Political Economy, geopolitics, Business and Economic History, institutions, Economic Development, Multinational Corporations
I'm a global historian specializing in political economy, geopolitics, and development from the late-nineteenth century to the present. My dissertation, Building Blocs: Raw Materials and the Global Economy in the Age of Disequilibrium, charts a global history of the interwar period through the lens of strategic raw materials -- especially metallic minerals used to make steel. Modern industry required steady inputs of tungsten, manganese, nickel, and chrome, but none of the industrial powers possessed domestic deposits. Resisting internationalist calls for cooperation, states carved out spheres of influence and consolidated hostile trading blocs as means by which to acquire these resources and deny them to others. Drawing on the archives of states, corporations, banks, and international organizations, Building Blocs demonstrates how entangled business and state interests pushed alternative solutions to multilateralism and resource interdependence. By considering the global rivalries and anxieties over these geographically fixed, industrially essential minerals, I try to uncover the mechanisms by which hostile spheres of influence and regional trading blocs coalesced, and how policymakers learned from these experiences when planning the post-1945 peace. I offer novel interpretations about the changing physical form and structure of geopolitical entities and what we now call global governance.