Roundtable 9-2 on Diplomacy’s Value: Creating Security in 1920’s Europe and the Contemporary Middle East

Diplomacy's Value coverIt seems obvious that an understanding of the nature and value of diplomacy should be of central importance to the study of international relations. However, as Brian Rathbun argues in his important new book, the sad reality is that international relations theorists have devoted little time or attention to systematically exploring the value of diplomacy. In his view, the main reason for this lack of emphasis on diplomacy can be explained by the discipline’s traditional focus on structural elements of the international system, such as anarchy and the distribution of power. Drawing on psychological theories of motivation and negotiation, Diplomacy’s Value offers important arguments about why leaders adopt various negotiating styles and how these styles facilitate or impair the negotiation of international agreements. These arguments are then applied to two of the more fascinating examples of twentieth-century international diplomacy: the Locarno era negotiations of the 1920’s and the Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy of the 1990’s.

H-Diplo | ISSF Roundtable, Volume XI, No. 2 (2016)

H-Diplo/ISSF Editors:  James McAllister and Diane Labrosse
H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable and Web/Production Editor:  George Fujii
Commissioned by James McAllister

Brian Rathbun.  Diplomacy’s Value:  Creating Security in 1920’s Europe and the Contemporary Middle East.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014.  ISBN:  978-0-8014-5318-2 (hardcover, $79.95); 978-0-8014-7990-8 (paperback, $29.95).

Published on 30 September 2016


Introduction by James McAllister, Williams College

It seems obvious that an understanding of the nature and value of diplomacy should be of central importance to the study of international relations. However, as Brian Rathbun argues in his important new book, the sad reality is that international relations theorists have devoted little time or attention to systematically exploring the value of diplomacy. In his view, the main reason for this lack of emphasis on diplomacy can be explained by the discipline’s traditional focus on structural elements of the international system, such as anarchy and the distribution of power. Drawing on psychological theories of motivation and negotiation, Diplomacy’s Value offers important arguments about why leaders adopt various negotiating styles and how these styles facilitate or impair the negotiation of international agreements. These arguments are then applied to two of the more fascinating examples of twentieth-century international diplomacy: the Locarno era negotiations of the 1920’s and the Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy of the 1990’s.

There is a sharp divide among the three reviewers of Diplomacy’s Value. The two political science reviewers, Stacie Goddard and Rose McDermott, are very enthusiastic in their praise for Rathbun’s contribution. Goddard argues that the book is an “outstanding contribution” and one that should become “a model for historically inclined scholars of international politics.” McDermott is even more effusive in her praise: “This book constitutes something rare in political science: a genuine contribution to an important problem…What is particularly noteworthy about Rathbun’s achievement is that he has developed a genuine theory of diplomacy where none existed before.” While both McDermott and Goddard raise a few questions about certain aspects of the argument put forward in Diplomacy’s Value, there is no doubt that both view it as a real advance in furthering the study of diplomacy.

One could be forgiven for thinking that Brian McKercher must be reviewing a different book. In McKercher’s view, Rathbun’s theory is “deeply flawed” and “fails the test” in explaining the nature of European diplomacy in the 1920’s.  It is easy to dismiss the differences in reviews as merely a predictable disagreement between historians and political scientists, but I hope the participants and other interested scholars reflect more deeply on the fundamental question raised by Rathbun in his response to McKercher: Can theoretically-driven social scientists that care about history and engage in serious archival research ever find common ground with historians?

H-Diplo/ISSF thanks Professor Rathbun and all the reviewers for contributing to this important debate that will be of great interest to both political scientists and historians.


Brian Rathbun is an Associate Professor at the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. He is the author of three books — Partisan Interventions: European Party Politics and Peace Enforcement in the Balkans (Cornell University Press, 2004), Trust in International Cooperation: Domestic Politics and American Multilateralism (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and Diplomacy’s Value: Creating Security in 1920s Europe and the Contemporary Middle East (Cornell University Press, 2014) — as well as articles in International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, European Journal of International Relations, Security Studies and the Journal of Politics among others. He is currently completing a new manuscript entitled Reason of State: Rationality, Realism and Romanticism in International Relations.

Stacie Goddard is the Jane Bishop ‘51 Associate Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College. Her research explores issues of identity, legitimacy, and conflict in international relations.  Her articles have appeared in such journals as International Organization, International Security, Security Studies, International Theory, and the European Journal of International Relations.  Her book, Indivisible Territory and the Politics of Legitimacy: Jerusalem and Northern Ireland, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010.

Rose McDermott is the David and Mariana Fisher University Professor of International Relations at Brown University and a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She received her Ph.D. (Political Science) and M.A. (Experimental Social Psychology) from Stanford University and has taught at Cornell, UCSB and Harvard.   She has held numerous fellowships, including the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and the Women and Public Policy Program, all at Harvard University. She was also a fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences. She is the author of three books, a co-editor of two additional volumes, and author of over a hundred academic articles across a wide variety of disciplines encompassing topics such as experimentation, emotion and decision making, and the biological and genetic bases of political behavior.

Brian McKercher is Professor of International History at the University of Victoria and editor of Diplomacy and Statecraft.  He did his PhD with Professor Donald Cameron Watt at the London School of Economics and has written widely on interwar British foreign policy, especially its American and German dimensions. He is presently completing a study entitled “Crown of Thorns:  British Foreign Policy and Its Makers, 1919-1939.”


Review by Stacie E. Goddard, Wellesley College

International relations scholarship has recently witnessed a resurgence in the study of international diplomacy.[1] Brian Rathbun’s book is an outstanding contribution to this ongoing effort to bring the study of diplomacy back to the core of international relations.  Rathbun’s aims in this work are both to explain why leaders adopt different diplomatic styles, ranging from coercive statecraft to more cooperative dialogue—as well as to show how variations in these diplomatic styles ultimately create or destroy space for peaceful negotiation in world politics.

On the one hand, Rathbun argues that the choice of diplomatic styles is deeply rooted in an individual’s psychological disposition. “Proself” diplomats are leaders who seek only to fulfill their self-interest (5). At times, proself leaders are pragmatic: they have an epistemic worldview that allows them to accommodate others’ interests at the bargaining table.  Other proselfs are narrow-minded egoists, determined to wrest gains, even at the expense of a settlement.  At the bargaining table, these actors tend to be competitive, can be manipulative and secretive, and will lean heavily on the instruments of coercion in order to achieve their diplomatic aims (14-16). In contrast, “prosocial” leaders value gains, not only for themselves, but for others. Not surprisingly it is these individuals who adopt a “value-creating” approach to negotiations: they engage in “reasoned dialogue,” and are willing to “honestly and openly” reveal their preference structure in pursuit of collective gains for all involved (24).

