UN Wartime History for the Future
Understanding the wartime United Nations reframes our understanding of the second half of the last century and of our own. From UNESCO to the World Bank the primary purpose of the multilateral system is conflict prevention and its wartime architects bequeathed us this system as a realist necessity vital in times of trial, not as a liberal accessory to be discarded when the going gets rough.
This research is encapsulated in Dan Plesch's 'America, Hitler and the UN' published by IB Tauris. The book shows how the United Nations was born in 1942, defeated the Axis Powers led by Germany, Italy and Japan and created today's UN system. America, Britain and the Soviet Union led a coalition of states organised as the United Nations. Bretton Woods and San Francisco were United Nations conferences, and interim United Nations organisations preceded the Charter.
The Centre is now working an a project on the Wartime History and Future UN with the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Study at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York.
View a full-screen version of this interactive and video timeline.
The UN in World War II America: map icons open to WWII conferences, local newspaper articles and college activity on the UN
View The UN in World War II America in a larger map
View a map of the United Nations in Wartime London
The project leaders are interested in developing partnerships with other researchers and organizations on the implications of the wartime United Nations (WUN) for contemporary international policy and U.S. politics in particular and in its relationship to IR theory, the archaeology, genealogy and historiography of the study of international politics since 1945 and the impact of the WUN on the campaigns and politics of the Second World War.
Previous and upcoming events
- The UN War Crimes Commission of 1943-1948 (9 Feb 2012)
- 70th Anniversary of the Declaration by United Nations (18 Jan 2012)
Walter Christman, Jill Kastner, Jerry Kuehl, Dan Plesch, Dorothy Thomas, Sir Brian Urquhart, David Wardrop, Prof Thomas G. Weiss
- 'A Global New Deal: Lessons from FDR's projects' podcast and presentation by Dan Plesch at Chatham House
- Plesch, D. "United Nations" in the Princeton Encyclopedia of U.S. Political History, 2010
- Plesch, D. How the United Nations beat Hitler and prepared the peace, Global Society, Volume 22, Issue 1 January 2008 , pages 137 - 158
- The United Nations Today and Tomorrow, published by the United Nations Information Organisation 1945
- The Hidden History of the UN, Opendemocracy, May 2005
- National Archives "United Nations"
- Sira, Inger Helene, The Forgotten Story: Norway's role in the Creation of the United Nations (1942-1945) *Master's dissertation for CISD
- Branson, Nick, Winning the War but Losing the Peace *Master's dissertation for CISD
- Read an endorsement of 'America, Hitler and the UN' by Sir Brian Urquhart
18 July 2012More news
27 February 2012More news
25 January 2012More news
6 January 2012More news