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The Invention of International Bureaucracy

  • The League of Nations and the Creation of International Public Administration, c. 1920-1960

About

Over the last 100 years, the international political scene has become increasingly organized. More than 5000 international organisations now regulate global and regional political, economic and technical affairs. As a consequence international bureaucracy, i.e. international executive bodies that function autonomously from nation states and deal with international affairs, has become an important and increasingly contested feature of world politics.

Even so, the history of these non-elected executive bodies is underresearched. This project aims to shine a light on the roots of international bureaucracy and its particular institutional and socio-cultural characteristics by exploring the principles, practices and formative effects of the League of Nations Secretariat.  With theoretical inspiration from political sociology and based on extensive multiarchival research, the project will explore the institutional norms and practices of the League Secretariat and investigate its exchanges and connections with national diplomatic and bureaucratic structures, internationalist networks and institutions and subsequent international bureaucracies of the 20th century. 

Blog

2016.11.03 | Arts

Between Internationalism and National Socialism - Helmer Rosting in the League of Nations Secretariat

Blog entry by Karen Gram-Skjoldager (Associate Professor - Aarhus University)

2016.09.27 | Arts

L’esprit de Genève 2016 – Or: My First Meeting with the Archives of the United Nations Office of Geneva

Blog entry by Emil Eiby Seidenfaden (PhD Student - Aarhus University)

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Director of Research

Part of

  • The Research programme at the Department of History and Classical Studies

Funding

The project is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research Sapere Aude.