It is psychological disposition, then, that drives diplomatic style, and proself and prosocial leaders with similar foreign policy goals and constraints—the protection of the French homeland, for example—will adopt radically different modes of statecraft.  The bulk of Rathbun’s book is devoted to demonstrating, through a study of how diplomacy encouraged or undermined cooperation among European nations in the 1920s, the effects of these diplomatic styles and that style determines the substance of bargaining outcomes. When proself leaders dominated, as they did in France in the early 1920s, European security cooperation was elusive.  When prosocial and pragmatic leaders came to the bargaining table, in contrast, deals as far-reaching as the Locarno Treaty proved possible.  In his final chapter, Rathbun further explores the utility of his psychological theory, applying it to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations of the 1990s.

There is much to admire in Rathbun’s work.  It is theoretically innovative, culling through a well-established literature in political psychology to establish its main claims.  Throughout the book, Rathbun is methodologically thoughtful, carefully separating an individual’s social motivation from behavior, and consistently juxtaposing the psychological theory to conventional explanations rooted in rational interest. Rathbun’s cases, particularly his examination of French, British, and German diplomacy, are a rich and vibrant study of an often-overlooked period of international diplomacy, and his use of primary source material should make this book a model for historically inclined scholars of international politics.

But as with any important work, Diplomacy’s Value raises significant questions for its readers as well.  To begin with, it can at times be difficult to tell where Rathbun’s psychological explanation of diplomacy ends and a more political account of negotiation begins.  For Rathbun, an individual’s psychology is the foundational driver of diplomatic styles and outcomes.  Social and epistemic motivations not only affect value-creating and claiming styles, they even shape the political preferences of individual leaders, with prosocials likely to lean left, and proselfs drawn to conservative parties.  At times, this emphasis on individual beliefs seems well-placed.  Particularly compelling is his comparison of French Prime Ministers Raymond Poincaré and Aristide Briand. Both leaders, Rathbun notes, held similar foreign-policy goals, namely, securing France against an ever-looming German threat.  Both men, moreover, maneuvered under the same geopolitical and economic constraints.  Yet while Poincaré’s value-claiming style consistently undercut negotiations with Britain and Germany, Briand’s value-creating efforts made possible the sweeping security cooperation of the 1925 Locarno Treaty.

At other times, however, what seems to be shaping diplomatic styles is less an individual’s motivation and more the hem-and-haul of domestic and international politics.  The pragmatic German foreign minister Gustav Stresemann consistently found himself presenting German demands in a coercive style, in order to assuage nationalist coalitions at home.  Even Briand, ever committed to liberal dialogue among nations, found himself in a position where he “must not rouse French Nationalist opinion…” in his negotiations with Germany and Britain, and thus “had to balance a reasonable and liberal diplomatic approach with a coercive and distributive one” (119).  In these cases, it seems as much politics as psychology that drove diplomatic style.

Indeed, Rathbun’s book raises broader issues about the extent to which scholars can import psychological theories into studies of social and political phenomenon.  There is, of course, a venerable tradition of political psychology in international relations theory, and recent work has done an exemplary job demonstrating how beliefs and perceptions shape political outcomes.[2]  At the same time, transferring models meant for individuals onto political collectivities can be somewhat problematic.  For example, when we think of “proself” individuals, we understand what it means that these actors think only of themselves.  The “self” in this instance is reasonably well-defined as the individual’s corporal self. We understand what it means to privilege an individual’s own self-interests, to refuse to value other’s aims and desires in pursuit of our own ends.

But a “proself” leader in international politics is something altogether different.  As a diplomat, a leader is charged with protecting not an individual “self” interest, but the interests of a collective political community, which is usually defined as a nation state.  And this raises a host of questions that seem to be beyond what psychological theories can explain.  Are “proself” leaders necessarily egoistic, as Rathbun claims, or is it that they define the boundaries of the political community in different terms than others would accept?  To take a concrete example, it was not simply that Briand valued German or British self-interests along with France’s claims; it was that he also believed that there was a broader European political community, and that protecting the interests of this broader community were as necessary and vital a task as protecting the boundaries of France.  And to those states outside of the boundaries of Europe—notably the Soviet Union—Briand could be as “proself” as his conservative counterparts.

A second question raised by this book is the role that an individual’s agency plays in Rathbun’s psychological theory.  Rathbun extols the importance of agency in the first few pages of his book, arguing that a “theory of diplomacy must be a theory of agency” (1).  Surely individuals are central to Rathbun’s account: the story of the 1920s is a story of Briand and Poincaré, Stresemann and British Foreign Secretary Austin Chamberlain.  Yet, while these individuals are important, it is unclear as to whether these actors are truly agents, whether they are in fact creative and reflexive beings that actively shape political outcomes. At times, Rathbun’s actors often seem less agents and more slaves to their cognitive shortcomings.  Poincaré, for example, is practically a tragic figure, unable to reach his own goals because of his proself motivations.

Here perhaps Rathbun could have done more with his own conception of epistemic motivation, defined as the “need to develop a rich and accurate understanding of the world,” (33) using this concept  to analyze how individuals reflect, learn, and change their diplomatic styles over time. In the 1920s through the 1930s, for example, British leaders on both sides of the aisle came to embrace a model of world politics which saw British security as intricately tied with European institutions.  It was not merely that British leaders like Chamberlain were pragmatists; their view of what British interests entailed underwent a profound ideological shift, which made them more apt to actively pursue collective security.[3] Less optimistically, Israeli leaders—even ostensibly “prosocial” diplomats on the left of Israeli politics—believe they have learned that concessions to the Palestinians are unproductive, leading to an ossification in the Middle-East peace process.  Psychological dispositions, in other words, are not given, but transform through the negotiating process itself.

