Isaac Nakhimovsky

Isaac Nakhimovsky's picture
Associate Professor
On Leave: 
Academic Year 21-22
HQ 257
Fields of interest: 

Intellectual history of Europe since the 17th century; history of political thought; historiography of international law and political economy

Isaac Nakhimovsky is Associate Professor of History and Humanities. His first book, The Closed Commercial State: Perpetual Peace and Commercial Society from Rousseau to Fichte (Princeton, 2011), recast the German philosopher J.G. Fichte as a major contributor to the natural rights tradition who, in the context of the French Revolution, came to undertake a uniquely systematic treatment of national economic independence as an ideal. His next book, Inventing the Holy Alliance: The Strange Birth of a Liberal Ideal, develops a similarly revisionist perspective on the history of liberal internationalism by explaining why so many liberals were initially prepared to embrace the Holy Alliance of 1815 as the dawning of a liberal future and the founding of a federal Europe. Nakhimovsky has also collaborated on an edition of Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation (Hackett, 2013), and two volumes of essays on eighteenth-century political thought and its post-revolutionary legacies: Commerce and Peace in the Enlightenment (Cambridge, 2017), and Markets, Morals, Politics: Jealousy of Trade and the History of Political Thought (Harvard, 2018). In March 2022 he will deliver the Quentin Skinner Lecture at the University of Cambridge (postponed from June 2020).
Selected other publications:

“Georg Lukács, Revolutionary Realpolitik, and the History of Political Thought,” Journal of the History of Ideas, forthcoming.

“A Republic of Cuckoo Clocks: Switzerland and the History of Liberty,” Modern Intellectual History 12, no. 1 (2015): pp. 219-33.
“The ‘Ignominious Fall of the European Commonwealth’: Gentz, Hauterive, and the Armed Neutrality of 1800,” in Trade and War: The Neutrality of Commerce in the Interstate System, ed. Koen Stapelbroek. COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Helsinki: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2011), 177-90.
Early Modern
Eastern Europe
Western Europe
Empires & Colonialism