Tahtinen, Lauri Matti Oskar

Head of Research and Analysis

Think tank, United States


Max Weber alumnus

Department of History and Civilization

Cohort(s): 2011/2012

Ph.D. Institution

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


My research focuses on the intersection between imperial history and political thought with a specific interest in the intellectual history of Iberian expansion. I completed my doctoral studies at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. My Ph.D. on the ideological origins of the Portuguese Atlantic empire seeks to fill a Portugal-sized gap in the historiography of the intellectual framework of early modern imperial expansion. In my thesis I examine topics ranging from empire at sea to theories of conversion and slavery. I also discuss the temporal and geographical convergences and divergences of imperial discourse in Portugal and Spain.
As a Max Weber Fellow, I have begun my move from a national case of empire into broader histories of imperial and global thought. I am especially interested in the connection between the 'natural man' of the Americas, the man that European missionaries sought to sculpt, and the concept of a 'natural population', the malleable object of political economy. While at the European University Institute, I have also dedicated time to turning my doctoral thesis into a book manuscript. In 2012-2013, I will be joining the Political Theory Project at Brown University.
Prior to my doctoral research in history at Cambridge, I earned a B.Sc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard University. Throughout my studies I have pursued my interest in the intersection between global affairs and the political and religious thought that informs them. My teaching experience in imperial history, global politics, political philosophy and the history of political thought reflects these interests.
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