Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Internationalism as an organisational practice : the League of Nations Secretary-General, 1918-1946
Author: De Moraes Guarini, Marco
ISNI:       0000 0004 9356 578X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis analyses the development of the League of Nations secretary-generalship as an independent office through the perspective of internationalism, making two key arguments. First, that the secretary-generalship is unjustly overlooked in International Relations: it was crucial for international organisational development, leading (and to a considerable extent creating) the first international civil service, meant to represent the international organisation rather than states. Second, that analysing that office through internationalism, a concept regarding which scholarship often overlooks practice in favour of intellectual history, enriches our understanding of the office and international organisation. It grounds internationalism in organisational practice, analysing it in three dimensions; practice itself (how secretaries-general sought to shape their office through bureaucratic and diplomatic precedents); politics (how that practice related to political strategies); and authority (how they sought to legitimise their practices and politics by mediating between law and power). The thesis draws on primary and secondary research, bringing into International Relations historical scholarship insights about the nature and multiplicity of internationalisms, charting the practice of the League’s secretary-generalship from its creation in 1918-1919, through the administrations of its secretaries-general (Eric Drummond (1919-1933), Joseph Avenol (1933-1940), and Sean Lester (1940-1946)), to the transfer of its duties to the UN in 1945-1946. It analyses each official’s practice, politics, and how they perceived their office’s claim to authority in different ways, representing distinct internationalisms. This shows that, contrary to traditional narratives, the secretary-generalship was an independent, innovative, and precedent-setting institution. Studying it through the lens of internationalism reveals the interwar period as a time of tension not between nationalism and internationalism, but between competing internationalisms. Analysing how these internationalisms inter-related through practice within an institution contributes to our understanding of diplomatic practice as a constitutive process of international development, and of the multiplicity of internationalisms animating international relations, historically and today.
Supervisor: Keene, Edward ; Hurrell, Andrew Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council ; Department of Politics and International Relations ; University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Diplomatic History ; Interwar Diplomacy ; Executive Leadership ; International History ; International Organisations ; League of Nations ; International Law ; United Nations