History and Theory of International Relations

Article

The Dunkirk Diplomat

Author: Benn Steil
History Today

Benn Steil's article in the June 2013 edition of History Today takes a critical look at John Maynard Keynes's performance as a diplomat during World War II, concluding that Britain had made a mistake sending him to Washington. His temperament and overinvestment in his personal legacy resulted in Britain paying a high political and economic price for American financial assistance.

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What is the effect of U.S. domestic political gridlock on international relations?

Asked by Joe Boutte, from United States

There is a well-known adage that politics stops at the water's edge, but this tends to be more hope than reality. American history is filled with examples in which political disagreement at home has made it difficult for the United States to act, much less lead, abroad.

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See more in United States; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures; History and Theory of International Relations

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Why did the United States fail to join the League of Nations?

Asked by Adepoju Adeola Praise, from Eastern Mediterranean University

The League of Nations was championed by President Woodrow Wilson in a fourteen-point speech to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918, and formally began its operations in January 1920. However, the League failed to win Senate approval and is forever remembered as a major example of a communications breakdown between the president and the Senate.

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Foreign Affairs Article

Bolívar's Botched Bequest

Author: Ilan Stavans

The Venezuelan revolutionary Simon Bolívar has a remarkably elastic legacy. Ever since his death in 1830, Latin American politicians across the political spectrum have claimed to be his rightful heir. What Bolívar left behind, it turns out, was less a coherent set of ideas than an abstract vision of Latin American unity -- a vision that remains impossible today.

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