Finally, while Rathbun admirably attempts to extend his theory beyond European diplomacy, in his study of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, this chapter also raises important questions about the extent to which his psychological theory can be generalized.  For example, much of Rathbun’s analysis relies on literature that connects “proself” and “prosocial” orientations with conservative and liberal parties, respectively.  Yet most of the research Rathbun relies upon draws from studies of American and Northern European population samples.  This may mean that the theory ports easily to examples of United States or European foreign policy, but where political systems differ, the theory may be less successful. How can one use a model of political parties as a proxy psychological dispositions, for example, when parties are absent or only recently formed, as in the Palestinian example?  Moreover, it is difficult to judge how much diplomatic styles account for the failure of negotiations in the Israeli-Palestinian case, when the chasms dividing interests and ideologies are so vast.

All of these are formidable issues for any theory to address. But it is precisely because Diplomacy’s Value raises these important questions that Rathbun’s work is so valuable.  It suggests not only the promise of applying to psychological theories to world politics, but asks scholars to wrestle with its limitations as well.  For this reason, I expect it will become standard reading for serious students of diplomacy.


Review by Rose McDermott, Brown University

Brian Rathbun’s fine new volume, Diplomacy’s Value, tackles with verve, clarity and cleverness what has previously seemed an intractable problem in international relations.  This book constitutes something rare in political science: a genuine contribution to an important problem.  Rathbun asks whether diplomacy matters irrespective of the underlying power structure that realists hold responsible for outcomes.  This question has proven challenging for past scholars, including rational choice theorists such as James D. Fearon or Kenneth Schultz, who either neglect or ignore the issue, and to other such as Alex George or Anne Sartori who seek to address this puzzle relying on single anecdotes, or using measures derived from the outcomes themselves.  Such a dismissive, tautological or idiosyncratic approach to the study of diplomacy makes it difficult to examine diplomacy’s potential independent value.  Rathbun developed an ingenious way not only to test for the added value of diplomacy, but also to predict its likelihood of success, and in so doing contributes to the renewed emphasis on the critical importance individuals can make in international relations.  What is particularly noteworthy about Rathbun’s achievement is that he has developed a genuine theory of diplomacy where none existed before. And, significantly, this book comes at a time when the necessity of relying on diplomacy to resolve many pressing problems in international relations appears more urgent than ever, in areas ranging from the control of weapons of mass destruction to collective-action problems such as global climate change.

Drawing on work in psychology, Rathbun develops a model which distinguishes diplomatic styles based on the social and epistemic motivations of participants.  He discusses the difference between those who have a ‘prosocial’ versus a ‘proself’ motivation, a distinction which nicely maps onto liberal and realistic paradigms, respectively. However, he goes beyond this well-trodden disciplinary paradigms to also highlight the importance of epistemic motivation, showing that even those who are motivated by proself motivations can achieve meaningful accords if they have high degrees of epistemic motivation.  He illustrates and enlightens his concepts with meticulously detailed and careful case studies of the respective British, French and German leaders, parties, and diplomats through extended discussions over security in the inter-war period in Europe, showing that diplomacy failed when it should have succeeded, and succeeded where it might have failed based on his predictions. He then applies these concepts to the more recent Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations as well.  Interestingly, I believe his model accurately predicts the outcome of the current American negotiations with the Iranians, which achieved a very difficult trade-off between the remittance of sanctions by the American-led coalition and the ceasing of the development of nuclear-weapons capacity by the Iranians.  Whether the American Congress will accede is a different question, albeit one beyond the scope of Rathbun’s consideration, although his argument about the importance of political ideology, and the intersection of political ideology with epistemic motivation, appears to hold true in the larger body politic in this case as well.

I note that Rathbun places some emphasis on the critical use of providing reasons in achieving diplomatic value. There is in fact interesting and important work that has been done on this topic in psychology by Shafir, Simonson & Tversky (1993) which supports his case.[4] In their argument on reason based choice, they provide experimental evidence for the ways in which reasons influence decision making, particularly in the context of uncertainty or conflict.   What is relevant about this work is that it demonstrates how people use reasons not only to resolve conflicts and justify choices to themselves and others, but also literally to create preferences.  Rather than focus simply on post-decisional rationalization, Rathbun, like Shafir et al., focuses on pre-decisional conflict.  This allows the reader to see how outcomes were not in fact pre-determined by the underlying power structure in the international system, but rather created in the complex, iterative process of negotiation itself, where different contexts and the creative framing of reasons can highlight different options that might otherwise elude detection, and thus influence decision making.    It also shows how procedure is important, independent of the outcome.

This raises another interesting aspect of this model, which relates to the importance of agency.  Agency matters, but too much ego prevents accommodation.  It may be hard for politicians to get out of their own way, but diplomats must do so if they are to avoid undermining their own best interests.  However, as Rathbun dramatically illustrates in his careful case work, agency can also be embedded with emotion, often based in fear or anger.  And these emotions can prevent otherwise tractable problems from reaching appropriate resolution.   For example, it is simply impossible with regard to the current negotiations in Iran not to observe how intensely the hurt and betrayal of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 still permeates through the American leadership, affecting willingness to negotiate as well as willingness to trust.  Similar examples abound from the recent rapprochement between the United States and Cuba, to the American relations with the Chinese going back at least to the 1900 Boxer Rebellion if not before.

Indeed, it strikes me that at least some of the basic differences in diplomatic types posited by Rathbun lie in basic thresholds for threat and fear, and, frankly, although discussed much less frequently, a willingness of individuals to be hurt.  One of the ancient definitions of compassion is the willingness to be hurt over and over again, and still remain open to love.  Some people are simply more resilient than others, and may bounce back faster and more fully from setbacks. Similarly, some countries have more resources and natural protections than others, and can afford to take more risks in order to earn more potential rewards.  And some nations, like some people, may be more aware of these propensities than others.   Regardless of the underlying power structures, which importantly remain distinct in Rathbun’s model, one of the fundamental differences between proselfs and prosocials appears to lie in their fundamental willingness to take a chance and trust other people to abide by their word in a way that leaves everyone better off, rather than just leaving ourselves open to exploitation.  And this may rest on the intuitive sense of one’s ability to recover from setback.   If reasoned dialogue is designed, like sex, to leave both sides as satisfied as possible, then accurate cheater detection, which is contingent on relevant goals, remains crucial to successful fruition.   If actors are duplicitous, value creation can still leave one side pregnant and alone, or the other with a broken heart.   In other words, one side may still end up worse off than the other, and some people are willing to end up with more regardless of how much better off the other side is, and others are not. This reflects the classic difference between the relative versus absolute gains preferred by realists versus liberals.

