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Democratic Politics and the League of Nations: The Labour and Socialist International as a Protagonist of Interwar Internationalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 April 2015

Department of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, United Kingdom;


The Labour and Socialist International (LSI) was a major vehicle for transnational socialist cooperation during the interwar years and thus seemed to continue the traditions of socialist internationalism. In the realm of international relations, however, it championed key tenets of liberal internationalism. The LSI supported the idea of a League of Nations and embraced the notion of a world order based upon democratic nation-states. While it criticised some aspects of the international system, its overall emphasis was on reform rather than revolution. The article sheds light on the wider phenomenon of interwar internationalism by tracing the LSI's relationship with the League of Nations, with the politics of peace more generally and with the competing internationalism of the communists.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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88 Brockway, Inside the Left, 168.

89 Maxton's tenure ended in 1929. The official reason was his refusal to condemn the Labour government's Middle Eastern policy: ‘Mr Maxton Expelled: The Anti-Imperialist League's Action’, Glasgow Herald, 20 September 1929. However, Brockway's memoirs (s.a.) describe Maxton's removal as part of a communist takeover.

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99 Kowalski, Geschichte der Sozialistischen Arbeiter-Internationalen, 208–12; Horn, European Socialists, 47.

100 Letter by Johan Willem Albarda, Het Volk, 16 June 1937.

101 Louis de Brouckère to Friedrich Adler, 19 June 1937, folder 2763, LSI Archives.

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