The idea of a lasting peace founded on the law was the great hope of the twentieth century. The first incarnation of this ideal, the League of Nations (1919-1946) sparked an endorsement movement which was used to relay a "Geneva spirit" to the heart of French opinion. This book demonstrates that French militants for the League of Nations were fighting for a new concept of international relations, looking to limit, if not abolish, violence between sovereign states through juridic rule. The history of this French militancy remains essential for a comprehension of a political effort whose successes and challenges still feed contemporary reflections on the organization of the international community - multilateralism, collective security, disarmament, international justice, etc - for the UN and the European Union.
Jean-Michel Guieu is a Contemporary History Instructor at the Université Paris-1-Panthéon-Sorbonne.