This raises an additional point of consideration for Rathbun’s consideration.  In discussing the importance of the difference between those proself actors who tend toward value claiming and those pro-social actors who are more capable of value creating in their diplomatic styles, he notes the importance of factors like political ideology.    In so doing, he discusses the way that parties can be “carriers of psychological motivations” (47), and indeed diplomatic style can be a function of variance in underlying ideology as much as the social and epistemic motivations Rathbun outlines as formative. While I agree with this, this also raises the question of where these values and attitudes come from.   In other words, how do we get a better handle on the uncaused cause?  Although this is an age-old fight in the larger field of political science, and clearly involves many demographic and socialized factors, I do think that dispositions are likely to come into play in developing these tendencies as well.  In other words, genetic analysis may be able to help shed some light in helping us to uncover the extent to which some of these traits might be temperamental in nature, and which might be more susceptible to processes of education and on the job training.  Here I in no way mean to imply that simple or singular genetic factors entrain ‘diplomacy’ or to suggest that diplomats themselves would ever subject themselves to genetic analysis.  However, I do think it is worth raising the possibility that some of the underlying traits Rathbun posits, such as proself versus prosocial orientation, or degrees of epistemic motivation, which clearly do vary across the larger population, would be suitable for genetic investigation which might prove enlightening with regard to willingness to self-select into diplomatic action in the first place.

Rathbun’s illuminating volume opens the door for many future scholars to further explore and extend this theory of diplomacy through the investigation of other cases, and in making predictions about future diplomatic endeavors.  He has not only offered an important contribution to our understanding of diplomacy, but has also uncovered some of the critical ways in which individuals matter in international relations.


Review by Brian McKercher, University of Victoria

As theorists are only too happy to tell their audiences, the wonderful thing about their field, especially international relations theory, is that their ideas can only be tested and not proven.  Dr. Brian Rathbun has offered a multifarious theory in this book about the value of diplomacy and how it affects “the course of foreign affairs independent of the distribution of power and foreign policy interests” (1).  In his first two chapters, he examines the value and values of diplomacy and, by postulating a psychological theory of diplomacy, its worth.  In this context, he suggests different types of what he calls “potential dyads and expectations for the spirit of diplomatic interactions”: coercive bargaining, pragmatic statecraft, and reasoned dialogue (38-39).  An essential element of this psychological approach to international relations theory is the dichotomy between social democrats and other leftists and their statecraft, on one hand, and conservative diplomatists and theirs, on the other.  In this context, building on substantial theoretical literature, diplomatists on the Far Left and Left are ‘prosocial’; those on Right and Centre-right are “proself.”  He argues that “prosocials care for others, and they value fairness and equality in outcomes.  They have a greater commitment to self-transcendence than proselfs do” (7).  Proself motivations derive from “a different set of moral foundations, those of respect for authority and loyalty to the in-group.  Proselfs are convinced that in-groups must demonstrate solidarity and preserve order to protect the group from dangers both within and without.  Conservat[ive] values of conformity and tradition help maintain cohesion and stability within the group” (7).[5]

To test his theory, Rathbun uses the diplomacy of Britain, France, and Germany that led in October 1925 to the negotiation of the Locarno treaties and their aftermath.  He then applies what was an obvious success to the contemporary peace process in the Middle East.  I will deal only with the first part of the book – the genesis of Locarno and its aftermath to 1930 (58-187) – and leave the Middle Eastern section (188-235) to others in this roundtable.  The reason for doing so relates to three significant problems with the Locarno analysis that undermine the author’s theory about the value of diplomacy.  First, three huge lacunae exist in his examination of the tripartite diplomacy that produced the Locarno treaties and generated the so-called “Locarno era.”  Second, problems exist with the primary and secondary sources that he uses.  And, finally, decided weakness exists in his handling of the British dimension.

In his analysis, Rathbun quite rightly sees the tense Franco-German relationship that emerged from the Paris Peace Conference as central to the problem of creating security in 1920s Europe.  Strain derived from German grievances over territorial losses and forced disarmament, and based on German war guilt – Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles – the imposition of burdensome reparations; on the other side lay concern about German revanchism that could endanger France’s long-term security.  In this process, Britain had decided interests.  With the lesson of 1914-1918, a peaceful continent, of course, was important for British national security.  However, for an economy based on trade and confronting high unemployment, a militarily weak but economically revived Germany became essential to Britain’s post-war recovery – before 1914, Germany was Britain’s best trading partner in Europe and second in the world behind the United States.  That the chief British negotiator of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, had pushed for significant German reparations only to change his mind almost immediately after June 1919 is beside the point.  Post-war British governments – Lloyd George’s Liberal-Unionist [Conservative] coalition to October 1922, the Andrew Bonar Law-Stanley Baldwin Conservative governments from October 1922 to January 1924, Ramsay MacDonald’s Labour government from January to November 1924, Baldwin’s second Conservative government from November 1924 to June 1929, and MacDonald’s second Labour government thereafter – all wanted political and economic stability on the continent that would come from the amelioration of Franco-German differences.

To a large degree, the British problem resided with France and its hard-line anti-German governments after the Paris Peace Conference, especially that of Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré from 15 January 1922 to 8 June 1924.  Anglo-French relations divided over the German question and, a point ignored by Rathbun, were embittered severely by the negotiation of a new Turkish peace agreement to replace the Treaty of Sèvres.  The latter produced both the July 1923 Lausanne Treaty and deep ill feelings on both sides of the Channel.  That Poincaré engineered the Franco-Belgian occupation of Germany’s industrial Ruhr Valley beginning in January 1923 to siphon off its wealth because Berlin defaulted on reparations payments only added to mutual Anglo-French dissatisfaction.  In this mix, Anglo-French efforts to arrange a security agreement during the Lloyd George government faltered.  The French price was too high in terms of the commitments that Paris wanted from London.  Using a proself characterisation of both British and French policies – the two governments were largely conservative – Rathbun argues that coercive diplomacy by London and Paris saw this effort at achieving stability in Western Europe collapse.  However, this argument is wide of the mark.  Two excellent studies not mentioned by Rathbun have long held that Poincaré looked to use the Ruhr occupation, tied to France’s alliances with Poland and the Little Entente, to establish French dominance on the continent.[6]  Whether pursuing coercive bargaining, pragmatic statecraft, or reasoned dialogue, Poincaré’s ministry did not intend to surrender any advantages that it reckoned France retained on the altar of good Anglo-French relations.

