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Democracy, citizenship and internationalism, c.1918–45

In the decades following Europe's first total war, millions of British men and women looked to the League of Nations as the symbol and guardian of a new world order based on international co-operation. Founded in 1919 to preserve peace between its member-states, the League inspired a rich, participatory culture of political protest, popular education and civic ritual that found expression in the establishment of voluntary societies in dozens of countries across Europe and beyond. Through the hugely popular League of Nations Union (LNU), this pro-League movement touched Britain in profound ways. Foremost amongst the League societies, the LNU became a pioneering advocate of democratic accountability and popular engagement in the making of foreign policy. This book offers an account of this popular League consciousness, revealing the extraordinarily vibrant character of associational life between the wars. It explores the complex constituencies making up the popular League movement and shows how internationalism intersected with class, gender, religion and party politics during a period of profound social, cultural and political change.

Helen McCarthy

1 The League of Nations, public opinion and the New Diplomacy The Democratic Spirit may be relied upon if the democratic mind is sufficiently informed. (Lord Robert Cecil, 1920)1 In short, the Union believes that the problem of maintaining world peace is mainly a problem of education. (Report on the Work of the LNU, 1921)2 In the official history rushed out by the LNU in summer 1935, its author justified the Peace Ballot as a unique exercise which had, for the first time, made knowable the will of the people on vital questions of foreign policy. ‘If our

in The British people and the League of Nations
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The Anglo-American new world order from Wilson to Bush (Second edition)

This book explores the way in which the Anglo-American new world order (NWO) debate changed by 9/11, and the encouragement this has given to the 'neoconservatives' or 'neocons' within the George W. Bush Administration. It examines the policy-making process as it developed before the Versailles Conference of 1919. An extensive literature exists on the 'lessons of Versailles' and particularly on the 'failure' of the League of Nations (LON), one that started even before the signature of the Treaty of Versailles. The book then explores how the Conference and the LON attempted to frame the immediate problems of the post-war period. It shows how NWO architects' thinking developed in what might be called the area of 'global security' from the period of the First World War until the present. The clear evidence is that the American thinking on the NWO had a huge impact in Britain's processes in the same direction. President Theodore Roosevelt shared a deep suspicion of British motives for the post-war settlement in line with most Americans. He attributed blame for the inter-war crisis as much to British and French intransigence and balance of power politics at Versailles as to German aggression. The results of the Versailles settlement hung like a cloud over Allied relationships during the Second World War and gave a powerful impetus in American circles for an attitude of 'never again'. The variety of historical archival material presented provided the background to the current and historical American obsession with creating the world order.

In the name of others

The book traces the history of international humanitarianism from the anti-slavery movement to the end of the Cold War. It is based on an extensive survey of the international literature and is retold in an original narrative that relies on a close examination of the sources. It explains how relief entered both the national and the supranational institutions' agenda, and the programmes of non-governmental organisations, contributing to shape the relationship between the global North and South. The reconstruction of humanitarianism’s long history unfolds around some crucial moments and events: the colonial expansion of European countries, the two World Wars and their aftermaths, the emergence of a new postcolonial order. Salvatici looks especially closely at the major actors of aid operations (such as the Red Cross, Save the Children, the United Nations agencies, Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders) and highlights how the meaning of international humanitarianism has changed over time.

Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
Valérie Gorin

was released in 1923 as New Worlds for the Old: Quaker Relief in Stricken Europe and highlighted the Quakers’ distribution of food, medicine and clothes in Central Europe and Russia, as well as the means of survival for the local population. The same year, the Friends of Soviet Russia (the American branch of the Workers International Relief) released Russia through the Shadows . The High Commissioner for Refugees, Fridtjof Nansen, appointed by the League of Nations and the ICRC to coordinate relief in cooperation with the Soviets during the Russian famine, also

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps
Lasse Heerten
Arua Oko Omaka
Kevin O'Sullivan
, and
Bertrand Taithe

’Malley , A. and Jackson , S. (eds), The Institution of International Order: From the League of Nations to the United Nations ( Abingdon and New York : Routledge ), pp. 111 – 35 . Heerten , L. ( 2015 ), ‘“A” as in Auschwitz, “B” as in Biafra: The Nigerian Civil War, visual

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

This collection of essays brings together a diverse range of scholars to explore the scale and meaning of humanitarianism during the era of the Great War (1914–24). Its contributors offer a fresh perspective on how and why humanitarian engagement shaped the arc of violence unleashed during these years, and analyse the extent to which the events influenced the development of humanitarian concepts and practices. Building on a decade of scholarship that has predominantly focused on the work of non-governmental humanitarian actors, the collection foregrounds the role of governmental agencies (both belligerent and neutral) in humanitarian affairs and examines both the motivations and transnational networks of donor publics and the views of the beneficiaries of humanitarian aid. It explores how the connection between humanitarian engagement and international politics gave rise to a range of diverse humanitarian agendas, which were tied to and driven by larger questions of war and peace and conceptions of social and political order. Finally, the essays address the debate over the emergence of ‘modern’ humanitarianism. Instead of seeing it as either the beginning of ‘modern’ humanitarianism or the end of its nineteenth century variant, the collection depicts the era as an important conjuncture in the history of humanitarianism. This was a transitional period, in which humanitarianism took on a myriad of different forms and resulted in a picture that was more complex and less triumphalist than many contemporary protagonists, and historians, have tended to admit.

Rhiannon Vickers

policy areas.3 The Labour Party and minority Labour governments had considerable impact on Britain’s stance on open diplomacy, internationalism, the arms trade, and the League of Nations. From the early 1920s to the late 1930s, the internationalist, anti-war section of the party, strongly influenced by the UDC, dominated Labour Party thinking on international affairs. While this wing of the party had initially been highly critical of the League of Nations, they came to see it as the avenue through which peace could be maintained. Despite, or possibly because of, the

in The Labour Party and the world, volume 1
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The respectable face of troublemaking
Helen McCarthy

, while still accepting its general assumptions. The Dissenter repudiates its aims, its methods, its principles.’1 According to this formula, those evangelising on behalf of the League of Nations between the wars, who form the subject of this book, lacked the necessary credentials to win a place in Taylor’s pantheon of history’s ‘troublemakers’. The leading lights of the League of Nations Union (LNU), the League’s strongest champion in Britain, were too high-minded, too cosy with the ‘Establishment’ and altogether too respectable to inherit the mantle of Fox, Cobden and

in The British people and the League of Nations
Internationalist education between the wars
Helen McCarthy

years have given rise. (SH Bailey, 1938)1 There is no reason why the ‘international sense’ should not become part of the stock-in-trade of the ordinary man. A hundred years ago, it was regarded as equally inconceivable that the ordinary man should become literate, or capable of reading a map. (Alfred Zimmern, 1932)2 We taught about the Covenant of the League of Nations as science teachers explained wireless sets, or attempted to explain Einstein, except that we were not impartial. We went too far with our wishful thinking and so added to the shock of disillusionment

in The British people and the League of Nations