Steffen Rimner is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. In this capacity, he is the Institute's liaison to Columbia's International Network to Expand Regional and Collaborative Teaching (INTERACT), a cross-regional program to improve interdisciplinary and global literacy among Columbia students as a crucial competency for global leadership. He is teaching a seminar on U.S.-Asian Relations in Global Perspective from the end of the nineteenth century to the Second World War for undergraduate and M.A. students.
He previously received his historical training at the University of Konstanz and at Yale University and holds a Ph.D. in International History from Harvard University.
Under contract with Harvard University Press, he is finishing his first monograph on the basis of multi-lingual research in eleven countries. The book offers a new perspective on the emergence of global drug control under the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations. His analysis explains the social, ideological, economic and political dimensions of transnational anti-drug mobilization and its impact on the construction of global drug control. It contributes to the study of Asian transnational movements, of multi-imperial cooperation, the non-governmental foundations of global governance, compliance in international law and crises of international public health.
He has published a chapter in Asia Pacific in the Age of Globalization, a contribution to Palgrave Macmillan's Transnational History Series; an article is under review by the Journal of Global History.
He received grants from the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Asia Center and the Committee on Australian Studies at Harvard, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Philosophical Society and others. He has been affiliated with the National Humanities Center in North Carolina and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin as a fellow of the SIAS seminar on global history, an initiative of eight Institutes of Advanced Study in the U.S., Germany, Israel, the Netherlands and Sweden. He has also held affiliations with International Security Studies at Yale University and the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford.
His work focuses on global histories of East and Southeast Asia, especially their transnational, social and political relations with Western Europe and North America from the nineteenth century to the present. Broader interests concern dynamics of internationalization and globalization, transitions from a multi-imperial to a multilateral world orders and changing criteria of international legitimacy.