Of course, the Ruhr occupation failed completely – the British and the Americans, each of whom wanted political and economic stability in Europe for different reasons, put pressure on the franc – and Franco-German relations worsened.  Here arises the first lacuna in this analysis.  Rathbun argues that the prosocial first Labour government under MacDonald attempted to resolve the security issue with the so-called Geneva Protocol tied to the League of Nations in 1924.  He is correct.  But he ignores the prior effort by the first Baldwin government through the efforts of Lord Robert Cecil to promote the Draft Treaty of Mutual Assistance in 1923, also tied to the League and slightly different in its proposed application in terms of arbitrating international disputes.[7]  The MacDonald government rejected it for the simple reason that no Labour government would advance a Conservative security prescription.  Based on Rathbun’s theory about proself versus prosocial, the Draft Treaty seems very prosocial; but its progenitors were Conservative.  With this omission, this historical cloth is cut to fit the theory.

The second major lacuna concerns disarmament.  Rathbun mentions several times in his analysis of the genesis of Locarno – especially when considering the efforts of the German Foreign Minister, Gustav Stresemann, to find a security modus vivendi with the French and British that would win support in Germany – that reducing arms was a goal of British policy.  The Lloyd George government had introduced the Ten-Year Rule governing defence expenditures in 1920 – an annual exercise involving the Committee of Imperial Defence (CID) to determine whether war would occur within ten years and, thus, adjust the armed services’ budgets; put on a daily basis in July 1928, it existed until 1932.  An international disarmament agreement – which would really have amounted to arms limitation rather than eliminating weapons – would help the Exchequer and, as other Powers would reduce their national armouries, still allow for effective national and Imperial defence.  Three months after the December 1925 exchange of ratifications of the Locarno treaties, the League was able finally to establish a Preparatory Commission to draft a disarmament treaty for consideration by an eventual League-sponsored World Disarmament Conference – it convened beginning in February 1932.  The Commission’s importance can also be judged by the decision of the American and Soviet Russian governments to join even though neither the United States nor Soviet Russia were League members.  However, Rathbun does not mention the Preparatory Commission, its work, its ties to post-Locarno European security, or its near breakdown over a number of issues – some of which were tied to Locarno.  Foremost here were the division between maritime Powers led by Britain and the United States versus terrene ones that included France and Germany; French demands not to count trained reserves in effective land forces – France had a growing number of such reserves via short-term conscription; Versailles prohibited German ones – and the Anglo-French disarmament compromise of July 1928.  The Washington treaties of 1921-1922 had brought about Great Power naval limitation in capital ships and a supposed system of security for the Pacific Ocean and China.  With Germany joining the League and getting a coveted permanent seat on its Council because of Locarno, League efforts for a general disarmament/arms limitation agreement would have a major impact on European security tied to the 1925 agreement.  One could argue effectively that the pursuit of disarmament/arms limitation was prosocial by all the participating governments whether conservative – like Baldwin’s second government – or otherwise.[8]  Again, Rathbun has ignored a most crucial element of the international history of the Locarno era to advance his theory.

The third lacuna concerns Rathbun’s treatment of the post-Locarno years until 1930. He looks at these five years almost solely in terms of Franco-German relations – the September 1926 Thoiry talks where Stresemann and Aristide Briand, the French Foreign Minister, discussed German reparations to France and French evacuation of the Saar and other occupied German territory is a good example.  Moreover, what about the effort by the European Powers – especially Britain – and the United States through the Young Plan of 1929 finally to resolve the reparations imbroglio?  The Young Plan is mentioned but its proposals receive no in-depth analysis.  In Rathbun’s coverage of this five-year period, the British, more especially the diplomacy pursued by Sir Austen Chamberlain, the British Foreign Secretary who was as crucial to Locarno’s success as Stresemann and Briand, disappears completely.[9]  A range of issues occupied these diplomatists collectively – disarmament/arms limitation with its security implication, the Allied Rhineland occupation, and reparations especially.  Yet, except for the second MacDonald government’s participation in The Hague conferences that modified the Young Plan and led to the early Anglo-French evacuation of the Rhineland,[10] Britain and its Conservative diplomatists virtually disappear from the analysis.  It was not that, using Rathbun’s rubrics, British policy was always prosocial.  The Anglo-French disarmament compromise that touched American naval policy and German military strength was not[11]; neither was the diplomacy pursued at the two Hague conferences by Philip Snowden, MacDonald’s Chancellor of the Exchequer.[12]  But significant prosocial policies were there as London sought to add to European security within Locarno via reasoned dialogue by balancing between Paris and Berlin.  Indeed, Rathbun mentions here and there the so-called ‘Geneva tea party,’ the informal meetings that Chamberlain, Briand, and Stresemann used when at the League to handle problems that arose after the negotiation of the treaty and which one can argue were prosocial.  But cogent analysis of the ‘tea party’ is avoided.[13]  In terms of the British side at least, this means again that situations that dispute Rathbun’s theory are not discussed.

The issue of primary and secondary sources employed as the empirical basis of the Locarno analysis is an arresting question.  Along with standard long published materials like Documents on British Foreign Policy, Rathbun has marshalled some germane archival sources, for instance, British Cabinet minutes (CAB 23) and memoranda (CAB 24) from The National Archives at Kew – although the record groups are not mentioned in the bibliography.  He also has a handful of Foreign Office records from the invaluable FO 371 series at Kew – Political Departments: General Correspondence: a couple from the Western Department that handled French affairs and a few from the Central Department whose mandate included Germany.  There are also one or two references to the meetings of the CID, which co-ordinated foreign, military, and financial policy under the prime minister’s chairmanship and had a very limited high level membership: usually the foreign secretary, service ministers, and chancellor of the exchequer.  But although these few CID conclusions are mentioned, the references indicate that they all come from CAB 24.  Whilst these limited references to CID records at Kew are valuable, they are not nearly enough.  The CID generally set policy, which came to the Cabinet for consideration; given the politically important membership of the CID, the Cabinet generally accepted its reports.  Thus, the substantive debates over foreign and defense policy came in the CID.  Analysis herein of the proposed Anglo-French security pact under Lloyd George, the Geneva Protocol, and the consideration of what became Locarno beginning in meetings in December 1924 – let alone the neglected Draft Treaty – would have been extremely helpful.  The latter, considering the security views of ministers like Cecil and other Conservative supporters of the League, would have shown that prosocial beliefs were not exclusively the preserve of the socialist Labour governments.

