Ethics & International Affairs Volume 8 (1994): Articles: The League of Nations Experiment in International Protection [Abstract]

Dec 3, 1994

How does analysis of the incipient stages of the League of Nations help to evaluate today's vital issues such as nation building, ethnic tension, and human rights? The central issue here is the question, "Were rights for minorities the aggregate of rights guaranteed to individuals with the protected group, or was there a special category of collective rights to be exercised by the group as such?" Jones illustrates her essay with the treaties for minority protection by asking, "At what point did the preservation of distinctive modes of living (such as linguistic laws) enforce a permanent status quo?" Moreover, when did the cultural autonomy that was central to the minority treaties turn into "an invitation to disloyalty and even irridentism?" Jones's essay traces the development of international communities and examines how patterns of international cooperation emerged. Despite its short life and the nonexistence of either troops or strong authority, the League of Nations did manage to generate positive developments in the establishment of international protection.

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