Daniel J. Sargent is associate professor at the University of California, where he is jointly appointed in the Department of History and the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is a historian who specializes in U.S. foreign policy and the history of international relations. His research has explored how states and decision makers adapt to long-term changes in their international environments, including the historical advance of globalization. He is presently interested in how the United States has strived, over the long arc of its history, to constitute and sustain international order, and he remains intrigued with how policymakers use historical and grand strategic concepts to inform the work of policymaking.
Daniel Sargent earned his PhD in History from Harvard University in 2008. He is also a graduate of Cambridge University, where he earned his B.A. with double-first class honors in 2001. He has held pre-doctoral fellowships at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, both at Harvard. In 2007-8, he was the inaugural Henry Chauncey Jr. ’57 Postdoctoral Fellow at International Security Studies at Yale University. In 2018-19, he was the William C. Bark National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has taught at the History Department at Berkeley since 2008 and in the Goldman School of Public Policy since 2019.
Daniel Sargent's first book, A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. An interpretive history of U.S. foreign relations, the book shows how decision makers across three administrations (Nixon, Ford, and Carter) adapted, and failed to adapt, to changes in their international environment, changes that ranged from the breakdown of the Bretton Woods monetary system, to the oil shocks of the 1970s, to the rise of an organized transnational movement for human rights. Sargent has published essays in numerous journals and edited volumes, including the Cambridge World History. He is a co-editor (with Niall Ferguson, Charles Maier, and Erez Manela) of The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective, a 2010 volume from Harvard University Press, and a co-author of a W.W. Norton textbook provisionally titled Global America. He is currently working on Pax Americana: A History of the American World Order, a history of the U.S.-centered or "liberal" world order under contract with Princeton University Press.
At Berkeley, Daniel Sargent has taught a variety of undergraduate lecture courses: on the history of U.S. foreign relations, on the world since 1945, and on the history and practice of human rights. He has also co-devised and co-taught a new lower-division course, History 1: Global History, that introduces students in a single semester to recurrent dynamics and patterns in human affairs. In his graduate teaching, Sargent has taught seminars on U.S. foreign policy and the history of international relations in the History Department and on the "uses of history" at the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award of the Division of Social Sciences at Berkeley. In 2017, he was recognized by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations with the Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize.