Jeremy Adelman: Henry Charles Lea Professor of History


Thursday, February 25, 2016, 4:30pm to 5:30pm


219 Aaron Burr Hall

Our Planet -- Green and Blue

Jeremy Adelman

This paper is an early draft chapter of a book I am finishing about global thinking, entitled The Opening of the Global Mind.  Global thinking is a way of reasoning about the world that is now coming of age.  It is the capacity to see that what attaches us to people far away, strangers, “the other,” is not just that we see them, or that they see us.  We are, it is true, more connected than ever.  But what is dawning is something more transformative, the acknowledgment of how much strangers depend upon each other for their welfare, security, and survival.  This is the core of global thinking: the ability to recognize inter-dependency not just within societies but between them.  It does not, of course, automatically lead to cooperation.  Global thinking has spawned rivalries and sauve qui peut aggression.  There is another strain, too: the acceptance that climate change, peace, and prosperity demand collective solutions to shared problems at a new scale of life. The pendulum has swung back and forth between competition and cooperation from the time that global thinking came to prominence in the latter half of the nineteenth century.  This chapter is about the ways in which environmental concerns about population, resources, and the natural limits to "growth," posed with greater alarm since 1945, fueled global thinking. I look forward to your thoughts and reflections.

Jeremy Adelman was educated at the University of Toronto, the London School of Economics and completed a doctorate in modern history at Oxford University (1989). He is the author or editor of ten books, including most recently Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman (2013).  The recipient of British Council, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships, as well as the American Council Learned Societies Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship, he is currently the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History and the Director of the Global History Lab at Princeton University.