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    The quiet death of the League of Nations, 1945-48

    Mumby, Victoria Jane (2022) The quiet death of the League of Nations, 1945-48. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This thesis examines the closure of the League of Nations between 1945 and 1948. Rendered obsolete following the Allies’ foundation of the United Nations Organisation, the League’s final years unfolded behind closed doors, but further scrutiny contradicts the assumption that this time was without consequence or impact. This thesis demonstrates that the League did not come to an end with its Final Assembly in April 1946, and instead suggests that this was when the closure process began, before the organisation slowly dissolved over the following two years. The liquidation took significantly longer than expected and was an uncharacteristically unstructured affair for an organisation known for its bureaucracy. This was the result of two factors: a lack of precedent for the closure of an intergovernmental organisation, and a presentism that sacrificed strategic dissolution planning in favour of a short-term, reactive approach. The League’s Secretariat and the oversight group for closure, the Board of Liquidation, are a central element in understanding why these two years unfolded as they did. This thesis takes an actor-focussed approach to examine proceedings from the eyes of those enacting dissolution, demonstrating the impact of their choices on the process and vice versa. It also reveals the high esteem in which their experience of international administration was held, as many moved into new positions in the secretariats of the League’s successors. The United Nations and the League were deeply entwined in Geneva in 1946-47, and the line between the end of one organisation and the start of the other is more distorted than previously thought. This thesis reveals how the League’s often painstaking closure not only provides new insights into that organisation’s history and the origins of the U.N., but also has a lasting impact on how we think about the end of international institutions.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Additional Information: Date of award confirmed as 2022 by registry
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 25 May 2022 15:48
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:35


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