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International academic cooperation on international relations in the interwar period: the International Studies Conference

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 August 2010

Abstract

Based on considerable archival research in Switzerland and France, this article considers the creation of specialised institutions and centres for scientific research, discussion and information on international questions after the First World War. It analyses the origins and development of the International Studies Conference from 1928 until 1946, and it pays particular attention to the institutional setting provided by the ISC. With the help of an international questionnaire of the League of Nations from the early 1930s the article also discusses the university teaching of IR in the US, Great Britain and on the European continent in the interwar period, and it looks at some of the institutional settings, especially academic institutions (departments, chairs, schools and so on), that were available at the time.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British International Studies Association 2010

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References

1 Carr, E. H., The Twenty Years' Crisis 1919–1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations (London: Macmillan, 1939)Google Scholar .

2 Long, David and Wilson, Peter (eds), Thinkers of the Twenty Years' Crisis: Inter-War Idealism Reassessed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995)Google Scholar .

3 Wilson, Peter, ‘The Myth of the First Great Debate’, in Dunne, Tim, Cox, Michael and Booth, Ken (eds), The Eighty Years' Crisis: International Relations 1919–1999 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 115Google Scholar . See also Ashworth, Lucian M., ‘Did the Realist-Idealist Great Debate Really happen? A Revisionist History of International Relations’, International Relations, 16:1 (2002), pp. 3351Google Scholar .

4 Schmidt, Brian C., The Political Discourse of Anarchy: A Disciplinary History of International Relations (Albany N.Y: State University of New York Press, 1998)Google Scholar . See also his articles, ‘Lessons from the Past: Reassessing the Interwar Disciplinary History of International Relations’, International Studies Quarterly, 42:3 (1998), pp. 433–59 and ‘American International Relations, Pluralist Theory and the Myth of Interwar Idealism’, International Relations, 16:1 (2002), pp. 9–31.

5 For an overview: Long, David and Schmidt, Brian C., ‘Introduction’, in Ibid. (eds), Imperialism and Internationalism in the Discipline of International Relations (Albany NY.: State University of New York Press, 2005), pp. 121Google Scholar . Cf. Ashworth, Lucian M., ‘Where are the Idealists in Interwar International Relations?’, Review of International Studies, 32:2 (2006), pp. 291308Google Scholar and Knutsen, Torbjørn, ‘A Lost Generation? IR Scholarship before World War I’, International Politics, 45:6 (2008), pp. 650674Google Scholar .

6 Long, David, ‘Who Killed the International Studies Conference?’, Review of International Studies, 32:6 (2006), pp. 603622CrossRefGoogle Scholar .

7 Gelfand, Lawrence E., The Inquiry: American Preparations for Peace, 1917–1919 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963)Google Scholar ; Goldstein, Erik, Winning the Peace: British Diplomatic Strategy, Peace Planning, and the Paris Peace Conference, 1916–1920 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991)Google Scholar .

8 For instance: Czempiel, Ernst Otto, ‘Die Entwicklung der Lehre von den Internationalen Beziehungen’, Politische Vierteljahresschrift. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft, 6 (1965), pp. 270290, esp. pp. 272 and 275Google Scholar .

9 League of Nations Archives Geneva, Fonds du Secrétariat, Section 13, R1004, file 295 (henceforth cited as LNA, FdS, S13, R1004, file 295), Minutes of a Meeting Relative to Proposed Institute, 30 May 1919; Report and Resolutions of the Committee appointed by an Informal Meeting of Persons attached to the British and American Peace Delegations at the Hotel Majestic, on 30 May 1919. Cf. Dockrill, Michael L., ‘The Foreign Office and the “Proposed Institute of International Affairs 1919”’, in Bosco, Andrea and Navari, Cornelia (eds), Chatham House and British Foreign Policy 1919–1945: The Royal Institute of International Affairs During the Inter-War Period (London: Lothian Foundation Press, 1994), pp. 7386Google Scholar .

10 Nicolson, Harold, Peacemaking 1919. University Paperbacks 122 (London: Methuen, 1964), p. 353Google Scholar .

11 LNA, FdS, S13, R1004, file 295, Report and Resolutions of Meeting, 17 June 1919.

12 League of Nations International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IIIC), Handbook of Institutions for the Scientific Study of International Relations (Paris, 1929), pp. 6869Google Scholar . The Institute received its Royal Charter in 1926 to become the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

13 Sharp, Alan, ‘Making International History: The Writing of A History of the Peace Conference of Paris’, in Bosco, and Navari, (eds), Chatham House, pp. 101119Google Scholar .

