HSAXO0505U HELGA. Shaping the Modern World. The League of Nations and its Legacy in International Law and Politics

Volume 2024/2025

Forskningsområde knyttet til 2. og 4. semesterkurser [2. og 6. semester for Græsk- og Latinstuderende] på Saxo-Instituttet.


HELGA. Shaping the Modern World. The League of Nations and its Legacy in International Law and Politics
This course aims to explore the historical and enduring political and legal legacy of the League of Nations. Formed as a pioneering intergovernmental organization in response to the devastating aftermath of World War I, the League set out on an audacious mission to promote global peace and international cooperation.

The League stood as a symbol of the initial, bold endeavor to forge a worldwide consortium committed to lofty ideals such as peace preservation, conflict resolution through collective security and disarmament, and the arbitration of international disputes via nuanced negotiation and the establishment of legal frameworks. It also bore the weighty responsibility of safeguarding minority rights and governing former colonies through the mandate system.

In its unprecedented journey, the League charted new territories in international governance and ethical oversight, making the exploration of its history crucial for understanding pivotal moments in early twentieth-century history that had a lasting impact. Serving as the precursor to the United Nations, delving into the League experience is indispensable for grasping the foundations of modern international global governance, law, and international relations.

This course offers an insight into the League's foundation, operational dynamics, achievements, and challenges. By studying these aspects, it provides an understanding of the critical junctures of the early twentieth century, tracing the League's lasting impact and fundamental contribution to shaping the framework of modern international politics and law.

Course Objectives
• Understand the geopolitical aftermath of World War I and the historical and ideological context that led to the formation of the League of Nations.
• Analyse the League's structure, including its key bodies such as the Assembly, the Council, and the Permanent Court of International Justice, and their functions within its broader aims, achievements, and shortcomings.
• Understand the political and legal innovations introduced by the League such as the mandate system and the minority petitioning system, and the advancement of international law and treaties, notably in the domains of human rights, decolonization, and the pursuit of self-determination. and their impact on world history, politics and international relations.
• Explore the political dynamics and challenges faced by the League, including its handling of major international crises and its attempts at disarmament and collective security.
• Assess the League's legacy in terms of its influence on subsequent international organizations, particularly the United Nations, and its lasting impact on contemporary international law, politics, diplomacy, and global governance.

Forskningsområde indgår som en integreret del af:
- Metode 2: dokumentation og analyse (Arkæologistuderende, 2. semester)
- Forhistorisk Arkæologisk metode 3: kritik og formidling  (Forhistorisk arkæologistuderende, 4.semester)
- Klassisk arkæologi: kulturmøde (Klassisk arkæologistuderende, 4. semester)
- Hverdagslivets kulturhistorie (Etnologistuderende, 2. semester)
- Kulturelle processer i Europa (Etnologistuderende, 4. semester)
- Græsk-romersk arkæologi og kunsthistorie (Græsk- og latinstuderende, 2. semester)
- Sprogkundskab (Græsk- og Latinstuderende, 6. semester)
Blanketnavn: HELGA, Forskningsområde, forår 2025

- Område 2 (Historiestuderende, 2. semester)
Blanketnavn: Historie, BA, 2.semester: Forskningsområde, forår 2025

- Globalhistorie (Historiestuderende, 4. semester)
Blanketnavn: Historie, BA, 4.semester: Forskningsområde, forår 2025
Se Historie, BA, lektionskatalog forår 2025.


- S. Pedersen: The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2015.
- H. A. Ikonomou & Karen Gram-Skjoldager: The League of Nations: Perspectives from the Present. Aarhus University Press, 2019.
- W. A. Schabas: Mandates, minorities, and the League of Nations. IN The International Legal Order's Colour Line: Racism, racial discrimination, and the making of international law (Online ed.). New York: Oxford Academic, 2023 [https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1093/​oso/​9780197744475.003.0003].

Seminar / lectures / exercises
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 88
  • Exam Preparation
  • 62
  • Total
  • 192
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Type of assessment details
Forskningsområdet is included as part of the overall exam.
Portfolio requirements for forskningsområde: Two Assignments of 3-4 Pages: Students must complete two assignments, each ranging from 3 to 4 pages, during the semester. The first assignment is due halfway through the course, while the second is due at the end of the course.
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