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

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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.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternationalism, Imperialism and the Formation of the Contemporary World
Subtitle of host publicationThe Pasts of the Present
EditorsMiguel Bandeira Jerónimo , José Pedro Monteiro
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783319606934
ISBN (Print)9783319606927
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


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