Projecting ‘World Government’: The Creation of the League of Nations as a Case Study in International Policy-Making

5 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2019

See all articles by Malcolm MacLaren

Malcolm MacLaren

Institut für Völkerrecht und ausländisches Verfassungsrecht, Universität Zürich

Date Written: June 26, 2019

Abstract

The postwar was, as it often is, a projecting age. Following World War One, leaders (political, military, thought and the like) resolved to prevent such a catastrophe ever occurring again. The projects proposed at the Paris peace talks were many and varied in origin, scale, ideology etc. More significant for present purposes was an overarching commonality in their conceptualization. The projects were defined by a certain way of thinking.

I will consider one project as a case study, namely the creation of the League of Nations, which was to enable the wide-reaching and effective control of international relations for the purpose of universal peace. Consideration of the League’s creation illustrates the usefulness of a knowledge perspective in history. It offers critical insight into the premises, methods and assessments that have generally conditioned attempts at ordering between states. Indeed, this learning experience might help lead those involved in such efforts today beyond conventional epistemic bounds onto policy-making paths that are different and more promising.

Keywords: League of Nations, Covenant, international law, legal history, diplomacy

Suggested Citation

MacLaren, Malcolm, Projecting ‘World Government’: The Creation of the League of Nations as a Case Study in International Policy-Making (June 26, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3410397 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3410397

Malcolm MacLaren (Contact Author)

Institut für Völkerrecht und ausländisches Verfassungsrecht, Universität Zürich ( email )

74 Ramistrasse
Zurich, Zurich 8001
Switzerland

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