The International Theory Of Leonard Woolf

Overview

Colonial civil servant, Fabian socialist, and eminence grise of the Bloomsbury circle, Leonard Woolf, was one of the most prolific writers on international relations of the early-mid twentieth century. His report for the Fabian Society, International Government, was influential in the creation of the League of Nations. He was a co-founder of the popular pressure group, the League of Nations Society. He was a leading critic of Empire. He helped to educate the British Labour Party on global issues, constructing, in...

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The International Theory Of Leonard Woolf

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Overview

Colonial civil servant, Fabian socialist, and eminence grise of the Bloomsbury circle, Leonard Woolf, was one of the most prolific writers on international relations of the early-mid twentieth century. His report for the Fabian Society, International Government, was influential in the creation of the League of Nations. He was a co-founder of the popular pressure group, the League of Nations Society. He was a leading critic of Empire. He helped to educate the British Labour Party on global issues, constructing, in 1929, its first credible foreign policy. With his wife, Virginia, he founded the celebrated Hogarth press. He pioneered "functionalist" and " transnationalist" theory. He pioneered documentary journalism. He wrote towards the end of his long life one of the most insightful autobiographies of the twentieth century.

This book examines the thought of this fascinating and relatively unknown political thinker. It thoroughly reassesses his ideas, for decades condemned as 'utopian,' in the context of the much more fluid international scene of the twenty-first century. In particular, it asks whether his ideas about international government gained new pertinency in the post Cold War century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Leonard Woolf was a major thinker and writer on international relations during the first half of the twentieth century. As an eloquent exponent of internationalism -- international organization, economic interdependence, anti-imperialism -- he was strongly critical of, and was in turn ridiculed by, "realist" thinkers such as E. H. Carr. The Woolf-Carr controversy resonates today, as does Woolf's ceaseless advocacy of international cooperation over and above a preoccupation with the allegedly immutable power politics or national interests that he believed inevitably led to conflict and war. He produced many of the visions that generations have inherited in order to bring the world a little closer to peace and interdependence. His ideas deserve serious study, and there is no better guide to them than Peter Wilson's careful and thorough analysis offered in this book. -- Akira Iriye, Department of History, Harvard University

"In this book, Peter Wilson performs a signal service for those interested in international political thought, in the history of ideas and in the trajectory and fate of some of the central ideas of the twentieth century. His meticulous scholarship shows both how important Woolf was in a number of central areas of British life and thought and how much he still repays reading if we want to understand central debates in twentieth century international relations. And at a time when debates about the fate of liberal internationalism are again centre stage, Wilson's masterly account of Woolf's version of that project teaches us much. A superb study." -- Nicholas Rengger, Professor of Political Theory and International Relations, University of St Andrews.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peter Wilson is Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is co-author of The Economic Factor in International Relations: A Brief Introduction (I.B.Tauris, 2001).

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Table of Contents

Leonard Woolf: Influences, Achievements, and Reputation
• Fabian Internationalism and Idealism
• International Government: An Exposition
• International Government: An Analysis and Assessment
• Imperialism: An Exposition
• Imperialism: An Analysis and Assessment
• International Economic Policy
• The Challenge of Carr
• Woolf in the Zoo of Contemporary International Theory

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