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Universality and Coherence under the Experiences of the League of Nations

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Comments on Thomas Grant’s Paper

image of International Community Law Review

This article explores the relationship between the coherence of the League of Nations’ (ln) actions and universality, conceived both as an ideal of ‘universalism’ and universal membership. Universality in international institutional law essentially means the principle of open and comprehensive membership of international organizations. As popularly known, the ln failed to secure comprehensive membership. Such membership is thought to be a condition sine qua non of coherent and effective actions of organizations. This article takes a different stance, arguing that it was not lack of such membership that was responsible for the constitutional crisis within the ln and the incoherence of its actions. Rather, the ln suffered from a constitutional crisis almost from the very beginning, preventing it from gaining universal membership. It was the fragile awareness of the common aims and values embodied in the ln that affected the ln’s membership and the universality and coherence of its mission.

Affiliations: 1: Maria Curie-Skłodowska


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