Conclusion: democratising foreign policy between the wars

Helen McCarthy

in The British People and the League of Nations

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780719086168
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702659 | DOI:
Conclusion: democratising foreign policy between the wars

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This chapter evaluates how far the League movement realised its dream of a ‘democratised’ foreign policy between the wars, and addresses its fortunes after 1945, when the League of Nations Union (LNU) was reborn as the United Nations Association and found itself confronted with a dramatically altered world-order. The LNU never fully resolved the tension between intellectualism and emotionalism in political life. The risks to the LNU of abandoning its non-party status appear obvious. The LNU's civic strategy became an exercise in the bolting on of liberal-internationalist ideas to pre-existing loyalties and identities. The LNU did not generate the sort of ‘lifestyle’ or ‘identity’ politics associated with later social movements. The movement remained a centrist force in British politics and society, preserving a place for liberal-internationalist values in post-war associational life, albeit on a far less remarkable scale than in earlier times.

Keywords: foreign policy; wars; League of Nations Union; intellectualism; emotionalism; British politics; social movements; liberal-internationalist values

Chapter.  6479 words. 

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