Steffen Rimner is currently finishing his dissertation as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Harvard University and is a Postgraduate Fellow at Yale University's International Security Studies (ISS).
After acquiring a background in the histories of nineteenth- and twentieth-century China, Japan, European imperialism and transnational relations, he embarked on a Ph.D. in international and global history at Harvard in 2008. His dissertation, to be finished in 2013, is supervised by Professors Erez Manela, Charles S. Maier and Akira Iriye.
His first book, under contract with Harvard University Press, is based on archival research in six languages and eleven countries across East Asia, Southeast Asia, Western Europe and North America. It explores the social, ideological, economic and political origins of global narcotics control in transnational perspective, from protests against the Asian opium trade to the League of Nations.
Formerly the John Clive Fellow at Harvard University, he was affiliated with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs from 2010 to 2013, as a Graduate Student Associate, a Canada Research Fellow and a member of the Executive Committee. He has also been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Columbia University, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Harvard University Asia Center, the Harvard Committee on Australian Studies, the Jens Aubrey Westengard Fund and the Department of History at Harvard, among others.
Steffen's broader research interests traverse the transnational history of Asians in the Americas, the history of international public opinion, of international public health, of the movements of international ideologies, of the training in and practice of international law, the transition from multi-imperial to multilateral relations, the past and present of international organizations of global governance, from the League of Nations to the United Nations, and of international civil society in its interaction with world politics, with a special focus on East and Southeast Asia.
In the summer of 2013 and 2014, he is a Fellow of the SIAS Seminars, a joint, multi-national initiative sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, the Institute for Advanced Study at Hebrew University Jerusalem, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, the National Humanities Center at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Wassenaar, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Uppsala and the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg), Berlin.