The League of Nations' Work on Social Issues

Visions, Endeavours and Experiments

image of The League of Nations' Work on Social Issues
This edited volume offers a fresh look into the history of the League of Nations. It uses the League of Nations' involvement in social issues as a unique prism for understanding the League's development, as well as the development of interwar international relations more generally. Off the beaten path of diplomatic history, this perspective allows the authors to trace less familiar actors and unexpected alliances. It enables contributors to reassess the League's impact on European societies, their colonial possessions, and non-European states. As such, it also marks a paradigm shift in the League's Eurocentric historiography toward one that acknowledges its global reach.



Negotiating “social progress”: German planters, African workers and mandate administrators in the British Cameroons (1925-1939)

Using the case of the plantation area in the British mandated territory of Cameroon, this chapter argues that the League of Nations’ social policy proposals for the mandates were not implemented in a top-down process as intended, but rather interpreted and negotiated between diffeent institutional and non-institutional actors on the ground. While the British mandate administration translated the League’s generic principles into regulations, Cameroonian archive sources document how managerial effots by German planters as well as the contribution of African workers have played a key role in determining regulatory outcomes. Studying the mandate system from its margins, the chapter reveals how actors excluded from formal positions in the mandate authority structure have in fact been instrumental in the actual implementation of its social policies.


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