14 IIIC, Handbook of Institutions, p. 95.

15 Nowadays Foreign Affairs appears every two months.

16 The myth of the war-guilt clause has been clearly debunked in recent historiography. For example: Keylor, William R., ‘Versailles and International Diplomacy’, in Boemeke, Manfred F., Feldman, Gerald D. and Glaser, Elisabeth (eds), The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 years (Washington, DC. and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 469505CrossRefGoogle Scholar .

17 Grindrod, Muriel K., ‘The Institut für Auswärtige Politik’, International Affairs, 10 (March 1931), pp. 223229Google Scholar .

18 For the ICIC see: Renoliet, Jean-Jacques, L'UNESCO Oubliée: La Société des Nations et la Coopération Intellectuelle (1919–1946) (Paris: Sorbonne, 1999)Google Scholar ; Michael Riemens, ‘La Coopération Intellectuelle Multilatérale dans l'Entre-Deux-Guerres Vue des Pays-Bas’, in l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'Éducation, la Science et la Culture, 60 Ans d'Histoire de l'UNESCO. Actes du Colloque International, 16–18 Novembre 2005, Maison de L'UNESCO, Paris Projet Histoire de l'UNESCO (Paris: UNESCO, 2007), pp. 93–6; Riemens, Michael, ‘“Towards a League of Minds”. Intellectuele Samenwerking in het Kader van de Volkenbond’, in de Graaff, Bob and Hellema, Duco (eds), Instrumenten van Buitenlandse Politiek: Achtergronden en Praktijk van de Nederlandse Diplomatie (Instruments of Foreign Policy: Backgrounds and Practice of Dutch Diplomacy) (Amsterdam: Boom, 2007), pp. 8996Google Scholar .

19 League of Nations, Official Journal: Special Supplement, Nr. 21 (Geneva, 1924), p. 17Google Scholar . Emphasis added.

20 LNA, ICIC, Minutes of the Tenth Session [C.533.M.160.1928.XII.] (Geneva, 1928), p. 83.

21 France, Germany and Italy were each represented by a National Coordinating Committee, which constituted a connecting link between the institutions interested in political studies in those countries. Private institutions in Austria, Great Britain, Switzerland and the US had also sent delegates, and representatives of three international organisations were likewise present. In all, the following institutions were represented (grouped by countries arranged in alphabetical order of their French names): Deutsche Hochschule für Politik, Berlin; Institut für auswärtige Politik, Hamburg; Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, Berlin; Konsularakademie, Vienna; Institute of Politics, Williamstown; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, European Center, Paris; Facultés de Droit et des Lettres de l'Université de France, Paris; Ecole libre des Sciences politiques, Paris; Ecole des Hautes Etudes sociales, Paris; Ecole des Hautes Etudes commerciales, Paris; Royal Institute of International Affairs, London; London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London); Facoltà Scienze Politiche, Padua; Facoltà Scienze Politiche, Pavia; Facoltà Scienze Politiche, Perugia; Instituto Italiano di Diritto Internazionale, Rome; Academy of International Law, The Hague; Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales, Geneva; Geneva School of International Studies (Bureau d'études internationales). See: LNA, ICIC, Minutes of the Tenth Session, p. 88.

22 Wright, F. Chalmers (ed.), The International Studies Conference: Origins, Functions, Organisation (Paris: IIIC, 1937)Google Scholar .

23 Riemens, Passie voor Vrede, pp. 306–8.

24 At the Fifth Conference in 1932 at Milan Professor M. J. Bonn and Dr. Hugh Dalton acted as General Rapporteurs, while at the Sixth Conference in London 1933 the General Rapporteur was Dr. Arnold Wolfers. A synthesis of the documents prepared for the subject and a summary of the discussions later appeared as: IIIC, A Record of a First International Study Conference on the State and Economic Life with Special Reference to International Economic and Political Relations Held at Milan on May 23–27, 1932 (Paris, 1932) and IIIC, A Record of a Second Study Conference on the State and Economic Life Held in London from May 29 to June 2, 1933 (Paris, 1934).

25 Professor Maurice Bourquin was the General Rapporteur of the Seventh (Paris 1934) and Eighth (London 1935) International Studies Conferences. See: Maurice Bourquin (ed.), Collective Security. A Record of the Seventh and Eighth International Studies Conferences, Paris 1934 – London 1935 (Paris: IIIC, 1936).

26 At the Ninth (Madrid 1936) and Tenth (Paris 1937) Conferences Professor Bourquin was again the General Rapporteur. See: IICI, Peaceful Change: Procedures, Population, Raw Materials, Colonies: Proceedings of the Tenth International Studies Conference, Paris, June 28th – July 3rd, 1937 (Paris, 1938). In 1939 three additional surveys appeared: Wright, F. Chalmers (ed.), Peaceful Change: Population and Peace: A Survey of International Opinion on Claims for Relief from Population Pressure (Paris: IIIC, 1939)Google Scholar ; Moresco, E. (ed.), Peaceful Change: Colonial Questions and Peace: A Survey (Paris 1939)Google Scholar ; and Dennery, Etienne (ed.), Le Problème des Matières Premières: Le Problème des Changements Pacifiques dans les Relations Internationales (Paris: IICI, 1939)Google Scholar .

