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Mighty nation states and fragile international body: the German-Polish minority policy of the League of Nations as an early experiment in global governance

Chloë Delcour (UGent)
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Abstract
Globalization scholars generally acknowledge the United Nations as a key transnational actor that helps to regulate the globalized world by means of an institutionalized network of norms and agreements. However, it is often forgotten that the United Nations’ successful development is fundamentally rooted in its historical predecessor: the League of Nations. Through a historical-sociological analysis of an extreme case study, namely the German-Polish minority policy of the League of Nations, we emphasize this early root of global governance and explore the early manifestations of a key issue in the contemporary globalization debate: the tension between global institutions and nation states. Our analysis reveals four key features that help to conceptualize this tension field: the broad actorhood of the nation state(1), with nationalism as a consequence thereof(2), and the League of Nation’s lack of repressive capacity(3) as an important incentive for decoupling(4). This historical-sociological case study shows that the world culture grants significant power to the nation states, which makes them crucial actors in the globalized world. Hence our framework contributes to the widely discussed debate about the global-national tension field and could also provide a steppingstone for examining current relations between nation states and the United Nations.
Keywords
German-Polish minority policy, League of Nations, World War I, tension field, global governance, nation states

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Chicago
Delcour, Chloë. 2012. “Mighty Nation States and Fragile International Body: The German-Polish Minority Policy of the League of Nations as an Early Experiment in Global Governance.” In Dag Van De Sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts.
APA
Delcour, C. (2012). Mighty nation states and fragile international body: the German-Polish minority policy of the League of Nations as an early experiment in global governance. Dag van de sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts. Presented at the Dag van de Sociologie (DVDS - 2012).
Vancouver
1.
Delcour C. Mighty nation states and fragile international body: the German-Polish minority policy of the League of Nations as an early experiment in global governance. Dag van de sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts. 2012.
MLA
Delcour, Chloë. “Mighty Nation States and Fragile International Body: The German-Polish Minority Policy of the League of Nations as an Early Experiment in Global Governance.” Dag Van De Sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts. 2012. Print.
@inproceedings{3008105,
  abstract     = {Globalization scholars generally acknowledge the United Nations as a key transnational actor that helps to regulate the globalized world by means of an institutionalized network of norms and agreements. However, it is often forgotten that the United Nations{\textquoteright} successful development is fundamentally rooted in its historical predecessor: the League of Nations. Through a historical-sociological analysis of an extreme case study, namely the German-Polish minority policy of the League of Nations, we emphasize this early root of global governance and explore the early manifestations of a key issue in the contemporary globalization debate: the tension between global institutions and nation states. Our analysis reveals four key features that help to conceptualize this tension field: the broad actorhood of the nation state(1), with nationalism as a consequence thereof(2), and the League of Nation{\textquoteright}s lack of repressive capacity(3) as an important incentive for decoupling(4). This historical-sociological case study shows that the world culture grants significant power to the nation states, which makes them crucial actors in the globalized world. Hence our framework contributes to the widely discussed debate about the global-national tension field and could also provide a steppingstone for examining current relations between nation states and the United Nations.},
  author       = {Delcour, Chlo{\"e}},
  booktitle    = {Dag van de sociologie (DVDS - 2012), Abstracts},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Utrecht, Nederland},
  pages        = {28},
  title        = {Mighty nation states and fragile international body: the German-Polish minority policy of the League of Nations as an early experiment in global governance},
  year         = {2012},
}