Isaac Nakhimovsky

Isaac Nakhimovsky's picture
Associate Professor
HQ 266
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), showed how, in the context of the French Revolution, the German philosopher J.G. Fichte came to undertake a systematic treatment of economic independence as an ideal, or the political theory of what John Maynard Keynes later termed “national self-sufficiency.” He 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). His next book, A World Reformed: Liberalism, the Holy Alliance, and the Problems of Global Order, is under preparation for Princeton University Press, and in June 2020 he will deliver the annual Quentin Skinner Lecture at the University of Cambridge.

Selected other publications:

An International Dilemma: The Postwar Utopianism of Gunnar Myrdal’s Beyond the Welfare State,” Humanity 8, no. 1 (2017): 185-94

“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.

“Carl Schmitt’s Vattel and the Law of Nations between Enlightenment and Revolution,” Grotiana 31 (2010): 141-64.

“Vattel’s Theory of the International Order: Commerce and the Balance of Power in the Law of Nations,” History of European Ideas 33, no. 2 (2007): 157-73.

“The Enlightened Epicureanism of Jacques Abbadie: L’Art de se connoître soi-même and the Morality of Self-Interest,” History of European Ideas 29, no. 2 (2003): 1-14.


Early Modern
Eastern Europe
Western Europe
Empires & Colonialism