Nicholas Mulder works on European and international history from 1870 to the present. His research focuses on political, economic, and intellectual history, with particular attention to the era of the world wars between 1914 and 1945.
His first book, The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War, is forthcoming with Yale University Press. It provides a history of the interwar origins of economic sanctions, showing how they reconfigured international affairs by enabling distant coercion against civilian societies in peacetime. Based on wartime blockade practices, the instrument of sanctions offered a novel way to prevent war. It became embedded in the League of Nations and national state policy, and spurred new economic interventions, as well as anti-liberal bids for autarky. The book argues that sanctions were a potent but unstable and unpredictable political tool, one whose importance to the international crisis of the 1930s-40s is much greater than usually assumed.
His next project, The Age of Confiscation, is an international history of expropriation from World War I until to the 1970s. Other interests include the experience of small countries in the global condition, the history of state integration and distintegration, the history of political and economic thought, and philosophy of history. In the 2020-2021 academic year, course offerings include lecture courses on the global history of crises of capitalism and democracy since the late 19th century; a graduate seminar on interwar internationalisms; a survey course on the history of Europe from 1500 to the present; and a seminar on the history and theory of fascism in the 20th century.
In addition to academic writing, he has written about European politics, economics, 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
‘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).