Steffen is currently Assistant Professor of the History of International Relations at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He previously taught at Columbia and held fellowships at Yale, Oxford, Waseda and the University of Tokyo.
His first monograph, Opium’s Long Shadow: From Asian Revolt to Global Drug Control, is in press with Harvard University Press and slated for publication in Autumn 2018. The book traverses new terrains of transnational mobilisation against the opium trade and traces the transfers of ideological reinterpretation and political critique as they made their way from China, Japan and other Asian settings to the League of Nations. His second book investigates the first one hundred years of transnational competition between China and Japan for global public, political and normative support since the 1870s and is also under contract with Harvard University Press. Steffen has also published on Chinese abolitionism in Cuba and Peru in the Journal of Global History, on Asian women’s higher education in Asia Pacific in the Age of Globalization (ed. Robert David Johnson) and is preparing a chapter on East Asian transnational information politics in The Global Public (ed. Jürgen Osterhammel), currently under consideration with Oxford University Press, and a forthcoming, invited article on the Japanese nationalist critique of American racism for a special issue of the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, as part of an initiative by the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.