Moreover, whilst there is use of a few of MacDonald’s papers retained at Kew, The National Archives also holds the official correspondence and papers of leading Foreign Office officials and secretaries of state (the FO 800 series).  It would have been extremely helpful if Rathbun had examined Chamberlain’s manuscripts: FO 800/256-263; they have extensive correspondence with the British ambassadors at Berlin and Paris, with Stresemann and Briand, and with a number of Cabinet ministers.   And looking at War Office and Admiralty holdings (the WO and ADM series) for the period covering the negotiation of Locarno and its failed predecessors, as well as for the post-Locarno period in terms of disarmament and security, would have allowed for a more nuanced and strengthened analysis of Britain’s Locarno diplomacy and the defense of British national interests.  These interests were immutable and, unsurprisingly, their protection came from a combination of coercive bargaining, pragmatic statecraft, and reasoned dialogue, that is a mixture of prosocial and proself diplomacy.

With respect to secondary sources, Rathbun makes the startling claim that “scholars of international relations have not devoted significant attention to the 1920s.  The maelstrom of the 1930s sucks up all the intellectual oxygen” (236).  I am afraid to say that this is wrong.  It is true that study of the 1930s, especially the period 1933-1939, have produced a large, complex, and weighty historiography in English, French, German, Italian, and other languages.  In the British case, the introduction of the 30-year rule in place of the 50-year rule for access to government records that came into force in 1968 is a principal reason.  Scholars who were slowly working on issues relating to the First World War continued on their path in 1968 as all records from 1917 to 1937 were released.  A different group of historians began to look at the 1930s and the origins of the Second World War beginning in 1937, whilst some worked back to 1933; the period from the Paris Peace Conference to the advent of Hitler in 1933 largely lay fallow.  If written in the mid-1970s, Rathbun’s observation about the 1920s might have had merit. But at least for the study of British foreign policy beginning in the mid-1970s, a range of younger scholars began to produce dissertations on the period and, by the first half of the 1980s, numerous books and articles.  There is now a large secondary literature on 1920s British foreign policy – as there is for France, Italy, and the United States – and Rathbun has not availed himself of it.  This historiography is too voluminous to recite here, thus, I refer to Zara Steiner’s monumental, The Lights that Failed: European International History, 1919-1933 (Oxford, New York, 2005), where the breadth and diversity of the historiographical debate is handled with careful, forensic, and effective analysis.  One then might look at her successor piece, The Triumph of the Dark: European International History, 1933-1939 (Oxford, New York, 2011), which contains the bibliography for both volumes.  And given that Rathbun does use Patrick Cohrs’s scholarship,[14] it is surprising still that he could make such a statement.

With respect to the British dimension of what became Locarno and its aftermath, the crucial issues of grand strategy and personality and policy are also missing – the psychological element of his theory would be expected to consider the latter.   First, it surprises me that in contradistinction to what appears about German and French strategic ambitions, those of Britain are largely ignored.  This is why some in-depth analyses of the CID and its deliberations would have been helpful.  But even here two books by leading scholars of the evolution of British strategic policy could have provided insight into the debates within the British policy-making elite from Lloyd George’s coalition to the second Baldwin government.[15]  The British looked to ensure their ability to defend the Empire and find stability in Europe, which meant its western rather than eastern reaches.  After the Draft Treaty and Geneva Protocol, which were universal via reference to the League in their efforts to ensure peace and security, Locarno was very specific and related only to the Franco-German border.

At the same time, personality and policy were essential in the process that produced Locarno.  Chamberlain is central.  He had been leader of the conservative Unionist Party in 1922 when, over his opposition, his party rebelled against continuing in the Lloyd George coalition government.  He led a faction of the revived Conservative Party on to the backbenches, and the Bonar Law and first Baldwin governments suffered from this division as a result.  When Baldwin formed his second government in November 1924, he selected Chamberlain as foreign secretary, a post second only to the premiership in the Cabinet, to heal the rift.  With Baldwin’s backing, Chamberlain had a large degree of independence in creating and implementing policy respecting Germany, France, and in the twisted diplomacy that led to Locarno.  His famous threat to resign if the Cabinet did not back British support for Stresemann’s proposal for a Rhineland pact that led to the evaporation of Cabinet resistance – embodied chiefly by Winston Churchill, the Chancellor of the Exchequer – is better understood in these terms than the view presented here.[16]  Moreover, the Cabinet did not simply divide in two over what became Locarno and other strategic issues.  As Donald Cameron Watt argued fifty years ago, there were generally three lines of thinking amongst what he called the British foreign policy-making elite.  These were “world leaders”, who looked to maintaining the continental balance of power as the best protection on British security, “Imperial isolationists”, who wished to concentrate on Imperial defence and development and isolate Britain from Europe, and “Atlanticists” who pursued strong Anglo-American ties.[17]  In the 1920s, Chamberlain was a world leader; Churchill, an Imperial isolationist, and MacDonald, an Atlanticist.  Some ministers might hold to two or all of these traits depending on the issue, but in the second Baldwin government, Chamberlain’s views dominated policy-making.

What also occurred between 1922 and 1928 was the reassertion of Foreign Office primacy in the making and execution of foreign policy – a result of overcoming Lloyd George’s prime ministerial control of foreign policy after 1916 that ignored Foreign Office advice and saw the appointment of some of the Prime Minister’s political cronies to ambassadorships abroad, especially Paris and Berlin.  By July 1928, all Lloyd George’s appointees were gone.  Lord Curzon, the foreign secretary under Lloyd George, Bonar Law, and Baldwin until 1924, began the process.  Despite the short-lived 1924 Labour government, Chamberlain continued it.  In doing so, the Foreign Office proved crucial in Locarno diplomacy, especially the permanent under-secretaries for this period – Eyre Crowe, William Tyrrell, and Ronald Lindsay.  And in their advice to Chamberlain, they asserted what had been the strategic objective of British policy-makers for several hundred years: maintaining the continental balance of power by using Britain to secure a European equilibrium.  As a statesman of long standing – he held Cabinet posts for almost 30 years, including Chancellor of the Exchequer – Chamberlain needed little convincing.

