Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Chistopher Dietrich
Assistant Professor of History
Office Location: Dealy Hall 639
Phone: (718) 817-0423
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Chris Dietrich's research and teaching emphasizes U.S. diplomatic history, the history of twentieth century American political thought, and the international history of U.S.-Third World relations.  He finds particular interest in the relationship between ideas and power on a global scale, and his work can be seen as preoccupation with two central problems.  The first is what Isaiah Berlin called "monism" and what Albert O. Hirschman called "closed certainties."  The second is the meaning and application of the notion of liberty in foreign relations. 

His first book project, Anti-Colonialism in a Sovereign Era, is near completion.  It analyzes the creation of a new field of political thought and action--"anti-colonial law and economics"--in the international community after World War II.  A loose but cohesive group of "subaltern elites"--formed by intellectuals, diplomats, lawyers and economists--developed new theories of international society based on the concept of sovereignty in the high era of decolonization.  Their ideas and their political culture, which emphasized the continued imprint of imperialism well after its decline, culminated in the 1973-1974 energy crisis and the declaration of a New International Economic Order.

His second book project, The Neoliberal Sublime, is a psycho-analytical history of free-market thought and practice in U.S. foreign policy in the 1970s and 1980s.  The consistent linking of a "free and open" financial market to "global economic health" had important consequences for U.S. policies toward sovereign debt in the Third World and the Cold War.  How did an idealized version of the free market become a truth of a fundamental kind in that era?  When and why did that belief become central to the foreign policies of the Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations? 

Professor Dietrich is the author of articles in Diplomacy & Statecraft, Itinerario, The International History Review, and CounterPunch.  His commentary has appeared in Politico, Informed Comment, and CNN

His classes include:  U.S. intellectual history since 1877, the United States from 1945 to the Present, the Cold War, the Vietnam Wars, and Film, Fiction, and Power in the American Century.

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