Steve Harris

Lecturer Faculty
Location: Humanities Building Room 274
Office Hours:
Mon: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wed: 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.and by appointment

I have recently returned to the academy after a career in law and management in the areas of telecommunications and internet services. While my focus is modern European history, I believe that European ideas, institutions and practices must be considered in a global context. My interests focus on legal and political activities and ideas as expressed in the system of states and empires and their shared culture. This encompasses such issues and topics as international law, sovereignty, revolution and how states and their economies/societies interact. My 2015 Dissertation "Between Law and Diplomacy: International Dispute Resolution in the Long 19th Century" addresses the development and implications of public international arbitration as a tool of the states' system from the end of the 18th century to World War I. More recently, I have been working on the use of pre-printed, fill in the blank treaties by the British during the "Scramble for Africa" in the late 19th century. ALong with Professor Getz, I co-lead the "History of the 21st Century" project to re-conceive introductory college history courses.


  • Ph.D., History, UC Davis (Modern European), 2015
  • M.A., History, SF State, 2008
  • J.D., University of Michigan, 1979
  • B.A., Brandeis University, 1976

Courses Taught

  • Critical Thinking in History: 2400 Years of Democracy
  • Seminar in Historical Analysis
  • Modern World History
  • Europe in the 20th Century
  • Modern Imperialism
  • Western Civilization
  • American Constitutional History
  • Reacting to the Past
  • International History 1814-1918

Research Interests

  • International and Diplomatic History
  • International Law
  • Globalization
  • Intellectual History
  • 18th to early 20th centuries

Recent Papers

  • A Separate Peace: The British Peace Movement and Arbitration in the 19th Century (2015)
  • Arbitration and Empire (2015)
  • British Practicality, British Peace (2014)
  • History for the 21st Century (2019)

Selected Publications

  • "Arbitration at Vienna: Recasting the History of International Dispute Resolution," Jus Gentium, (2018)
  • "International Arbitration," Encyclopedia of Democracy, Wiley (2018)
  • "Taming Arbitration: States' Men, Lawyers, and Peace Advocates from the Hague to the War," Journal of History of International Law, 19:3 (2017) 362-96
  • “The Global Construction of International Law in the 19th Century: The Case of Arbitration,” Journal of World History, 27:2 (2016) 303-325
  • Legislative History of the Communications Act of 1934 (Board of Editors) (1990)
  • “Regulation of Private Telecommunications Networks,” Telecommunications Law Journal, 1:1 (1989)
  • Michigan Yearbook of International Legal Studies, Vol. I (Editor in Chief) (1979)


Steve's Website