Thus, the Foreign Office lay at the centre of British foreign policy decision-making after November 1924.  The advice senior officials gave, the views of ambassadors emplaced by Curzon and Chamberlain on the recommendation of Crowe and Tyrrell especially, and the counsel of the Central and Western departments assumed decided importance in how and why Chamberlain pursued the strategy he did respecting the continent.  Rathbun mentions few Foreign Office officials in his analysis – Miles Lampson, a German expert, is one of them.  But Rathbun never mentions Crowe, who was fundamentally important until his sudden death in April 1925, nor Tyrrell or Lindsay.  Indeed, Lindsay was Ambassador to Berlin from 1926 to 1928 and essential for Chamberlain’s German policy; Tyrrell became Ambassador to Paris in 1928.  Rathbun’s discussion of the Foreign Office is sketchy; in one place, he uses Sir Maurice Hankey as a representative of Foreign Office opinion (184).  Hankey was not a member of the Foreign Office but, rather, the powerful secretary to both the Cabinet and CID, an Imperial isolationist, and an adversary of Foreign Office thinking about the continental balance of power, including Locarno.[18]  Rathbun’s ignoring of Chamberlain’s advisors – and their authority in policy-making – is a monumental void in understanding Britain’s pre-Locarno and Locarno era diplomacy; his theory is again weakened.

From the perspective of an international historian whose work focusses on interwar British foreign policy, the effort to construct this theory about the value of diplomacy and how it affected “the course of foreign affairs independent of the distribution of power and foreign policy interests” is deeply flawed.[19]  It ignores prosocial Conservative policy-makers and side-steps analysis of the Draft Treaty, the Preparatory Commission, and the significant role played by the British from late 1925 to 1930.  Its empirical base is limited – even if Rathbun had placed more weight on books, book chapters, and articles – and the crucial issues of grand strategy and personality and policy on the British side are missing.  Indeed, in his concluding chapter, both Briand and Chamberlain disappear as the focus is almost exclusively on Stresemann (236-245).  Others can judge how this theory about the value of diplomacy relates to the Middle East – a psychological approach evaluating coercive bargaining, pragmatic statecraft, and reasoned dialogue.  That relating to creating security in 1920s Europe fails the test.


Author’s Response by Brian Rathbun, University of Southern California

Doing serious social-science research on historical foreign policy-making is a tricky business. It is not history. Our job is to see the forest for the trees, discerning patterns that are at least in some limited way generalizable. And yet at the same time we cannot do violence to historical events, cramming history into our preconceived categories. This is always a temptation to the degree that we are rewarded most for our theoretical insights, which historians are not. The reviews of my book, Diplomacy’s Value, expose this tension – unsurprisingly, because two social scientists and one historian have been invited to comment.

Both Rose McDermott and Stacie Goddard, despite their praise, raise important theoretical questions about the book and what it does not answer. McDermott asks where the psychological motivations that I use in the book – social and epistemic – come from in the first place. In my book I treat them as exogenous, given at the time of the story and utilized to explain important foreign policy choices and international outcomes. Goddard asks in particular how the boundaries of social motivation are established. In the book I distinguish between “proselfs” who act only on behalf of their countries and “prosocials” who seek to achieve gains both for their own nation-state and that of others. Goddard asks, justifiably, how is it that we come to establish our selfish interests as the nation-state, and not, for instance our own personal welfare? She also asks exactly what it means to be prosocial. Might that be European? Cosmopolitan? I think it might be all these things, but I do not as of yet have an adequate taxonomy or an explanation of how these motivations might be established. These reviews provide important food for thought for which I am thankful.

Brian McKercher and Goddard raise important questions about agency. I claim in the book to have articulated a theory of agency, by which I mean that the individual level attributes of decision-makers are important enough to have an effect on diplomacy, independent of the structure of interests and power. They both note, however, that by assigning different decision-makers a category – prosocial or proself, low or high in epistemic motivation – I am utilizing a different kind of structure, one that is only at a different level of analysis. To this, I plead guilty. I believe that if the goal (or at least one type of goal) of social-science research is to reveal and explain certain regularities in politics, then any theoretical argument will have structure and deny agency. It is merely a question of how much. If political actors are truly free agents with no constraints, their behavior will be unpredictable because it will be random. I would merely say that my argument has a lot more agency than almost all research in international politics.

I take great issue with McKercher’s characterization of my book as having shaped evidence to fit my theory. His review reads almost like a caricature of what a political scientist expects from an historian. As someone who seeks to engage historians and admires their contributions I find this disappointing. His attitude is of the type that deters rather than invites social scientists to engage historical subject matter, something that is fading in practice. The critique is that I did not cover more empirical events, that I did not understand the issues I cover in light of connections with other issues that I did not discuss, that I did not consider other factors such as personality, and that I did not discuss the influence of important diplomats and civil servants. The critique is always the same – Rathbun needs to cram in more information.

McKercher’s review reveals a common problem – that historians do not understand what makes a social scientific work of history different from a historian’s. The social scientist has a theory he/she wants to test, and has to choose the appropriate cases to test it on. This means choosing what to include or not to include. We do not have the luxury of painting a complete picture of every issue and every player involved in the policy-process. The criteria I use is whether a piece of information, or a book, or a file is relevant for testing my argument. There are plenty of things that I cannot include – disarmament negotiations, the Treaty of Mutual Assistance – because they would be digressions. The question is whether by engaging them, would my theoretical argument change or be affected in a negative way?

There are great potential pitfalls here, of course. I might not address an important alternative argument, or I might pick and choose my cases to suit my theory. I personally have seen this countless times in works of political science on international relations history. But I have not made this mistake. My book involves a careful review of documents and sources in three different languages all the while making a nuanced theoretical argument drawing on both social psychology and international relations theory.

More importantly, McKercher offers plenty of other things to write about, but almost never articulates how the inclusion of those things would affect my conclusions and refute the theory I offer. Surely they would add context and color, but that is not enough. That is the preference of an historian, not a social scientist. And I would also mention that I consulted many of those very documents he mentions and simply found that they did not add anything to the story. More importantly, they did not contradict it in any way. I did not cite them merely for citing’s sake.

