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But it is the impact of the Great Depression after 1929 that lies at the heart of this history. Patricia Clavin traces how the League of Nations sought to combat economic nationalism and promote economic and monetary co-operation in a variety of, sometimes contradictory, ways. Many of the economists, bureaucrats, and policy-advisors who worked for it played a seminal role in the history of international relations and social science, and their efforts did not end with the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1940 the League established an economic mission in the United States, where it contributed to the creation of organizations for the post-war world - the United Nations Organization, the IMF, the World Bank, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization - as well as to plans for European reconstruction and co-operation. It is a history that resonates deeply with challenges that face the twenty-first century world.
Patricia Clavin was educated at eleven different schools before studying History at King's College, London. She is Professor of International History and the Zeitlyn Fellow and Tutor in History at Jesus College, Oxford.