Elihu Root, International Law, and the World Court

  • Greg Russell
Chapter
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought book series (PMHIT)

Abstract

Studies of the progressive movement in American history, particularly during the interwar years, have given far too little attention to the various strands of progressive international thought. This chapter analyzes Elihu Root’s campaign for the creation of a World Court, and defense of international law, as an important effort in the reform-minded movement to restrain international conflict and minimize the prospects for war through law. Root joined other progressives in emphasizing the moral and rational components of human nature and stressed an important connection between societal values and the projection of power. But he rejected balance-of-power thinking and looked to legal processes and institutions that would harmonize competing interests in the management of interstate rivalries. Another progressive dimension of Root’s work was a long-standing belief in an obligation of democratic nations to expand education curricula and university institutes in the field of international law.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greg Russell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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