The world order was in crisis at mid-century. Intellectuals in England and the United States perceived the rise of totalitarianism, the Second World War, the invention of the atomic bomb, the start of the Cold War, and the end of imperial rule as threats to stability and, in some cases, to mankind itself. But these intellectuals also theorized alternative political structures, legal frameworks, and communities and, thereby, sought to invent a new world order.
Or Rosenboim's The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and the United States, 1939-1950
(Princeton University Press, 2017), traces this exciting and uncertain moment in international thought. For Rosenboim, the period between the start of World War II in Europe and the beginning of the U.S.-led war in Korea witnessed the emergence of "globalism" itself. The book is a deep engagement with the ideas of an eclectic assortment of intellectuals--H.G. Wells, Lewis Mumford, Raymond Aron, Friedrich Hayek, just to name a handful--who all participated in discussions of the global. For these intellectuals, the global was both a geographic and conceptual space. This space, however, had notable gaps, particularly in relation to the Global South. Given that our present "global" moment inherited these intellectuals' categories, this book should be read by scholars of history and IR, along with anyone interested in world politics.
is a Junior Research Fellow in Politics at Queens College and POLIS, both at the University of Cambridge.
Dexter Fergie will be pursuing his PhD in US and Global history at Northwestern University in September 2017.