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The history of a lesson: Versailles, Munich and the social construction of the past

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

The article investigates the concept of lessons in IR. By means of a constructivist critique of the 'lessons literature', the article analyses one of the most important of IR lessons: that of Munich. Examining how the Munich lesson came about, the article shows the praxeological nature of lessons and emphasises the need to study the history of lessons rather than the lessons of history. This approach shows that Munich is the end point of a constitutive history that begins in the failure of the Versailles treaty to create a durable European order following the First World War. The Munich lesson is thus one element of the lesson of Versailles, which is a praxeology that defines how the West is to make peace, and against whom peace must be defended. The lesson of Versailles has been, at least in part, constitutive of the outbreak of the Cold War, and it continues to define the Western conception of what defines peace and security even in the 'war against terrorism'.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftReview of International Studies
Vol/bind29
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)499-519
Antal sider21
ISSN0260-2105
DOI
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2003

ID: 50807908