Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Eugenics

Alison Bashford

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195373141
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Eugenics


The strong connection between eugenics and nationalism is now a clear interpretive strand in the historiography. This article discusses various studies of eugenics and emphasizes the international dimension. The long-standing historiographical interest in this aspect of eugenics stems partly from the availability of the proceedings of early international conferences. It also deals with the most ambitious consideration of eugenics and internationalism that involves consideration of apparently universal principles of evolution and inheritance for humanity as a whole. It also presents a close consideration of the role of eugenics in regulating and monitoring international human movement. Finally, it concludes that eugenics is fundamentally about the devastating implications of a science of human differentiation and needs to be understood through the modern history of universalism, internationalism, and cosmopolitanism.

Keywords: eugenics; nationalism; internationalism; cosmopolitanism; evolution

Article.  8643 words. 

Subjects: History ; International History

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