Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Karen Petrone


Utopian Dreams, National Realities: Intellectual Cooperation and the League of Nations chronicles the work of the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (CICI). This dissertation demonstrates how the CICI’s utopian vision of international peace was actively challenged by national tensions and agendas in the interwar period. It examines the idealistic goals of the movement by focusing on the narratives and motivations of key committee members as they worked toward their own ideas of peace. The challenge of nationalism is illustrated through an analysis of major disagreements between CICI members as well as through biographical case studies of lesser-known members. The pursuit of “moral disarmament,” or the process of changing mentalities towards war, was a central component of the CICI’s work. Both education and film were envisioned as ways to influence the public and engender anti-war sentiment. This work argues that the League of Nations’ conception of internationalism was Eurocentric and moral disarmament was formulated within an Anglo-American context. Both of these limitations narrowed the influence of the CICI’s peace work to certain geographical areas of influence and effectively marginalized less powerful nations and individuals within it.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)