Stephen Wertheim is a historian of U.S. foreign relations and international order. He is a Co-Founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and Research Director of its Ending Endless War program. He is also a Research Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.
Wertheim specializes in U.S. concepts of international politics from the nineteenth century to the present. His work has explored the rise of U.S. global power, the origins of international organization, ideas of international public opinion and grand strategy, and the ethics of humanitarian intervention. Wertheim is currently completing a book, tentatively titled Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy in World War II. His journal article on competing designs for the League of Nations won the Fischel-Calhoun Prize from the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Wertheim also regularly writes essays and reviews on current affairs, featured in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. He was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University; a permanent Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London; a Junior Research Fellow at King’s College, University of Cambridge; and a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Values and Public Policy at Princeton University. He received a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 2015, and an A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2007.
“Instrumental Internationalism: The American Origins of the United Nations, 1940-3,” Journal of Contemporary History 55, no. 2 (April 2019), pp. 265-283.
“The Birth of Global Knowledge: Intellectual Networks in the World Crisis, 1919-39” (with Ludovic Tournès and Inderjeet Parmar), International Politics 55, no. 6 (November 2018), pp. 727-733.
“The League of Nations: A Retreat from International Law?” Journal of Global History 7, no. 2 (July 2012): 210-232.
“The League That Wasn’t: American Designs for a Legalist-Sanctionist League of Nations and the Intellectual Origins of International Organization, 1914-1920,” Diplomatic History 35, no. 5 (November 2011), pp. 797-836.
“On Moralism and Rwanda: A Reply to Linda Melvern,” Journal of Genocide Research 13, no. 1-2 (Spring 2011), pp. 159-163.
“A Solution from Hell: The United States and the Rise of Humanitarian Interventionism, 1991-2003,” Journal of Genocide Research 12, no. 3-4 (September-December 2010), pp. 149-172.
“Reluctant Liberator: Theodore Roosevelt’s Philosophy of Self-Determination and Preparation for Philippine Independence,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 39, no. 3 (September 2009), pp. 494-518.
“Reading the International Mind: International Public Opinion in Early Twentieth Century Anglo-American Thought,” in Nicolas Guilhot and Daniel Bessner, eds., The Decisionist Imagination: Democracy, Sovereignty, and Social Science in the 20th Century (New York: Berghahn Books, 2019), ch. 1.
“Trump Against Exceptionalism,” in Diane Labrosse, Frank Gavin, Joshua Rovner, and Robert L. Jervis, eds., Chaos in the Liberal Order: The Trump Presidency and International Politics in the 21st Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), pp. 125-135.
“Donald Trump Versus American Exceptionalism: Toward the Sources of Trumpian Conduct,” H-Diplo and The International Security Studies Forum (Policy Series: America and the World – 2017 and Beyond), 1 February 2017.
Other Articles, Testimony and Reports
“Delusions of Dominance: Biden Can’t Restore American Primacy – and Shouldn’t Try,” Foreign Affairs, 25 January 2021.
Stephen Wertheim and Trita Parsi, “Don’t Let Democrats Become the Party of War,” Foreign Policy (4 February 2019).
“A ‘Trump Doctrine’ Is Born: ‘America First’ Has Become ‘Defending the West,’” The New York Times (23 July 2017).
“How Americans Came to Love the Gun,” Review of Pamela Haag, The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture (New York: Basic Books, 2016), The Times Literary Supplement (8 July 2016).
Review of Benjamin A. Coates, Legalist Empire: International Law and American Foreign Relations in the Early Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), H-Diplo, Roundtable Review, Vol. 19, No. 36 (21 May 2018).
“The War Against War,” Review of Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro, The Internationalists: How A Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017), The Nation, 3 December 2019, pp. 27-32.
“A World Safe for Capital: How Neoliberalism Shaped the International System,” Review of Quinn Slobodian, Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018), Foreign Affairs, May/June 2019, pp. 175-182.
“Trump and American Exceptionalism: Why a Crippled America Is Something New,” Foreign Affairs (3 January 2017).
“Trump Isn’t an Isolationist. He’s a Militarist,” The Washington Post (19 February 2017).
Stephen Wertheim and Daniel Bessner, “Democratizing U.S. Foreign Policy: Bringing Experts and the Public Back Together,” Foreign Affairs (5 April 2017).
Stephen Wertheim and Samuel Moyn, “The Long Road to Trump’s War,” The New York Times (10 April 2017).
Stephen Wertheim and Thomas Meaney, “Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Very American” The New York Times (11 March 2018).
“Forget Whether Trump is ‘Normal.’ That Won’t Help Beat Him,” The Washington Post (6 June 2018).
“Paeans to the ‘Postwar Order’ Won’t Save Us,” War on the Rocks (6 August 2018).
“Return of the Neocons,” The New York Review of Books (2 January 2019).
Stephen Wertheim and Trita Parsi, “Democratic Party Elites Silence Ilhan Omar at Their Peril,” The Guardian (16 February 2019).
“A Clash is Coming Over America’s Place in the World,” The New York Times (26 February 2019).
“How to End Endless War: The Case Against American Military Supremacy,” The New Republic (22 March 2019).
“Can We Stop a Cold War With China?,” The New York Times (9 June 2019).
Stephen Wertheim and Mark Hannah“Here’s One Way Democrats Can Beat Trump: Be Radically Anti-War,” The Guardian (1 July 2019).