Research

I am broadly interested in interrogating IR theory by examining the history of global governance and international thought. My research examines, historically and sociologically, the emergence of the international as a separate domain of political action, and exclusionary conceptions of knowledge and agency that have shaped this domain.

My doctoral dissertation reconstructs the modern history of expert-based global governance in this context. How did expertise emerge as a central ingredient of international cooperation? My answer combines an intellectual history of Saint-Simonian and utilitarian strands of technocratic international thought with case studies of international experiments with expertise: the Suez Canal, international telegraphy, and the first World Fairs. These relied on, at the same time as they naturalised, legitimation by experts – and as I argue helped make international order imaginable as external to politics.