27 At the Eleventh (Prague 1938) and Twelfth (Bergen 1939) Conferences Professor J. B. Condliffe acted as General Rapporteur. There exist no official proceedings of these meetings. However, a summary of the discussions was published in the January 1940 number of the new journal Intellectual Cooperation Bulletin, which was the successor of the Bulletin de la Coopération Intellectuelle. When the Nazis closed the Paris IIIC in the summer of 1940, six numbers of the journal had appeared. The journal is not mentioned in Victor-Yves, and Ghebali, Catherine, A Repertoire of League of Nations Serial Documents 1919–1947 2 vols. (Dobbs Ferry NY.: Oceana Publications, 1973)Google Scholar .

28 In Bergen 1939 the following text was adopted by the ISC: ‘International Organisation. Its foundations and forms, its possibilities, its limitations, with special reference to conditions essential for successful, international cooperation – moral, spiritual, political, social, economic and juridical. The study of recent experience, which would necessarily have to be undertaken, should be conceived in such a manner as to provide a basis for enquiry into the conditions essential for international organisation.’ Subjects that were rejected were ‘The Organisation of International Cooperation – their possibilities and limitations in the light of recent experience’; ‘The Moral Aspect of International Relations’; and ‘Race as a Factor in the Building Up of a New World Order’. See: UNESCO, IIIC, file K.I.26, Conférence permanente des Hautes études internationales, 1940. L'Organisation internationale, du 1er février 1940 au 17 mai 1940.

29 IIIC, The State and Economic Life: Statement on Subjects Discussed at the Sixth International Studies Conference London, May 29 to June 2, 1933: The Most-Favoured-Nation Clause, the Open Door Policy, the Regulation of International Capital Movements, the Wheat Problem, Competitive Deflation of Costs, the Danger of Subsidising Inefficiency, International Consultative Machinery for Tariff Adjustments (Paris, 1933). Avenol managed to wriggle his way out by stating that the opinions expressed at the Conference did not receive the endorsement of the Paris Institute, of the Secretariat of the League of Nations, or of the League itself. See: LNA, FdS, S5B Intellectual Cooperation, R4007, file 4523 Confidential: Study of International Relations: Documents presented to and discussed at the Meeting in London 33 May–3 June 1933 of the Joint Committee of the Conference on International Studies and the Sub-Committee of Experts in the Instruction of Youth in the Aims of the League of Nations, F. P. Walters to M. Pilotti, 01/07/1933; H. R. Cummings to Avenol, 03/08/1933; Avenol to Bennett, 22/08/1933.

30 This information is based on UNESCO, IIIC, file K.I.3, Conférence permanente des Hautes études internationales. Généralités, 1929–1947.

31 Chalmers Wright, International Studies Conference, pp. 30–2, 90–2.

32 In 1937 the Österreichisches Koordinationskomite für Internationale Studien joined the ISC as a successor of the Konsularakademie, Vienna, which had been the Conference's direct Austrian member since 1929. Only a year later the Austrian Coordinating Committee had to terminate its membership because of the Anschluß, the incorporation of Austria into Nazi Germany.

33 The Berlin based Ausschuß für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten (President: Professor Otto Hoetzsch) represented the following institutions: Deutsche Hochschule für Politik, Berlin; Deutsches Institut für Zeitungskunde, Universität Berlin; Institut für Offentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, Berlin; Institut für Wirtschaftswissenschaft an der Universität Frankfurt a-M; Hamburgisches Weltwirtschaftsarchiv, Hamburg; Institut für Auswärtige Politik, Hamburg; Institut für Sozial- und Staatswissenschaften an der Universität Heidelberg; Institut für Weltwirtschaft und Seeverkehr, Kiel; Völkerrechtsinstitut der Universität Kiel. After Hitler's rise to power the Ausschuß terminated its membership in December 1933. Individual German scholars, however, continued to take part in some of the workings of the ISC.

34 In the British Coordinating Committee for International Studies (direct member since 1929) sat representatives of the Department of International Studies of the London School of Economics and Political Science; the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London; the Department of International Politics, University College of Wales; Montague Burton Chair of International Politics (Professor Alfred Zimmern), University of Oxford. Later the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, London, also joined. The Committee was first chaired by Sir W. Beveridge, later by Lord Meston.

