Jeanne Morefield

Professor of Politics

(509) 527-5958

Jeanne Morefield is Professor of Politics at Whitman College. Her scholarship works at the intersection of political theory, history, and international relations, examining a variety of topics including the relationship between the contemporary and historical rhetorics of imperialism and the conflict between democracy and sovereignty. Her publications include Empires Without Imperialism: Anglo-American Decline and the Politics of Deflection (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Covenants Without Swords: Idealist Liberalism and the Spirit of Empire (Princeton University Press, 2005) as well as numerous articles in journals such as History of Political Thought, Political Theory, and Theory and Event and chapters in edited volumes concerned with both political theory and the history of international and imperial thought. She is currently writing a book on the political theory of Edward Said. She teaches in the Encounters program at Whitman as well as Politics 122: Introduction to Modern European Political Theory, Politics 329: Theories of Empire, Politics 309: Liberalism and Its Discontents, and Politics 400: The Art and Architecture of Empire (with Mathew Reynolds in Art History).



Under Contract:

The Exilic Humanism of Edward Said: Confronting International Order, Reimagining Global Ethics, under contract, Rowman and Littlefield, Modernity and Political Thought Series (see series at:


"Covenants Without Swords": Idealist Liberalism and the Spirit of Empire (Princeton University Press, 2005). (See

Empires Without Imperialism: Anglo American Decline and the Politics of Deflection (Oxford University Press, February 2014). (See;jsessionid=E484E2D49A8D7F5ABB10C0C2D1330399?cc=us&lang=en&)



"Reading Political Theory as Historical Counterpoint," symposium, Theory and Event, "History and Theory: Method and Provocation" (with Jack Turner, Samuel Moyn, Patchen Markell, and Keally McBride), forthcoming spring 2016.


"Urgent History: The Sovereignty Debates and Political Theory's Lost Voices," Political Theory, July, 24, 2015 online, forthcoming in print, fall 2015, view now at

Critical Exchange, "Goodbye Hegemony! By Ned Lebow and Simon Reich, and Empires Without Imperialism by Jeanne Morefield," Perspective on Politics (December, 2014, V.12/No.4).

Review Essay: "'In the Beginning All the World Was...': Political Vision, Critical History, and the Possibilities of the Present," Political Theory, April 17, 2009.

"Empire, Tragedy, and the Liberal State in the Writings of Niall Ferguson and Michael Ignatieff," Theory and Event 11.3, Fall 2008.

"'An Education To Greece': The Round Table, Political Theory, and the Uses of History," History of Political Thought, 28, Summer 2007.

"States are Not People: Unsettling Sovereignty, Rediscovering Democracy," Political Research Quarterly, Dec 2005. Vol. 58.

"Hegelian Organicism, British New Liberalism, and the Return of the Family State," History of Political Thought, 28(2), spring 2002.


Book Review: "The British People and the League of Nations, by Helen McCarthy," forthcoming, Journal of Modern History (2014, V.86/No.3).

Book Review: "Silence and Democracy: Athenian Politics in Thucydides' History, by John Zunbrunnen," Perspectives on Politics (September, 2009, V.7/No.3).

Book Review: "The Lesser Evil," Perspectives on Politics (September. 2005, V.3/No.3).

Chapters in Edited Volumes

"Alfred Zimmern," Jenseits der Anarchie: Weltordnungsentwürfe im frühen zwanzigsten Jahrhundert, eds. Jens Steffek, Leoni Holthaus, (Campus Verlag, 2014).

"A Democratic Critique of the State: G. Lowes Dickinson's The European Anarchy," Classics of International Relations, eds. Henrik Biddel, Casper Sylvest, Peter Wilson (Routledge, 2013).

"'The Habits of Imperialism': Harold Laski on Sovereignty and Empire," Lineages of Empire (Oxford; British Academy Collection, 2009), ed. Duncan Kelly. Contributors: James Tully, Uday Mehta, Duncan Kelly, Iain Hampsher-Monk, Doug Lorimer, Karen O'Brien, Robert Travers, Phiroze Vasunia, and Richard Whatmore.

