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  • Research Training Group World Politics RTG 2225

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Jakob Braun / Unsplash

Johannes Nagel - Doctoral Researcher

© Universität Bielefeld


Doctoral Project: The US Military during the Global Transformation, 1865-1905

02/2019 - 05/2019 Doctoral Fellow at the German Historical Institute, Washington D.C.
Since 10/2017 Doctoral Researcher in the Research Training Group "World Politics", Bielefeld University
03/2017 Internship, Department Central State Archives of Stuttgart
11/2016 State Examination in History, Political Science and Philosophy
04/2014 - 11/2016 Student, Heidelberg University
08/2012 - 05/2013 Exchange student and teaching assistant, Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA
04/2011 - 07/2012 Tutor, International Office, Tübingen University
07/2010 - 12/2010 Assistant, Baden-Württemberg State Archive, Stuttgart
09/2009 - 07/2012 Student, Tübingen University
09/2008 - 08/2009 Internship, Archive of the Centrum Judaicum/New Synagogue Foundation, Berlin

Why did the American state in the late 19th century abandon its traditional politics of anti-militarism and began to prepare for war in peacetime?

After the Civil War, a movement formed within the American military that wanted the armed forces to rationalize and assume a greater role in the world and the nation. Early efforts of this reform movement were met with indifference, as the government quickly dismantled the wartime military and relegated its officers to political isolation. Toward the end of the century, however, America caught up with European military modernization, building a new navy and expanding the army, thus preparing for future conflicts. This research project will investigate why this change from anti-militarism to militarism occurred.

The proposed hypothesis is that this development was caused by changes in how the American state observed world politics. After 1865, military professionals looked to European states for models to fear and follow, whereas the public and the civilian state had little interest in global power politics. The "shrinking of the world" had contradictory effects on the United States, strengthening both anti-militaristic globalism as well as "Realpolitik" nationalism within different segments of the state. Only when these different modes of observation began to align did a political consensus emerge and reforms became possible.

This research project contributes to the study of political development by showing how the uniquely American relationship between the military and the civilian state resulted in a bifurcated view of world politics. This will relate domestic developments to changes in world politics. Bringing the often-neglected case of American history into the discussion of state formation and world politics will add a new perspective to debates on comparisons and global entanglements. This project will draw on historiographic primary source analysis as well as methods from qualitative process-analytic political science.

  • Nagel, J. (2020). 'U.S. army and navy reform in the context of an emerging global military modernity, 1865-1915, Reform Movements in U.S. History'. Paper presented at the conference 'Annual Conference of the Historians in the German Association of American Studies', 15 February, Bad Bevensen, Germany.
  • Nagel, J. (2019). 'Military Politics as an Object of Global History'. Paper represented at the 'Doctoral military History colloquium', 28-29 November, Potsdam University, Germany.
  • Nagel, J. (2019). Participation in the RTG workshop 'Envisioning the Global: Perspectives, Positions, Communities', 21-22 November, Bielefeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (2019). Discussant at RTG workshop 'Envisioning the Global, Engendering Agency: Perspectives, Positions, Communities', 21-22 November, Bielefeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (with A. Boyashov, M. Myatt, D. Russ and J. Stafford) (2019). Organisation of the RTG workshop 'Organising Competition & Contestation in World Politics', 24-25 October, Bielefeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (with T. Werron) (2019). 'Nationalism in the World: U.S. Nationalist Reasoning in the mid-to-late 19th Century'. Paper presented at the workshop 'Competition in World Politics', 24 October, Bielefeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (2018). Organisation of the workshop 'Comparing Militaries in the Long 19th Century' (jointly funded by the collaborative research centre SFB 1288 'Practices of Comparing' and the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology), 29-30 November, Bielefeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (with A. Boyashov, M. Myatt, D. Russ and J. Stafford) (2018). Organisation of the RTG workshop 'Balance & Competition in World Politics', 09-10 November, Bielefeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (2018). 'The American Nation-State in the late 19th Century'. Paper presented at the workshop 'Balance & Competition in World Politics', 09 November, Bielefeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (2018). Participation in the RTG workshop 'Imagining Belonging in World Politics: Concepts, Practices, and Struggles', 01-02 October, Bielfeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (2018). 'U.S. military reform and the observation of world politics, 1865-1910'. Poster presentation at the '59th international conference of the Center for Military History and Social Sciences (ITMGS) of the German Armed Forces', 11 September, Potsdam, Germany.
  • Nagel, J. (with J. Pitts) (2018). Participation in a workshop with the RTG and the Bielefeld Graduate School of History and Sociology, 05 June, Bielefeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (2018). Chapter presentation at the 9th International PhD Student Exchange Workshop Notre Dame/Bielefeld, 19-24 May, Bielefeld University.
  • Nagel, J. (2018). 'Nationalism and Militarism in the US, 1880-1900'. Paper presented at the workshop 'The Concept of the State-Society Relationship in Comparative Perspective', Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 / Université Paris-Nanterre, 9 February, Paris, France.


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-> Bilder: In einer Ordnertiefe von etwa vier Ebenen unter der Uni-Hauptebene werden Bilder falsch eingebunden und sind nicht sichtbar. -> Ohne Anpassung: Bilder sind nicht sichtbar.
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Group :: Tab: schmaler machen, wenn Section-Content eine Sidebar enthält

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