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In the aftermaths of the Napoleonic Wars and the two world wars, the Western great powers made repeated efforts to build a world order that would establish peace and protect their interests, organized around various types of international bodies. Mazower is interested in why they did this.
In this intriguing little book, Mazower argues that the United Nations, like the League of Nations before it, did not emerge from a pristine liberal vision of universal rights. Instead, it was a manifestation of Victorian-era "imperial internationalism."