.Toynbee, the Toynbee Prize Foundation was chartered in 1987 “to contribute to the development of the social sciences, as defined from a broad historical view of human society and of human and social problems.” The Foundation seeks to promote scholarly engagement with global history.

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Liberal Internationalism for Hard Times: An Interview with G. John Ikenberry
Interviews | May 17, 2021

Liberal Internationalism for Hard Times: An Interview with G. John Ikenberry

"There is a categorization of IR theories that came out of the post-World-War-Two rise of the professional IR field that said that the great debate was between realism (looking at power and capabilities of states) and idealism, which is how liberalism was understood…My book is an emphatic rejection of that framing: liberal internationalism is about managing material reality, modernity, manifest as economics, security and environmental interdependence. In fact, realism is more of a utopian project based on an exaggerated focus on anarchy and power politics. And that misses the material reality that has mattered most in the last two-hundred years, which is this industrial modernizing world of interdependence that has put liberal democracies in a position where they can both take advantage of it and protect themselves from its most dangerous implications." We spoke with G. John Ikenberry in December 2020, a time of disorientation and anxiety in the United States and much of the world. Kansas-born and of German-heritage, Ikenberry is calling for the re-evaluation and the renewal of the liberal tradition one hundred years after the figure of Woodrow Wilson, whose words (“a world safe for democracy”) our Princeton professor still finds inspirational for the big challenges ahead.

Read more about `Liberal Internationalism for Hard Times: An Interview with G. John Ikenberry`
Quote of the month

“…even the nation—super-relevant, super-charged—is itself the effect of global processes, and not some product of what we may call an auto-poietic process that emerges from the inside of the society, sticks out the grounds for a national identity, and then agrees to lock arms with other nations and societies in the creation of something called international. The causality goes the other way around.”

Toynbee Prize Foundation Trustee Jeremy Adelman
About

The Toynbee Prize Foundation — a Hub for Global History

Named after Arnold J.Toynbee, the Toynbee Prize Foundation was chartered in 1987 “to contribute to the development of the social sciences, as defined from a broad historical view of human society and of human and social problems.” The Foundation seeks to promote scholarly engagement with global history.

Read more
The Prize

The Prize

The Toynbee Prize was established to recognize social scientists for significant academic and public contributions to humanity. It is awarded biennially for work that makes a significant contribution to the study of global history.

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Contribute

Contribute to Toynbee Prize Foundation

Our Editors-at-Large gain exposure to one of the most vibrant fields in the discipline today, while participating in, covering, and staying up-to-date with new debates, conversations, and movements in global history.

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These include essential cookies that are necessary for the operation of the site, as well as others that are used only for anonymous statistical purposes, for comfort settings or to display personalized content. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available.

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