"The Never Satisfied Idealism of G. Lowes Dickinson," British International Thought from Hobbes to Namier (Palgrave, 2009), eds. Ian Hall, Lisa Hill. Contributors: Haig Patapan, David Armitage, Renée Jeffery, Lisa Hill, Richard Bourke, Georgios Varouxakis, Andrew Fitzmaurice, Casper Sylvest, Duncan Bell, Ian Hall.

"'A Liberal In A Muddle': Alfred Zimmern on Nationality and Commonwealth," in Imperialism and Internationalism in the Discipline of International Relations, eds. David Long and Brian C. Schmidt, (SUNY Press, 2004).

Professional Activity/Service

Co-Chair Section Two: Foundations of Political Theory, for the American Political Science Association's Program Committee, Annual Conference, 2015.

Elected member of Executive Council, Western Political Science Association, 2011-2014.

Elected member of Governance Committee, Association for Political Theory, 2010-2013. Chair of the Governance Committee, 2011-2013.

Chair of the Discussant Committee, Association for Political Theory, 2013.

Section Chair, "Political Thought and Philosophy: Historical Approaches," Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting, 2011.

Editorial board member, Humanity, 2009-

Editorial board member, Contemporary Political Theory, 2010-

Editorial board member, Political Research Quarterly, 2014-

Recent Invited Talks/Workshops

Talk at Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Cornell University (title to be announced), April 28, 2015.

Talk at Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (title to be announced), April 6, 2016.

Victoria Colloquium In Political, Social, and Legal Theory, University of Victoria, January 29, 2016.

UCLA Political Theory Workshop, February 12, 2016.

"Wringing Dirty Hands: Michael Ignatieff on Crisis and Intervention," Koc University, International Relations Seminar Series, Istanbul, April 14, 2015

"Imperialism and Metahistory," The Political History Seminar, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark, March 25, 2015.

"Distorting the Multiverse: Carl Schmitt on GDH Cole and Harold Laski," Workshop on Interwar International Thought, Queens College, Cambridge, March 13, 14 2015.

"The Roundtable's History of Empire and the Discursive Origins of Twentieth-Century Internationalism," The Japanese Society of the History of Economic Thought, New Liberalism Workshop, Yokohama National University, February 25, 2015.

"Antiquity in Alfred Zimmern's Commonwealth Vision," The Japanese Society of the History of Economic Thought, New Liberalism Workshop, Nagasaki University, February 23, 2015.

"Confronting Liberal Presentism: Edward Said and the Slow Practice of Humanist Reflection," The University of Virginia Political Theory Colloquium, January 16, 2015.

"The Politics of Non-Politics: Imagining the Traffic in Women and Children," The Project on Language, History and Political Theory, University of Chicago, May 20, 2014.

"Provincializing Political Theory," The University of Chicago Political Theory Workshop, May 19, 2014.

"Provincializing Political Theory," The Johns Hopkins University Interdisciplinary Seminar in the History of Political and Moral Thought, April 16, 2014.

Yale Political Theory Workshop, "Rhetorics of Imperial Deflection: Jan Smuts and International Hierarchy," February 5, 2014.

"Disrupting Empire: Historical Critique and Reflective Politics," co-sponsored by the Political Theory Colloquium University of Minnesota and the Minnesota International Relations Colloquium (MIRC), Sept. 27, 2013 (

"Waking up to Empire: Alfred Zimmern and Donald Kagan on Athens, Britain, and America," Columbia University Society of Fellows, Feb. 2012.

"Imperialism, Humanitarianism, and the Creation of the Traffic In Women and Children Committee." "Historicizing Humanitarianism Workshop" at Columbia University's Consortium for Intellectual and Cultural History, Columbia University, New York, Apr. 3-4, 2009.

"Cheating Decline: Comparing Zimmern and Kagan on Thucydides, Empire, and Grand Strategy." Imperial Classics: Culture, Letters, Learning, Dartmouth College, November 20-22, 2009.