On 8th March 2022, the East Asian Intellectual History Network (EAIHN), through the auspices of the EAA (East Asian Academy) at the University of Tokyo, hosted a review session by Tomohito Baji (University of Tokyo), Michael Ratnapalan (Yonsei University) and Hanno Terao (Waseda University). After opening remarks by the chair, Shinji Nohara (University of Tokyo), Baji introduced his recently-published monograph, The International Thought of Alfred Zimmern: Classicism, Zionism and the Shadow of Commonwealth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). His talk was followed by two reviewers’ comments and questions. The abstract of the seminar is as follows:
Dr. Baji briefly summarized the key aspects of his book. As the first, comprehensive analysis of Zimmern, the monograph offered his international thought, as well as an intellectual biography, including his views on the British Empire and Commonwealth. Zimmern was particularly influenced by Edmund Burke’s idea of reconciliation of ‘private’ and ‘public’ virtue. Among contemporary historians and political theorists, he was also untypical in being sceptical of the Anglo-centric views on the international order, even though his idea was still somehow Euro-centric. Zimmern was also highly interested in democracy and cosmopolitanism so as to propose ‘a Euro-Atlantic’ community. Later, after world war two, he also put forward the idea of ‘federal-republican oneworldism’. In the next part of the session, two reviewers, Dr. Ratnapalan and Dr. Terao, commented on aspects of the book. Ratnapalan asked a few questions relating to Zimmern’s concepts of race, culture, and religion, including their sources which Zimmern chiefly relied. Terao also commented and asked with regard to Zimmern’s ‘Burkean liberalism’, internationalism (or multiculturalism) and imperialism. The response from Baji and a floor discussion followed.
Reported by Sora Sato (Toyo University)