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The League of Nations and minorities: pertinence of actors and practices

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Based on the speaker’s project, Rethinking Minorities. Citizenship and Identity at the League of Nations (LoN), this presentation includes a discussion of methodology, namely the analysis of international actors and their practices regarding minorities. The main objective is to see how such an analysis can help to better understand the international treatment, and perception, of minorities during the interwar period and beyond. The presentation will consider the innovative nature of the LoN (1919-1946), notably as regards its role in the special case of an international system of minority protection, with emphasis on the need for an interdisciplinary approach. This encompasses both the individual and social aspects of actors, and the research possibilities offered by the “practice perspective” (i.e. the analysis of actor interactions, micro-decisions, productions…). Recent work along these lines, on members of the LoN Minorities Section, will be used to illustrate both the project and its methods, mainly based on LoN archives.