The League of Nations, public opinion and the New Diplomacy
in The British people and the League of Nations
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This chapter addresses the League movement as a product of new strands of thought and action emerging from the First World War which collectively became known as the ‘New Diplomacy’. It investigates the significance of the category of ‘public opinion’ for League supporters in light of their efforts to make foreign policy more accountable to the electorate. It concentrates on the educational campaigns and media strategy of the League of Nations Union (LNU) and the Peace Ballot of 1934–35. The movement's faith in voters' readiness to absorb complex ideas became harder to sustain over the course of the 1930s. The LNU was internally divided over the success of the Ballot. The Peace Ballot proved that Britain's quiet citizens could be induced to break their silence on occasion, and there can be little doubt that foreign affairs produced many such occasions between the wars.

The British people and the League of Nations

Democracy, citizenship and internationalism, c.1918–45


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