I am a historian of modern European and international history. I am especially interested in legal and political history, empire and internationalism, and the history of international law. My current project, "International Courts and the Judicial Organization of the World” explores how international courts operated as international organizations, from the late nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. Scholars usually date the origins of world organization to the two World Wars and the institutions that arose from them, including the League of Nations and the United Nations. International courts, so this narrative goes, were merely the judicial branch of global governance—at least until the rise of new international courts after the end of the Cold War. My project suggests this narrative gets the history of world organization backwards. International courts, I argue, emerged in different places, at different times, and often in direct opposition to the world assemblies of the League and UN. To complete this project, I am presently researching in national archives, international courts, multilateral institutions, and private papers on five continents.
My research has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the American Historical Association, and the Krupp Foundation, among others. I am also Executive Director of the Toynbee Prize Foundation, which awards the biennial Toynbee Prize for global history.
Before starting my PhD at Harvard, I was a Research Associate in the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney. I received my BA in history from the University of Sydney and my LLB (equivalent to a JD) from Sydney Law School, after which I briefly practiced law at Linklaters in London. During the 2019-20 academic year, I will be a visiting fellow at the Amsterdam Center for International Law.