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.



The league of Nations health organization: Water, health and development in colonial Africa, 1925-40

This chapter uses water as a conceptual lens to examine how colonial and international health connected between 1925 and 1940, particularly in British-colonised Uganda and Sudan. It draws upon evidence from conferences sponsored in the 1920s and 1930s by the League of Nations Health Organization (LNHO) to illustrate the shift from an epidemic disease control focus in the 1920s to broader “social” conceptualisations of health in the 1930s. In light of contemporary developments within Uganda and Sudan, it argues that despite limited and uneven involvement on the African continent, the role of the “international” in formulating and shaping health agendas became more visible. Whilst colonial authorities succeeded in thwarting some LNHO attempts to coordinate health in Africa, it provided a unique forum for health debates. Reviewing conceptualisations of water in colonial and international health discussions aptly demonstrates the multiplicity of ideas that vied for attention in interwar medical policy. Guarding against transnational generalisations and questioning the use of the adjective “global” to describe the interwar period, this chapter also contributes to ongoing terminological and methodological debates.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error