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Critical International LawPostrealism, Postcolonialism, and Transnationalism$
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Prabhakar Singh and Benoît Mayer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199450633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450633.001.0001

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The Rise and Fall of ‘International Man’

The Rise and Fall of ‘International Man’

Chapter:
(p.223) 9 The Rise and Fall of ‘International Man’
Source:
Critical International Law
Author(s):

Frédéric Mégret

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450633.003.0009

This chapter recounts the story of international bureaucracy and civil service focusing on the interwar period. The cadre of civil servants in the beginning was thought of being free from any national influences. This breed of internationalism, even as it presented itself as the most inclusive of concepts, excluded a deeper engagement with the world’s gendered, social and racialized diversity. Rather than an independent creature floating above the states, this chapter demonstrates how ‘international man’ underwent his own downfall as fascism began ascending. Joseph Avenol, the ‘antithesis’ of ‘international man’, eventually took control of the League of Nations. In reality, it concludes, ‘international man’ was nothing but human, for the most part he was a white French or British man from national elites, with his own political sensibilities.

Keywords:   international man, diplomacy, international civil service, internationalism, independence, League of Nations, interwar period

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