Chris Dietrich's research and writing emphasize U.S. diplomatic history, the history of twentieth century American political thought, and the history of international politics. He finds particular interest in the relationship between ideas and power on global, national, and local scales.
Dr. Dietrich's first book, near completion, is about a hitherto unexplored group of Western-educated anti-colonial elites in Latin America and the Middle East who sought to use the momentum of decolonization, the rise of international law, and the shifting economic currents of the global oil market to overturn the power dynamic in the oil industry from the 1950s to the 1970s. He is working on two other books: one on world oil and U.S. foreign policy in the twentieth century and another on the rise and fall of United Nations peacekeeping operations under Ralph Bunche. He is also the editor of the forthcoming three-volume American Companion to the History of U.S. Foreign Relations, 1776 to the Present, from Wiley-Blackwell.
His research and writing have been supported by fellowships from the American Historical Association, the National History Center and the Mellon Foundation, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, as well as by Fordham University, Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, and the University of Texas at Austin. A former Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, Dr. Dietrich was also a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Mexico and in 2015 he was selected as the Sherman Emerging Scholar by the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He also chairs the Columbia University Seminar on Twentieth Century Politics and Society.
Dr. Dietrich has also published book chapters in edited volumes on globalization, the war on terror, the 1970s energy crisis, and genocide, as well as articles on southern Africa, international history, anti-colonialism, oil, the Middle East, and U.S. foreign relations in the academic journals Diplomacy & Statecraft, The International History Review, Itinerario, Humanity, and Diplomatic History. He has provided commentary on U.S. foreign relations in public outlets like Passport, Perspectives, Informed Comment, CNN Global Public Square, and CounterPunch.