1st Edition

International Organizations and the Media in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries Exorbitant Expectations

Edited By Jonas Brendebach, Martin Herzer, Heidi Tworek Copyright 2018
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    International Organizations and the Media in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries is the first volume to explore the historical relationship between international organizations and the media. Beginning in the early nineteenth century and coming up to the 1990s, the volume shows how people around the globe largely learned about international organizations and their activities through the media and images created by journalists, publicists, and filmmakers in texts, sound bites, and pictures.

    The book examines how interactions with the media are a formative component of international organizations. At the same time, it questions some of the basic assumptions about how media promoted or enabled international governance. Written by leading scholars in the field from Europe, North America, and Australasia, and including case studies from all regions of the world, it covers a wide range of issues from humanitarianism and environmentalism to Hollywood and debates about international information orders.

    Bringing together two burgeoning yet largely unconnected strands of research—the history of international organizations and international media histories—this book is essential reading for scholars of international history and those interested in the development and impact of media over time.

    1. Introduction (Jonas Brendebach, Martin Herzer, and Heidi Tworek) 2. The Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine and European media, 1815–1848 (Robert Mark Spaulding) 3. The Public image of the Universal Postal Union in the Anglophone world, 1874–1949 (Richard R. John) 4. The limits of peace propaganda: the Information Section of the League of Nations and its Tokyo office (Tomoko Akami) 5. International exhibitionism: the League of Nations at the New York World’s Fair, 1939–1940 (David Allen) 6. Making their own internationalism: Algerian media and a few others the League of Nations ignored, 1919–1943 (Arthur Asseraf) 7. Hollywood, the United Nations, and the long history of film communicating internationalism (Glenda Sluga) 8. Towards a new international communication order? UNESCO, development, and "national communication policies" in the 1960s and 1970s (Jonas Brendebach) 9. Singing and painting global awareness: international years and human rights at the United Nations (Monika Baár) 10. A wave of interest and action for plant Earth? How UNEP spoke for the environment from Stockholm to Rio (Simone M. Müller)


    Jonas Brendebach is a PhD researcher at the Department of History and Civilization at the European University Institute, Florence. He was a visiting doctoral student at Columbia University, New York.

    Martin Herzer holds a PhD in History from the European University Institute, Florence. He was a visiting doctoral student in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and a teaching fellow at the Centre d’Histoire at Sciences Po Paris.

    Heidi Tworek is Assistant Professor of International History at the University of British Columbia. She received her PhD in History from Harvard University. She manages the United Nations History Project (www.unhistoryproject.org).

    "Prominent historians and talented young scholars have contributed to this consistent and coherent volume offering a variety of approaches, methods and methodologies. They have zoomed in on the motives, politics and silences of a number of international institutions since the early 19th century. The volume is original and innovates at the level of the optics and perspectives, of the units of analysis and the levels of analysis. It will be a fruitful read for specialists, useful and inspirational for teachers and undergraduate students in history and social sciences."

    Davide Rodogno, The Graduate Institute, Geneva


    "Overall, this volume does an exceptional job of showing the successes and failures that international organizations had in using media to reach the public over the long term of the last two centuries. It offers scholars an excellent model for how to do global history in covering such a wide swath of time and array of countries, and it should prove foundational and influential on a range of new studies about other international organizations."

    Michael Stamm, Michigan State University