Skip to main content

Henry Noel Brailsford: neglected cosmopolitan

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Abrahamsen, R. 2007. Postcolonialism. In International relations theory for the twenty-first century, ed. M. Griffiths, 111–122. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ashworth, L.M. 2007. International relations and the Labour party: Intellectuals and policy making from 1918–1945. London: I.B. Tauris.

    Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Booth, K. 1999. The three tyrannies. In Human rights in global politics, ed. T. Dunne, and N. Wheeler. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1905. The future of Crete. The North American Review 181 (585): 251–260.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1906. Macedonia: Its races and their future. London: Methuen.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1913. Shelley, Godwin, and their circle. London: Williams and Norgate.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1914. The origins of the great war. London: The Union of Democratic Control.

    Google Scholar 

  • 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 

  • 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 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1917b. A league of nations. London: Headley Brothers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1920. After the peace. London: Leonard Parsons.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1925. Socialism for to-day. London: ILP.

    Google Scholar 

  • 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 

  • 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 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1934. Property or peace. London: Victor Gollancz.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1938. Why capitalism means war. London: Victor Gollancz.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1943. Subject India. London: Victor Gollancz.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brailsford, H.N. 1945. Socialists and the Empire. In Fabian colonial essays, ed. R. Hinden. London: George Allen and Unwin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carr, E.H. 2001. The twenty years’ crisis 1919–1939: An introduction to the study of international relations. Houndmills: Palgrave.

    Google Scholar 

  • 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 

  • 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 

  • 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 

  • 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 

  • Hobson, J.M. 2012. The Eurocentric conception of world politics: Western international theory, 1760–2010. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Knutsen, T.L. 2014. Western approaches. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 42 (2): 448–455.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lamb, P. 2011. Henry Noel Brailsford’s radical international relations theory. International Relations 25 (4): 479–498.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leventhal, F.M. 1985. The last dissenter: H.N. Brailsford and his world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Linklater, A. 2007. Distant suffering and cosmopolitan obligation. International Politics 44 (1): 19–36.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nardin, T. 2013. International political theory. In Theories of international relations, 5th ed, ed. S. Burchill, and A. Linklater, 291–318. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Schmidt, B.C. 2014. A realist view of the Eurocentric conception of world politics. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 42 (2): 464–471.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, S. 1992. The forty years’ detour: The resurgence of normative theory in international relations. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 21 (3): 489–506.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sylvest, C. 2004. Interwar internationalism, the British Labour party and the historiography of international relations. International Studies Quarterly 48 (2): 409–432.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Peter Lamb.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lamb, P. Henry Noel Brailsford: neglected cosmopolitan. Int Polit 54, 104–117 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0022-3

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-017-0022-3

Keywords

  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Normative theory
  • Human nature
  • Socialism
  • League of Nations