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E. H. Carr, Chatham House and Nationalism

Cox, Michael (2021) E. H. Carr, Chatham House and Nationalism. International Affairs, 97 (1). 219 - 228. ISSN 0020-5850

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ia/iiaa203


A great deal has been written about the intellectual sources of E. H. Carr's most famous book in International Relations, The twenty years’ crisis, published on the eve of the Second World War. However, very little attention has been paid to the contribution which Chatham House made to the book after having appointed Carr to chair a study group on ‘Nationalism’ in 1936. The volume which appeared three years later was not the most scintillating of studies, bearing as it did all the hallmarks of having been composed by a committee whose members held sharply differing views. On the other hand, the deep research that went into the volume (published in 1939 under the somewhat unimaginative title of Nationalism) contributed in significant ways—as Carr himself confessed at the time—to informing his ideas about the critical role played by nationalism and the nation-state in the crisis of the inter-war system. As this review essay shows, Carr's long journey towards rethinking world order began in Paris in 1919, as he grappled with the problem posed by nationalism in central and eastern Europe; continued through the 1930s with further work on the subject; and reached a resolution in his own work with the appearance of The twenty years’ crisis, followed in 1945 with the publication of his best-selling volume, Nationalism and after.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Date Deposited: 05 May 2022 15:27
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 17:10

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