International Politics

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 104–117 | Cite as

Henry Noel Brailsford: neglected cosmopolitan

  • Peter LambEmail author
Original Article


Brailsford’s international political thought has contemporary resonance, not least for his contribution to a normative theory that fell out of fashion in the 1950s but has recently been revived. As is generally the case among international thinkers of the twentieth century, Brailsford’s work betrays the Eurocentrism which reflected his intellectual environment. He recognized this trait in his thought and made a self-critical effort to rectify it. Never able entirely to shake of the misperceptions and misunderstandings that undermined and limited his cosmopolitanism, he nevertheless made progress in the effort at self-enlightenment. With a distinctive view of human nature and a belief in the value of non-authoritarian education, he was confident that people (including himself) could liberate themselves from ignorance, change their nature and cooperate in a cosmopolitan international system.


Cosmopolitanism Normative theory Human nature Socialism League of Nations 


  1. Abrahamsen, R. 2007. Postcolonialism. In International relations theory for the twenty-first century, ed. M. Griffiths, 111–122. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Ashworth, L.M. 2007. International relations and the Labour party: Intellectuals and policy making from 1918–1945. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  3. Ashworth, L.M. 2009. Rethinking a socialist foreign policy: The British Labour party and international relations experts, 1918-to 1931. International Labour and Working-Class History 75: 30–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ashworth, L. 2011. Missing voices: Critical IPE, disciplinary history and H.N. Brailsford’s analysis of the capitalist international anarchy. In Critical international political economy, ed. S. Shields, I. Bruff, and H. Macartney, 9–26. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Booth, K. 1999. The three tyrannies. In Human rights in global politics, ed. T. Dunne, and N. Wheeler. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brailsford, H.N. 1905. The future of Crete. The North American Review 181 (585): 251–260.Google Scholar
  7. Brailsford, H.N. 1906. Macedonia: Its races and their future. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  8. Brailsford, H.N. 1913. Shelley, Godwin, and their circle. London: Williams and Norgate.Google Scholar
  9. Brailsford, H.N. 1914. The origins of the great war. London: The Union of Democratic Control.Google Scholar
  10. Brailsford, H.N. 1915. The war of steel and gold: A study of the armed peace, 3rd ed. London: G. Bell and Sons.Google Scholar
  11. Brailsford, H.N. 1917a. The war of steel and gold: A study of the armed peace, 9th ed. London: G. Bell and Sons.Google Scholar
  12. Brailsford, H.N. 1917b. A league of nations. London: Headley Brothers.Google Scholar
  13. Brailsford, H.N. 1920. After the peace. London: Leonard Parsons.Google Scholar
  14. Brailsford, H.N. 1925. Socialism for to-day. London: ILP.Google Scholar
  15. Brailsford, H.N. 1928a. Olives of endless age: Being a view of this distracted world and the possibility of international unity. New York: Harper and Brothers.Google Scholar
  16. Brailsford, H.N. 1928b. The rise of nationalism in the east. In Problems of peace: Second series, ed. Anon. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Brailsford, H.N. 1934. Property or peace. London: Victor Gollancz.Google Scholar
  18. Brailsford, H.N. 1938. Why capitalism means war. London: Victor Gollancz.Google Scholar
  19. Brailsford, H.N. 1943. Subject India. London: Victor Gollancz.Google Scholar
  20. Brailsford, H.N. 1945. Socialists and the Empire. In Fabian colonial essays, ed. R. Hinden. London: George Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  21. Carr, E.H. 2001. The twenty years’ crisis 1919–1939: An introduction to the study of international relations. Houndmills: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  22. Cochran, M. 1995. Cosmopolitanism and communitarianism in a post-cold war world. In Boundaries in question: New directions in international relations, ed. J. Macmillan, and A. Linklater. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
  23. Cox, M. 2001. Introduction. In The twenty years’ crisis 1919–1939: An introduction to the study of international relations, ed. E.H. Carr. Palgrave: Houndmills.Google Scholar
  24. Erskine, T. 2013. Normative international relations theory. In International relations theories: Discipline and diversity, 3rd ed, ed. T. Dunne, M. Kurki, and S. Smith, 36–58. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Grovogui, S.B. 2013. Postcolonialism. In International relations theories: Discipline and diversity, 3rd ed, ed. T. Dunne, M. Kurki, and S. Smith, 247–265. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hobson, J.M. 2012. The Eurocentric conception of world politics: Western international theory, 1760–2010. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Knutsen, T.L. 2014. Western approaches. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 42 (2): 448–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lamb, P. 2011. Henry Noel Brailsford’s radical international relations theory. International Relations 25 (4): 479–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lamb, P. 2014. The British left in the Problems of Peace lectures: Diversity that E.H. Carr Ignored. International History Review 36 (3): 530–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Leventhal, F.M. 1985. The last dissenter: H.N. Brailsford and his world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Linklater, A. 2007. Distant suffering and cosmopolitan obligation. International Politics 44 (1): 19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nardin, T. 2013. International political theory. In Theories of international relations, 5th ed, ed. S. Burchill, and A. Linklater, 291–318. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schmidt, B.C. 2014. A realist view of the Eurocentric conception of world politics. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 42 (2): 464–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Smith, S. 1992. The forty years’ detour: The resurgence of normative theory in international relations. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 21 (3): 489–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sylvest, C. 2004. Interwar internationalism, the British Labour party and the historiography of international relations. International Studies Quarterly 48 (2): 409–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities and Performing ArtsStaffordshire UniversityStoke-on-TrentUK

Personalised recommendations