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Parution : 11/2020
Editeur : Bloomsbury
ISBN : 978-1-3501-3457-7
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Organizing the 20th-Century World

International Organizations and the Emergence of International Public Administration, 1920-1960s

Sous la direction de Karen Gram-Skjoldager,  Haakon Andreas Ikonomou,  Torsten Kahlert

Présentation de l'éditeur

International Organizations play a pivotal role on the modern global stage and have done, this book argues, since the beginning of the 20th century. This volume offers the first historical exploration into the formative years of international public administrations, covering the birth of the League of Nations and the emergence of the second generation that still shape international politics today such as the UN, NATO and OECD. 

Centring on Europe, where the multilaterization of international relations played out more intensely in the mid-20th century than in other parts of the world, it demonstrates a broad range of historiographical and methodological approaches to institutions in international history. The book argues that after several 'turns' (cultural, linguistic, material, transnational), international history is now better equipped to restate its core questions of policy and power with a view to their institutional dimensions. Making use of new approaches in the field, this book develops an understanding of the specific powers and roles of IO-administrations by delving into their institutional make-up. 

“Just like the meaning of a word is its use in a language, the meaning of an International Organisation is its work in governance. In order to understand this highly productive social form, we need to understand how the employees work and how that work interacts with political life overall. This is exactly what this path-breaking volume helps us with. A triumph of inductive scholarship.” –  Iver B. Neumann, Director of Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway

“At a time when international organizations are bearing the brunt of anti-globalization, this collection is a much needed reminder of the complex of public service goals that sit at the heart of the history of the international order, as we know it.” –  Glenda Sluga, Professor of International History, European University Institute, Italy, and ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow, The University of Sydney, Australia

Organizing the 20th Century World is an outstanding work of scholarship. Gram-Skjoldager, Ikonomou, and Kahlert have gathered a collection of ground-breaking essays on the emergence of international administration. International historians have been waiting for a book like this for a long time” –  Daniel Gorman, Professor of History, University of Waterloo, Canada



Chapter 1: Introduction, Karen Gram-Skjoldager, Aarhus University, Denmark and Haakon A. Ikonomou, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Torsten Kahlert, and University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Part I: Populating Administrations

Chapter 2 Biographies and International Administrations in the 19th and 20th Century Bob Reinalda, Radboud University, The Netherlands.

Chapter 3 The Biography as Institutional Can-Opener: An Investigation of Core Bureaucratic Practices in the Early Years of the League of Nations Secretariat
Haakon A. Ikonomou, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Chapter 4 Prosopography – Unlocking the Social World of International Organizations
Torsten Kahlert, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Part II: Learning and Norms

Chapter 5: The Influence of the United States on the Rise of Global Governance in
Education: The OEEC and UNESCO in the Post-World War II Period,
Maren Elfert, King's College London, UK & Christian Ydesen, Aalborg University, Denmark.

Chapter 6: Learning Across Institutions – the Officials of the ECSC High Authority and EEC Commission, Katja Seidel, University of Westminster, UK 

Chapter 7: Food and Nutrition – Expertise Across International Epistemic Communities and Organizations, 1919-1960, Amy Sayward, Middle Tennessee State University, USA.

Part III: Legitimacy and Legimization

Chapter 8: Legitimizing International Bureaucracy – Press and Information Work from the League of Nations to the UN, Emil Seidenfaden, Aarhus University, Denmark

Chapter 9: The Avant-Garde of the League: The International Federation of League of Nations Societies and their Part in Governing the World, Anne Isabel Richard, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Chapter 10 An Uneasy Relationship – German Diplomats and Bureaucrats in the League of Nations, Michael Jonas, Helmut Schmidt Universität, Germany

Part IV: Leadership and Administration

Chapter 11: Secretaries-General and Crisis Management – Trygve Lie and the UN, Ellen Ravndal, University of Stavanger, Norway.

Chapter 12: Leadership Styles and Organizing Principles in NATO: Ismay, Spaak and Wörner, Linda Risso, Institute of Historical Research/School of Advanced Studies, UK

Chapter 13: The Making of International Civil Servants c. 1920-1960 – Establishing the Profession, Karen Gram-Skjoldager, University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Haakon A. Ikonomou, Aarhus University, Denmark

Histories of Internationalism , 336 pages.  £59.50

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