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Women, wars, and world affairs: Recovering feminist International Relations, 1915–39

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 October 2017

Jan Stöckmann*
Affiliation:
Doctoral Candidate, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
*
*Correspondence to: Jan Stöckmann, New College, Oxford, Holywell Street, Oxford, OX1 3BN. Author’s email: jan.stoeckmann@new.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

The academic study of International Relations (IR) emerged in the context of transnational networks of scholars, diplomats, politicians, and activists. Contrary to conventional wisdom, women belonged to these networks in various capacities and, crucially, contributed to the intellectual formation of the discipline. Whether as members of pressure groups, such as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), as independent authors or academics, they discussed all major issues of IR. Drawing on a range of international authors – including Anna B. Eckstein, Agnes Headlam-Morley, Lucy Mair, Margery Perham, Helena Swanwick, and Louise Weiss – this article recovers the intellectual substance of their work, arguing that it constitutes a genuinely feminist approach to IR. Early feminist IR authors emphasised the interests of women, children, and other marginalised groups, they demanded female representation in government and diplomacy, they condemned imperialism and racism, opposed military capitalism, employed religious, emotional, and universalist rhetoric, and advocated the role of education. Despite widespread male domination, women taught at universities, published in academic journals, spoke at conferences, and organised international summer schools. This article explores the origins of feminist IR scholarship and contextualises this body of thought within the revisionist history of IR.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© British International Studies Association 2017 

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References

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33 OeStA, Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Sonderbestände, Archiv der Konsularakademie, Box 41, Direktion der Konsularakademie to Hella Krause, 5 May 1931. All translations are my own unless otherwise noted.

34 International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation, Peaceful Change: Procedures, Population, Raw Materials, Colonies: Proceedings of the Tenth International Studies Conference (Paris, 1938), pp. 13, 41, emphases added. Among the female participants were Margot Hentze, Margaret Anne Bryant, Vera Micheles Dean, Mrs M. Musico, Syndor H. Walker, Mrs Hobart Young, and Lucie Zimmern.

35 Bussey, Gertrude and Tims, Margaret, Pioneers for Peace: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom 1915–1965 (London, 1980 Google Scholar [orig. pub. 1965]), p. 20.

36 OeStA, Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Sonderbestände, Archiv der Konsularakademie, Box 37, E. T., ‘Frauen an der Konsularakademie’, Neues Wiener Journal, 7 April 1927.

37 Quoted in Dagmar Wernitznig, ‘Out of her time? Rosika Schwimmer’s transnational activism after the First World War’, Women’s History Review (online, 2016), p. 1.

38 Ashworth, ‘Feminism, war and the prospect of international government’, Limerick Papers in Politics and Public Administration, pp. 34 Google Scholar.

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40 Swanwick, Helena, I Have Been Young (London, 1935), p. 385 Google Scholar.

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42 League of Nations Archives, Geneva (hereafter LNA/G), Dossier 7759, Box R1008, Report of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) Conference, Paris, 18 July 1922, report dated 31 July 1922.

43 Ibid.

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46 Dagmar Wernitznig, ‘No Documents, No History: A Political Biography of Rosika Schwimmer (1877–1948)’, DPhil. thesis, Oxford, 2015), p. 147.

47 See, for example, Bryant, Margaret, ‘Review: Refugees, Anarchy or Organisation, by Dorothy Thompson’, International Affairs, 18:1 (1939)Google Scholar; Alfred Zimmern, Bodleian Library, Oxford (hereafter BL/O), Box 89, Alfred Zimmern MSS, Jane Addams, ‘The Immigration Problem in the United States’, list of lectures, 12 July–5 September 1926.

48 RGIIS, Geneva, HEI 149/1–6, Seminar attendance sheet, Maurice Bourquin, 1929–43; and Detlef Lehnert, ‘“Schule der Demokratie” oder “politische Fachhochschule”?: Anspruch und Wirklichkeit einer praxisorientierten Ausbildung der Deutschen Hochschule für Politik, 1920–1933’, in Gerhard Göhler and Bodo Zeuner, Kontinuitäten und Brüche in der deutschen Politikwissenschaft (Baden-Baden, 1991), p. 87.

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50 WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 13.

