Conference and Call for papers: Making and Breaking Global Order in the Twentieth Century

Making and Breaking Global Order in the Twentieth Century (14 – 15 October 2022)

Across the twentieth century, ideas about the global order have sparked a furious debate amongst scholars seeking to understand its power dynamics, structures, institutions, organisation and systems. The majority of the discussion has been centred around the role of states as critical to shaping the workings of the system of international relations and the horizon of peace and security. There has however been an inherent tendency to uphold conventional turning points such as the two World Wars, the Cold War and the North-South divide. We aim to go beyond these traditional understandings and rather focus on the institutions, nations, and often forgotten actors who were full participants alongside Great Powers in shaping the norms, systems and practices that make up global order. At the centre of our enquiry are the role of traditionally disenfranchised or marginalised actors of the Global South, including states, nations, transnational groups, regional organisations, trade union representatives, transnational corporations, activists, agitators and a host of other non-state actors. We also seek to probe the ways in which the different levels of global order interacted in organisations, especially the League of Nations and the United Nations and their associated agencies and systems. There has been a surge of recent scholarship dealing with the legacies and functions of these institutions of international order, and we wish to expand the actors, events, and narratives that play featured roles in the history of 20th century international institutional and organisational transformation.

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