I am a historian of modern British, European, and international history, with particular interests in legal and political history, empire and internationalism, and the history of international law. 

My current project, Judging the World: International Courts and the Legal Origins of World Organization, 1899–1966 explores international courts as a form of "world organization" in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Scholars usually date the origins of international organization to the two World Wars and the institutions that arose out of them, including the League of Nations and the United Nations. International courts, so this narrative goes, were merely the judicial branch of global governance. My project suggests this narrative gets this history backwards. International courts, I argue, emerged much earlier, in different places, and sometimes even in direct opposition to the international assemblies of the League and UN. For this project, I am working in the archives of individuals, national governments, and multilateral institutions on five continents. 

My research has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and the American Historical Association (AHA), among others. From 2017 to 2019, I was Executive Director of the Toynbee Prize Foundation for global history. 

Before starting my Ph.D. at Harvard, I was a Research Associate with the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney. I received my B.A. in History from the University of Sydney in 2014 and my L.L.B. (equivalent to a J.D.) from Sydney Law School in 2016, after which I briefly practiced law at Linklaters in London. I received my M.A. in History from Harvard University in 2018. During the 2019-20 academic year, I will be a visiting fellow at the Amsterdam Center for International Law. 

adknaap@g.harvard.edu