The League of Nations: Enduring Legacies of the First Experiment at World Organization, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The League of Nations

Enduring Legacies of the First Experiment at World Organization, 1st Edition

By M. Patrick Cottrell


174 pages

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Hardback: 9781138930889
pub: 2017-09-07
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315680033
pub: 2017-09-11
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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.

Table of Contents

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

Select Bibliography

About the Author

M. Patrick Cottrell is Associate Professor of Political Science at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR, USA. He is author of The Evolution and Legitimacy of International Security Institutions (2016) and numerous articles on topics ranging from global governance to international sport.

About the Series

Global Institutions

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:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Treaties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)