The Rise and Fall of 'International Man'
19 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012 Last revised: 18 Apr 2013
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.
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