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International arbitration, the pacific settlement of disputes and the French security-disarmament dilemma (1919-1931)

Webster, A. (2010) International arbitration, the pacific settlement of disputes and the French security-disarmament dilemma (1919-1931). French History, 24 (2). pp. 236-261.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fh/crq029
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Abstract

International arbitration played an ambiguous role in French planning over national security during the years following the First World War, as policymakers faced the challenge of dealing with the powerful post-war movement in favour of international disarmament. It was a French-driven initiative in 1924 that accorded arbitration a central role as a means to ensure the pacific settlement of international disputes, yet policymakers in Paris remained for the most part convinced that arbitration on its own could never be certain enough to safeguard France. Though they would continue to support the cause of arbitration into the early 1930s, as a means to expand the powers available to the League Council, they rejected the idea that disarmament could follow from a mere increase of confidence or an ethos of goodwill. Disarmament could only follow from concrete measures to underpin security, namely commitments of military assistance against unprovoked aggression. These could be organized through the League or bilaterally, but they could not be substituted for by arbitration.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © The Author 2010
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3583
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