102 years ago on the 10th of January 1920, the League of Nations was formed out of the Treaty of Versailles. Its aim was to maintain peace after the First World War. With 58 member states by the 1930s, it had successes e against drug traffickers and slave traders, settling border disputes and returning prisoners of war. But much of the treaty was designed to punish Germany after WWI, creating an environment of disillusionment that enabled Nazi ideology to thrive. Across the rest of Europe, it was working up against economic depression, rising nationalism and a lack of support from the two great nations of Russia and the United States. Its ultimate demise began with Hitler's declaration of war in 1939.
Was it too utopian and doomed to fail? In this episode Mats Berdal, Professor of Security and Development at Kings College London, joins Dan to discuss the legacy of the League of Nations, its importance in establishing the Geneva Protocol (prohibition of gas warfare), laying the foundations of the UN and the challenges that led to its ultimate failure.