Internationalism and Nationalism in the League of Nations' Work for Intellectual Cooperation

Laqua, Daniel (2018) Internationalism and Nationalism in the League of Nations' Work for Intellectual Cooperation. In: Internationalism, Imperialism and the Formation of the Contemporary World: The Pasts of the Present. Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series . Palgrave, Basingstoke, pp. 59-85. ISBN 9783319606927

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How did intellectuals and politicians confirm or reinforce national categories, even when they ostensibly promoted visions of an international community? The chapter addresses this question through a case study of the League of Nations’ mechanisms for intellectual cooperation. After a brief discussion of institutional aspects, namely the establishment of League-affiliated committees and institutes in the 1920s, the article focuses on the interplay of transnational and national practices. National actors—for instance intellectuals and organisations from Central and Eastern Europe—targeted the League bodies, evoking both cultural internationalism and national interests. Furthermore, nationhood was projected at international congresses—sometimes openly, sometimes in more subtle terms—with the pronouncements of delegates from Fascist Italy providing an interesting case in point. Finally, the chapter discusses how individuals sought to reconcile the multi-layered nature of their activities; to this end, it considers several figures who were involved in the League’s efforts to foster a “société des esprits.”

This is the updated and expanded version of an article that first appeared in French as 'Internationalisme ou affirmation de la nation? La coopération intellectuelle transnationale dans l'entre-deux-guerres', Critique Internationale, no. 52 (2011), pp. 51-67; see also

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: V100 History by period
V200 History by area
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Dr Daniel Laqua
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 10:12
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 21:36

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