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Sir Harold Nicolson and International RelationsThe Practitioner as Theorist$
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Derek Drinkwater

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273850

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199273855.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 April 2021

International Order

International Order

(p.61) 4 International Order
Sir Harold Nicolson and International Relations

Derek Drinkwater

Oxford University Press

Sir Harold Nicolson’s conception of international order, with its roots in ancient Greek and Roman political theory, was central to his ideas about international society. It encompassed the principal elements of foreign policy, the operation of the balance of power, and the role of international law in world affairs. More particularly, he focused on the effectiveness of collective security and the League of Nations during the inter-war period when Great Britain was moving from a period of imperium over her former colonies to one of dominion over emergent Commonwealth nation-states. He was by turns optimistic and pessimistic about the UN as an instrument for securing and maintaining international order. Nicolson’s experience as a diplomat also led him to attach great importance to national character and prestige as factors in foreign relations and diplomatic negotiation; they are rarely absent from his analyses of international affairs.

Keywords:   balance of power, collective security, foreign policy, international law, international order, international society, League of Nations, national character, prestige, UN

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