35 Since 1929 the Council on Foreign Relations, New York, functioned as the direct American member of the ISC. In 1936 the American Coordinating Committee for International Studies became its successor. In that committee sat representatives of the following institutions and universities: American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations, New York; Foreign Policy Association, New York; Council on Foreign Relations, New York; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Stanford University, Stanford, California; Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey; Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Norman H. Davis was its first President. His successor was Edward Mead Earle.

36 After the war, membership rose to 44 countries: Long, ‘Who Killed’, p. 605.

37 Bourquin (ed.), Collective Security, pp. 144–49, 443–62. Ashworth, ‘Where are the Idealists’, p. 296 miscounts the number of the Italian realists.

38 Alfred Zimmern, Report on the University Teaching of International Relations Prepared for the Ninth International Studies Conference, Madrid, 1936 [K.47.1936], p. 3. For Zimmern see: Rich, Paul, ‘Alfred Zimmern's Cautious Idealism: The League of Nations, International Education, and the Commonwealth’, in Long, and Wilson, (eds), Thinkers of the Twenty-Years' Crisis, pp. 7999Google Scholar .

39 Ashworth, ‘Where are the Idealists’ gives several examples of the use of the terms idealism and realism in the inter war period.

40 LNA, ICIC, Minutes of the 17th Session [C.I.C.I./17th Session/P.V.9] (Geneva, 1935), p. 3.

41 LNA, ICIC, Minutes of the Twenty-First Plenary Session [C.I.C.I./21st Session/P.V.1–10.] (Geneva, 1939), pp. 4–5.

42 LNA, ICIC, Memorandum Concerning an Enquiry into the Various Activities of the Institutions for the Scientific Study of International Relations insofar as They Tend to Impart a Knowledge of the League of Nations [C. I. C. I./E.J./60].

43 League of Nations, Educational Survey, 3:1 (1932), pp. 106111Google Scholar .

44 LNA, FdS, S5C Youth Questions, R2275, file 24210, Activities of Institutions for the Scientific Study of International Relations. Enquiry 1931–1932. Correspondence with Institutions in Great Britain, G. C. Kullmann to Beveridge, 01/01/1932 and Beveridge to Kullmann, 28/01/1932.

45 Bailey, S. H., International Studies in Great Britain (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), p. 23Google Scholar .

46 In 1991, Olson and Groom called Bailey's survey ‘a landmark’ in British IR. See: Olson, William C. and Groom, A. J. R., International Relations Then and Now: Origins and Trends in Interpretation (London: HarperCollins, 1991), p. 82Google Scholar .

47 Riemens, Passie voor Vrede, p. 333.

48 Zimmern, Alfred (ed.), University Teaching of International Relations: A Record of the Eleventh Session of the International Studies Conference Prague 1938 (Paris: IIIC, 1939), pp. 1618Google Scholar .

49 Zimmern (ed.), University Teaching, pp. 332–3.

50 Bailey, S. H., International Studies in Modern Education (London etc: Oxford University Press, 1938)Google Scholar .

51 Bailey, International Studies in Modern Education, pp. 30–3. Olson and Groom consider Bailey as one of the leading figures in promoting systematic studies before the Second World War: Olson and Groom, International Relations Then and Now, p. 71.

52 UNESCO, IIIC, file K.I.26, Conférence permanente des Hautes études internationales, 1940. L'organisation internationale, du 1er février 1940 au 17 mai 1940, L. Gross to Miss M.E. Cleeve, 26/09/1939. For Potter see: Schmidt, Political Discourse of Anarchy, pp. 201–206 and 240.

53 The meeting was chaired by the President of the Executive Committee, Malcolm W. Davis, of the European Centre of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Paris. The American, Belgium, British, French, Hungarian, Mexican, Netherlands, Norwegian and Polish Coordinating Committees had all send representatives. Also represented were the Hague Academy of International Law, the IIIC and the Rockefeller Foundation. The General Rapporteur was also there.

54 UNESCO, IIIC, K.XIII.6.

55 UNESCO, IIIC, file K.I.26, Conférence permanente des Hautes études internationales 1940–1945, Communication of the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the ISC, 19/11/1941.

56 UNESCO, IIIC, file K.I.26, Conférence permanente des Hautes études internationales 1945, L'organisation international du 1er février 1945; Ibid., file K.XIV.12, International Studies Conference. Verbatim report of the XIIIth Administrative Session, December 16th and 17th, at the Centre D'Etudes de Politique Etrangère, Paris (Paris, 1947), pp. 6–15.

57 UNESCO, IIIC, file K.I.26, Mayoux to Davis, 27/03/1945; Davis to Mayoux, 31/03/1945; Edward Mead Earle to Mayoux, 04/05/1945; Mayoux to Davis, 08/10/1945.

58 Representatives of fourteen direct members of the Conference, including five members of the Executive Committee, were present. Riemens, Passie voor Vrede, p. 356.

59 Long, ‘Who Killed’.

18
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