For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins (Yale University) will give the lecture "The Origins of the End of Ideology Debate: An Alternative History" in the Utrecht/Amsterdam Seminar Global Intellectual History

Detail Summary
Date 12 March 2019
Time 16:00 - 17:30
Engraving from Vincent Levinus's 1715 "Wondertooneel der nature"


Proponents of the end of ideology thesis of the 1950s, such as Daniel Bell, Seymour M. Lipset and Raymond Aron, argued that the successes of post-War European welfare states proved that parliamentary forms of democracy made obsolete the need for workers to put their trust in revolutionary ideologies such as Marxism. As a consequence, the standard historical account of the end of ideology debate almost always sees it growing out of a critique of radical social thought. This paper argues that such a rendering obscures a much more complicated history of the end of ideology thesis. Its defenders also viewed it as an alternative to the neoliberal thought of the Mont Pelerin Sociey whose free market ideas stood as a threat to fledgling European welfare states and as such could undermine the very economical and political system that allowed for end of ideology.  The end of ideology thus was also directed at neoliberalism, and like with neoliberalism its concerns were also global in scope. Yet the liberalism it promoted was less centered on establishing global institutions for free trade, and instead focused on articulating theories of development and industrialization that would make revolutionary ideologies obsolete in the third world.

About the speaker

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins is a global historian of 20th century intellectual and political thought. He is currently at work on two book projects: The first is titled, The Neoconservative Moment in France: Raymond Aron and the United States (Columbia University Press), which looks at the larger transatlantic intellectual origins of the neoconservative movement. The second is tentatively titled, The Rise and Fall of Global Secularism since the Cold War

Daniel has published scholarly articles in The Journal of the History of Ideas, Modern Intellectual History, Global Intellectual History and elsewhere. He is currently coediting two books: Michel Foucault, Neoliberalism and Beyond (Rowman and Littlefield, 2019) with Stephen Sawyer; and Christianity and the New Historiography of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2020) with Sarah Shortall. 

His general audience commentary has appeared in The AtlanticThe NationTimes Literary SupplementDissent Magazine and elsewhere. He currently serves as an editor for The Tocqueville Review and is the Europe editor for H-Diplo. At Jackson he will be teaching classes on religion and global politics, and history and theories of global development. 

His personal website can be found here:


Utrecht, Drift 25

About the Seminar

The Utrecht/Amsterdam Seminar Global Intellectual History is a platform for researchers from different faculties and departments at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University who are working in the field of intellectual history and related disciplines. These include, among others, the history of historical, legal and political thought, conceptual history, the social and cultural history of ideas, as well as research at the intersection between intellectual history, institutions, politics, and practices.

Worldwide, intellectual history is moving into new, exciting directions. Tapping into new source materials, covering longer stretches of time, dealing with broader geographical spaces, making comparisons and drawing connections on a global scale, as well as combining established and new (digital) methods, both young and up-coming as well as established experts are in search for new answers – and perhaps more importantly – new questions. The Utrecht/Amsterdam Seminar Global Intellectual History contributes to this development by providing a venue for presenting and discussing frontline research.

The Seminar is jointly organized by:

dr. Camille Creyghton (Cultural Studies, University of Amsterdam / Queen Mary, London)
dr. Boyd van Dijk (European Studies, UvA)
prof. dr. Annelien De Dijn (Political History, UU)
dr. Lisa Kattenberg (History, UvA)
dr. René Koekkoek (Political History, UU)
dr. Matthijs Lok (European Studies, UvA)