1st Edition

Philanthropic Foundations at the League of Nations An Americanized League?

By Ludovic Tournès Copyright 2022
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book presents a comprehensive analysis of the relations between US philanthropic foundations (in particular the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) and the League of Nations.

    Generations of students and scholars have learned that the US, having played a key role in the creation of the League of Nations in 1919, did not join the organization and stood aloof from its activities during the whole interwar period. This book questions this idea and argues that, even though the US was not a de jure member of the League of Nations, the financial, human, and intellectual investment of foundations brought about the de facto integration of the US within the League system and also modified the latter’s architecture. The book describes the Americanization of the League and shows how it resulted from three strategies pursued throughout the interwar period: that of US foundations, that of the Secretariat, and that of the US federal government. The book also shows the limits of this Americanization and analyzes the role of the European experts in the coproduction of the postwar international order together with the US government.

    This book will be of interest to historians and political scientists, as well as undergraduate and graduate students in interdisciplinary programs of international relations.

    Introduction: Rethinking the Relations between the United States and the League of Nations

    Chapter 1 – The United States at The Heart of The League System?

    Chapter 2 – A World Ruled by Science: Philanthropic Universalism

    Chapter 3 – A Global Health Policy: The Health Organization

    Chapter 4 – The International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation and New International Power Relations

    Chapter 5 – From Intellectual Cooperation to Economic Expertise

    Chapter 6 – From Geneva To Princeton: The Dismantling and the Legacy


    Archival Sources


    Ludovic Tournès is professor of international history at the university of Geneva. He has published numerous books and articles including New Orleans Sur Seine. Histoire du jazz en France (Fayard, 1999), Du phonographe au MP3 (Autrement, 2008, rééd. 2011), L’Argent de l’influence. Les fondations américaines et leurs réseaux européens (Autrement, 2010), Sciences de l’homme et politiques. Les fondations philanthropiques américaines en France au XXe siècle (Garnier, 2011); Global Exchanges: Scholarships and Transnational Circulations in the Contemporary World (19-21st centuries), in cooperation with Giles Scott-Smith (Berghahn Books, 2017), and more recently, Américanisation. Une histoire mondiale (Fayard, 2020).