Review Essay - The Mystic Wand of Participation: An Appraisal of Mark Mazower’s 'No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations' (2010)
University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
German Law Journal, Vol. 12, No. 7, 2011
Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 25/2011
Mark Mazower’s latest book, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations intelligently weaves in the League of Nations as the primary informant of the United Nations to deconstruct any claims of discontinuities between the two institutions. In doing so, Mazower offers an eloquent polemic against the literature's tendency to idolize the United Nations’ founding as a symbolic and material break from empire. Exploring the dark sides of its intellectual origins and early years, however, Mazower points to the decolonization movement to argue for the potential of the United Nations as a site of emancipatory struggle – his book concludes with a reinvestment in its promise of a more inclusive and just world order. The issue left to the reader, and which I hope to address in this review essay, is the legitimacy of Mazower’s claim that the United Nations has indeed escaped its imperial heritage.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: United Nations, League of Nations, legal history, international law, colonialism, decolonization, imperialism, Mark Mazower, self-determination
Date posted: August 1, 2011