McKercher offers two instances that, according to him, refute my theory – efforts at disarmament as well as the 1923 negotiation of the Treaty of Mutual Assistance, an effort to increase the “teeth” of the League of Nations by adding greater sanctions, even military ones, for violation of the Covenant. In terms of the former, this critique is flawed on conceptual and theoretical grounds. First, this was indeed negotiated under a Conservative government, but not by a Conservative government in the sense that Lord Cecil, although a Tory himself, never had any backing for his endeavours in Geneva. His advocacy organization at home, the League of Nations Union, was almost exclusively composed of Labour and Liberal sympathizers. My argument offers an explicit statement of this kind of phenomenon. When an individual departs from the general character of his or her party, that party will ignore him or her. And they did. The same was true of Cecil during discussions about designing the League at the Versailles Peace Conference. This also calls into question Goddard’s critique that the Conservatives changed their preferences over the 1920s, coming to love collective security. This is simply not the case. All the Conservative party leaders were scornful of it privately. What the League represented was the status quo, something that they greatly valued given Britain’s precarious geopolitical overextension. At no point did they seek to strengthen the organization. They would use its multilateral fora, however, to bring together parties for global disarmament talks that were in their own interest.

Second, the Labour government did not reject this draft treaty because it was negotiated by a Conservative government, but because it was predicated on building up the sanctions regime of the League, particularly the military side, which the extremely pacifist Labour party opposed. McKercher’s interpretation is simply wrong. I would like to see the citations for his particular interpretation.

This gives rise to my problems with McKercher’s claims that any effort of a conservative government to negotiate a disarmament treaty is inherently prosocial. As is the case with so many things in politics, disarmament was supported by a Baptist-bootlegger coalition between those who were committed to disarmament in principle and those who supported it because they were weak or wanted to lock in the status quo. What is important is to look at the motivation behind policies.

In order to have a truly meaningful dialogue between historians and political scientists there needs to be a mutual acknowledgment and mutual understanding about just what it is that distinguishes the two. I aim in my work to make theoretical advances through careful empirical research. I hold myself to a higher standard than my social-scientific peers in this regard. Goddard writes that my “use of primary source material should make this book a model for historically inclined scholars of international politics.”  But in social scientific work, the empirics are a means to an end, whereas for historians they are more an ends in themselves.



[1] See e.g. Vincent Pouliot (2010), International Security in Practice: The Politics of NATO-Russia Diplomacy. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press; Eric Grynaviski, Constructive Illusions: Misperceiving the Origins of International Cooperation (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014); Paul Sharp, Diplomatic Theory of International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Iver B. Neumann, At Home with the Diplomats: Inside a European Foreign Ministry (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012).

[2] See e.g., Elizabeth Saunders, Leaders at War: How Presidents Shape Military Interventions (Cornell University Press, Cornell Studies in Security Affairs Series); Keren Yarhi-Milo, Knowing the Adversary: Leaders, Intelligence, and Assessment of Intetnions in International Relations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014); Rose McDermott, Political Psychology in International Relations (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004).  For a foundational reading, see Robert L. Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976).

[3] See e.g., Keith Nielson, Britain, Soviet Russia, and the Collapse of the Versailles Order, 1919-1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

[4] Shafir, Eldar, Itamar Simonson, and Amos Tversky. “Reason-based choice.” Cognition 49.1 (1993): 11-36.

[5] The word in the text is ‘Conservation,’ which makes no sense.  This is just one example of what is a poorly edited text.

[6] W.A. McDougall, France’s Rhineland Diplomacy, 1914-1924: The Last Bid for a Balance of Power in Europe (Princeton, NJ, 1978); S. Schuker, The End of French Predominance in Europe: The Financial Crisis of 1924 and the Adoption of the Dawes Plan (Chapel Hill, NC, 1976).

[7] P.J. Yearwood, Guarantee of Peace: The League of Nations in British Policy, 1914-1925 (Oxford, New York, 2009), Chapter 5.  For a good recent analysis, see Gaynor Johnson, Lord Robert Cecil. Politician and Internationalist (Farnham, Surrey, Burlington, Vermont, 2013), 129-151.  Johnson’s notes are especially informative.

[8] Caroline Kitching is the leading scholar here. See her Britain and the Problem of International Disarmament: 1919-1934 (London, New York, 1999); Britain and the Geneva Disarmament Conference (Houndsmills, New York, 2003).

[9] This is somewhat surprising given that Rathbun uses both Patrick Cohrs, The Unfinished Peace after World War I: America, Britain and the Stabilisation of Europe, 1919-1932 (Cambridge, New York, 2006); and Jon Jacobson, Locarno Diplomacy; Germany and the West, 1925-1929 (Princeton, 1972).  Both of these studies look closely at the post-treaty period.

[10]  Rathbun concentrates only on the first Hague Conference that occurred in August 1929; he seems not to know that a second occurred in January 1930 to settle the unresolved issues of the first.

[11] For instance, Andrew Barros, “Disarmament as a Weapon: Anglo-French Relations and the Problems of Enforcing German Disarmament, 1919–28”, Journal of Strategic Studies 29/2(2006), 301-21; David Carlton, “The Anglo-French Compromise on Arms Limitation, 1928”, Journal of British Studies 8/2(1969), 141-62.

[12] C.P. Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929-1939, revised edition (Berkeley, Los Angeles, 1986), 68-69; B.J.C. McKercher, Transition of Power. Britain’s Loss of Global Pre-eminence to the United States, 1930-1945 (Cambridge, 1999), 69-71.

[13] J. Jacobson, “The Conduct of Locarno Diplomacy”, Review of Politics 34/1(1972), 67-81 would have provided some insight.

[14] Cohrs, Unfinished Peace.

[15] John Robert Ferris, The Evolution of British Strategic Policy, 1919-26 (Basingstoke, 1989): Anne Orde, Great Britain and International Security, 1920-1926 (London, 1978); idem., British Policy and European Reconstruction after the First World War (Cambridge, New York, 1990).

[16] Cf. D. Dutton, Austen Chamberlain. Gentleman in Politics (Bolton, 1985), 259-89; B.J.C. McKercher, “Austen Chamberlain’s Control of British Foreign Policy, 1924-1929,” International History Review 6 (1984), 570-591.

[17] Donald Cameron Watt, “The Nature of the Foreign-Policy-Making Élite in Britain”, in idem., Personalities and Policies. Studies in the formulation of British foreign policy in the twentieth century (London, 1965), 1-15.  In this context looking at disarmament/arms limitation, Kitching’s chapter, “The human element” in International Disarmament, 23-41 is germane.

[18] Hankey to Smuts [South African statesman], 22 May 1924, HNKY [Lord Hankey Papers, Churchill College Archives, Cambridge] 4/16; Hankey diary, 22 March 1925, HNKY 1/17.

[19] On international history and theory, see the insightful, effective, and seminal D. Cameron Watt, What About the People?: Abstraction and Reality in History and the Social Sciences : An Inaugural Lecture (London, 1983).