The League of Nations occupies a fascinating yet paradoxical place in human history. Over time, it’s come to symbolize both a path to peace and to war, a promising vision of world order and a utopian illusion, an artifact of a bygone era and a beacon for one that may still come. As the first experiment in world organization, the League played a pivotal, but often overlooked role in the creation of the United Nations and the modern architecture of global governance.
In contrast to conventional accounts, which chronicle the institution’s successes and failures during the interwar period, Cottrell explores the enduring relevance of the League of Nations for the present and future of global politics. He asks: What are the legacies of the League experiment? How do they inform current debates on the health of global order and US leadership? Is there a "dark side" to these legacies?
Cottrell demonstrates how the League of Nations’ soul continues to shape modern international relations, for better and for worse. Written in a manner accessible to students of international history, international relations and global politics, it will also be of interest to graduates and scholars.
Introduction Why study the League of Nations?
Chapter 1: The League of Nations experiment and the quest for world order
Chapter 2: The League of Nations in time
Chapter 3: Foil or foundation? From League of Nations to United Nations
Chapter 4: Lost in transition? The hidden influence of the League of Nations
Chapter 5: The soul of the League and the crisis of liberal order
Chapter 6: Revitalizing liberal order
The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).
The Series has two "streams" identified by their covers:
Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.