Steffen Rimner received his historical training at the University of Konstanz and Yale University and holds a Ph.D. in International History from Harvard University.
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 late nineteenth century to the present.
Under contract with Harvard University Press, his first monograph is rooted in research in six languages and archives in eleven countries. It offers a new perspective on the emergence of global drug control under the League of Nations. The book explores 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.
Publications include “Beyond the Call of Duty: Cosmopolitan Education and the Origins of Asian-American Women’s Medicine,” published in Asia Pacific in the Age of Globalization, a contribution to the Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series, and an article on Asian abolitionism, currently under review by the Journal of Global History.
Fellowships were awarded by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Asia Center and the Committee on Australian Studies at Harvard, by the American Philosophical Society, Columbia University, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and others. In 2013-14, he was a fellow of the first SIAS seminar on global history at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the National Humanities Center, an initiative of eight Institutes for Advanced Study in the United States, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Israel.
His broader interests concern dynamics of internationalization and globalization, transitions from a multi-imperial to a multilateral world order and changing criteria of international legitimacy.