51 Among the men were the British IR specialist William Arnold-Forster, and Swedish flight engineer Tord Ångström who had served on the League’s study commission on international aviation. Similarly, a 1927 conference by the ICW was attended by Salvador de Madariaga, Alfred Zimmern, and Arthur Salter. See, WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF; and LNA/G, Dossier 43088, Box R1022, Final Program for the Meetings of the Executive and Standing Committees of the ICW, 7–17 June 1927.

52 WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 7.

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61 See, for example, Mair, Lucy, ‘Colonial policy and peaceful change’, in C. A. W. Manning (ed.), Peaceful Change: An International Problem (London, 1937)Google Scholar; and Mair, Lucy, ‘Primitive land tenure’, in Reginald Coupland and Perham, Margery, Oxford University Summer School on Colonial Administration ( Oxford, 1937).

62 See, for example, BL/O, File 1, Box 22, Margery Perham MSS, Lugard to Perham, 12 March 1932.

63 Coupland and Perham, Oxford University Summer School on Colonial Administration.

64 St Hugh’s College, Agnes Headlam-Morley Staff File (hereafter SHC AHMSF) SHG/S/2/2/11/4, Oxford Arnold Toynbee to Barbara Gwyer, 20 June 1930. A second testimonial was written by Alfred Zimmern. See SHC AHMSF SHG/S/2/2/11/4, Alfred Zimmern to St Hugh’s, 23 June 1930.

65 SHC AHMSF SHG/S/2/2/11/4, Barbara Gwyer to Headlam-Morley, 26 September 1931.

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67 RGIIS, uncatalogued, William Rappard to Alfred Zimmern, 4 March 1932, commenting on Lucie Zimmern’s Must the League Fail? (1932). For another example, see Raymond Leslie Buell quoting Helena Swanwick in Buell, International Relations (rev. edn, New York, 1932), p. 820.

68 Peace and Disarmament Committee of the Women’s International Organisations Collected Records, Peace Collection, Swarthmore College, CDG-B Switzerland, information leaflet, dated 1938: ‘Reader, What are you Doing for Peace?’.

69 BL/O, Box 232, Gilbert Murray MSS, Lord Cecil to Gilbert Murray, 27 April 1938.

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75 Hentze, Margot, ‘Australia and Oriental immigration, 1900–1934’, in I. Clunies Ross (ed.), Australia and the Far East: Diplomatic and Trade Relations (Sydney, 1935)Google Scholar; Miner, Maude E., Slavery of Prostitution: A Plea for Emancipation (New York, 1916); Swanwick and Arnold-Forster, Sanctions of the League of Nations Covenant.

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77 Specifically, (i) suppress traffic in women and children; (ii) trace and liberate women and children who have been torn from their families in Asia Minor and elsewhere; and (iii) ensure that the rights of women and children are also respected in the mandates. See LNA/G, Dossier 9176, Box R1008, Emily Balch to President of League of Nations Assembly, 9 December 1920.

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79 WILPF, Chemical Warfare (London, 1930).

80 LNA/G, Dossier 10659, Box R2182, International Council of Women to League of Nations, September 1930; LNA/G, Dossier 43088, Box R1022, Hélène Romniciano to Eric Drummond, 12 September 1927.

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87 Olive Schreiner, quoted in Ogden, Militarism versus Feminism, p. 59.

88 LNA/G, Dossier 21115, Box R2184, President’s Opening Address, Vienna, 2 September 1930.

89 Swanwick, in WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 65.

90 LSEA/L WILPF/20/5, Folder 2, Frida Perlen, in Report of the International Congress of Women, p. 80, Zurich, 12–17 May 1919.

91 Swanwick and Arnold-Forster, Sanctions of the League of Nations Covenant, p. 25.

92 OeStA, Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Sonderbestände, Archiv der Konsularakademie, Box 37, E. T., ‘Frauen an der Konsularakademie’, Neues Wiener Journal, 7 April 1927.

93 OeStA, Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Sonderbestände, Archiv der Konsularakademie, Box 39, Gisela Urban, ‘Die Frauen und der Auslandsdienst’, Neues Wiener Journal, 2 November 1929.

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105 Davy, ‘Pacifist thought and gender ideology’, p. 38.

106 BL/O, Box 145, Albert Zimmern MSS, Oxford Lecture Notes, by Alfred Zimmern, Hilary Term 1939.

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110 Marie Johnson, in ibid., p. 54.

