I am a historian and legal scholar. Currently, I am a PhD Candidate in History at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies.
My current project, Judging the World: International Courts and the Origins of Global Governance, rewrites the history of efforts to govern the globe. Previous historians have located the beginnings of global governance in either world "parliaments" like the League of Nations and the U.N. or world "banks" like the I.M.F. and the World Bank. International courts, so the traditional narrative goes, only emerged as permanent political institutions after the end of the Cold War. I argue this gets the history of global governance backward. International courts arose much earlier, were more numerous, and for a long time were more powerful than either world parliaments or banks. Almost every recognized polity joined them, from the smallest of small states to the greatest of great powers, including the United States, Britain, and Russia and the Soviet Union. States appointed leading political figures as justices on them: heads of state, foreign ministers, and supreme court judges, including a former US president. And states sent some of the twentieth century's most important international conflicts to them: from the Boer War at the turn of the century to the dispute between Serbia and Austria-Hungary that precipitated the First World War; from the Soviet Union’s war with Finland in the 1920s to Germany’s union with Austria in the 1930s; and from India’s annexation of Goa after the Second World War to Afro-Asian countries’ attempts to decolonize Namibia during the same period. From their inception in 1900 to their eclipse by 1970, these courts governed the world—or, rather, they judged it. This book offers a global history of these "world courts," drawing from archives on six continents and sources in four languages. At a time when international courts are said to be a solution for everything from Russia’s war in Ukraine to climate change, Judging the World explores both their promise and their peril.
In past projects, I have written on other topics in global and European history. including how white supremacy undergirded popular support for the League of Nations in interwar Australia (forthcoming in the Journal of Global History); and how the Allied commission set up during the Second World War to investigate Axis war crimes suffered from various institutional handicaps (co-authored with Narrelle Morris and published in the European Journal of International Law).
My research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship, the American Historical Association’s Littleton-Griswold Research Grant, and the American Society for Legal History's Cromwell Fellowship. From 2017 to 2019, I was Executive Director of the Toynbee Prize Foundation for global history. I have held visiting positions at the University of Cambridge (2022), the University of Amsterdam (2020), and the University of Sydney (2019). Currently, I am part of a team of researchers working on the history of the League of Nations based at the University of Copenhagen. I received an LLB (equivalent to a JD) from Sydney Law School in 2016. Before academia, I worked as a lawyer at the corporate law firm Linklaters in London.