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Nicholas Mulder works on European and international history from 1870 to the present. His research focuses on political and economic history, internationalism, and the history of war.
Mulder's current book project, The Economic Weapon, provides a history of the interwar origins of economic sanctions. It shows how, beginning in 1914, sanctions reconfigured the international order by introducing the possibility of economic coercion against civilian societies in peacetime. Based on wartime blockade practices, the instrument of sanctions offered a novel way to prevent war, became embedded in the League of Nations and in individual state policies, and brought forth new forms of intervention in the world economy as well as autarkic anti-liberal bids for autonomy. The Economic Weapon argues that sanctions were an intensely contested political tool from their outset, and played an important role in the collapse of the international order in the 1930s and its reconstruction in the mid-1940s.
He is also working on a project on the history of expropriation from 1914 to the 1970s, which explores the role of confiscation in the mid-century "Great Compression" of income and wealth inequality. His other interests include the experience of small countries in the global condition, the history of political and economic thought, and philosophy of history. In the 2020-2021 academic year, he will teach lecture courses on the global history of capitalism and democracy since the late nineteenth century and on the international history of World War I.
In addition to academic writing, he has written about European politics and international affairs for Foreign Policy, n+1, New Left Review, The Nation, Merkur, Dissent, H-Diplo, and other publications.
- Political and economic history of modern Europe
- Historical political economy
- History of war (especially WWI)
- Varieties of internationalism
- History of international law
- HIST 3081 : Stability and Crisis: Capitalism and Democracy, 1870 to the present
- HIST 6885 : Interwar Internationalisms, 1918-1939
‘The Trading with the Enemy Acts in the Age of Expropriation, 1914-1949,’ Journal of Global History Vol. 15, No. 1 (March 2020).
‘‘A Retrograde Tendency’: The Expropriation of German Property in the Versailles Treaty,’ Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d'histoire du droit international Vol. 22, No. 1 (2020).
‘The Rise and Fall of Euro-American Inter-State War,’ Review of Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro, The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Changed the World (Simon & Schuster, 2017), Humanity, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Spring 2019).
‘War Finance,’ in Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, eds., 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, Freie Universität Berlin (February 2018).