The Rise and Fall of 'International Man'

19 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012 Last revised: 18 Apr 2013

See all articles by Frederic Megret

Frederic Megret

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 4, 2012


A paper presented at the Harvard International Law Workshop on the rise and fall of the idea of "international man" as it emerged in the inter-war as both a concrete reality and a sort of figurehead for liberal internationalism. The paper reconstructs a stylized portrait of "international man" as the model cosmopolitan civil servant of the League of Nations, points out some of the contradictions inherent in the model, contrasts it with the reality of the men who dominated the League and, finally, draws on a number of portraits of actual "international men" of the era to see how they navigated some of the challenges of internationalism. The paper concludes with a few thoughts on what might be the legitimacy of international technocrats in a world of states.

Suggested Citation

Mégret, Frédéric, The Rise and Fall of 'International Man' (October 4, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Frédéric Mégret (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec

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