111 Addams, in ibid., pp. 63–4.

112 Ethel M. N. Williams, in ibid., p. 49.

113 Mair, ‘Colonial policy and peaceful change’, p. 88.

114 Freda White, in ‘Germany and the Rhineland II’, International Affairs, 15:6 (1936), p. 40.

115 Baer, in WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 10.

116 Robert Vitalis has recently shown that in the US, no white IR scholar wrote in favour of self-governance or independence during that time. Vitalis, Robert, White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations (Ithaca, NY, 2015), p. 11 Google Scholar.

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118 BL/O, Box 230, Margery Perham, ‘African criticisms of International Relations’, given to the West African Student Union (WASU), London 17 March 1936.

119 Nadja Surowzowa, in WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 50.

120 LNA/G, Dossier 21115, Box R2184, Amendment to ICWG’s statutes, c. 1930.

121 Andrée Jouve et al., in WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 64.

122 Emily G. Balch, in ibid., p. 72.

123 Marcelle Cape, in ibid., p. 70.

124 LSEA/L WILPF/2/1, Women’s International League (British Section), First Yearly Report: October 1915–October 1916.

125 Yella Hertzka, in WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 77.

126 The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, United States Section, Peace Collection, Swarthmore College, Amendment to Constitution, 1934, Series A.1.1.

127 Gabrielle Duchêne, in WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 11.

128 Grete Stoffel, in ibid., p. 74.

129 Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, in ibid., p. 74.

130 Haslam, Beryl, From Suffrage to Internationalism: The Political Evolution of Three British Feminists, 1908–1939 (New York, 1999)Google Scholar

; Ashworth, A History of International Thought, p. 126.

131 Vernon Lee, ‘The democratic principle and international relations’, in Dickinson and Buxton (ed.), Towards a Lasting Settlement, p. 212.

132 Hills, Foreign Policy and the People.

133 Ibid., p. 2.

134 Peace Collection, Swarthmore College, CDG-B Germany, Box 2, Anna B. Eckstein MSS, Anna B. Eckstein, Circular Letter and Petition, 28 April 1911.

135 LSEA/L WILPF/20/5, Folder 1, WILPF, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915–1938: A Venture in Internationalism (Geneva, 1938), p. 6.

136 Cornelia Ramondt-Hirschmann, in WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 73.

137 ICW, Women in a Changing World, p. 45.

138 LNA/G, Dossier 14297, Box R1029, L. de Alberti to Nitobe Inazō, 20 June 1922.

139 LNA/G, Dossier 43088, Box R1022, President’s Memorandum Regarding the Business Transacted by the ICW Executive held at Geneva, 7–17 June 1927; and LNA/G, Dossier 43088, Box R1022, Hélène Romniciano to Eric Drummond, 12 September 1927.

140 LNA/G, Dossier 19441, Box R4062, Thora Daugaard to Joseph Avenol, 16 August 1935.

141 Ogden, Militarism versus Feminism, p. 4.

142 LSEA/L WILPF/2009/15/6/2, Helena Swanwick, ‘Democracy and the League of Nations’, in WILPF, Towards Peace and Freedom (August 1919).

143 LSEA/L WILPF/20/5, Eleanor M. Moore, in Report of the International Congress of Women, Zurich, 12–17 May 1919.

144 LNA/G, Dossier 43088, Box R1022, President’s Memorandum Regarding the Business Transacted by the ICW Executive held at Geneva, 7–17 June 1927.

145 LSEA/L WILPF/20/5, Folder 2, WILPF, Report of the International Congress of Women (Zurich, 1919), p. 71.

146 Waterworth, in WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 90.

147 LNA/G, Dossier 10659, Box R2182, Brochure, 2 June 1930.

148 Matheson, Hilda, ‘Broadcasting among backward people’, in Coupland and Perham, Oxford University Summer School on Colonial Administration, pp. 4952 Google Scholar.

149 Eugenie M. Meller, in WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 15; and Hiro Ohashi, in ibid., p. 17.

150 LSEA/L WILPF/20/5, Folder 2, Lucia Ames Mead, in Report of the International Congress of Women, Zurich, 12–17 May 1919, pp. 80, 130, 175.

151 WILPF, Report of the Fourth Congress of the WILPF, p. 138.

152 Balch, in ibid., p. 8.

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Women, wars, and world affairs: Recovering feminist International Relations, 1915–39
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Women, wars, and world affairs: Recovering feminist International Relations, 1915–39
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Women, wars, and world affairs: Recovering feminist International Relations, 1915–39
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