The wars of peoples : science, democracy, and international politics in the thought of Winston Churchill.


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This dissertation investigates Churchill’s understanding of international relations, primarily by reading and analyzing several of his war histories. The first chapter explains Churchill’s historical philosophy, and reviews much of the secondary literature across the project as a whole. The second chapter looks at episodes from The World Crisis which teach important lessons about wartime statesmanship, or lack thereof. The third chapter examines the importance of peace-making as a part of the obligations of leaders in war. The failures of peace-making after World War I serve as urgent lessons for future leaders about the possibilities and limitations of peace-making, and particularly of what not to do, or what to seek to avoid. In seeking to understand Churchill’s teachings on international relations, his prescriptions for international politics and diplomacy in the twentieth century cannot be understood apart from his fears about the dangers of science and democracy, especially when combined. This is a running theme throughout the dissertation, dealt with directly in the fourth chapter, concerning Churchill’s most urgent warnings about science, democracy, and the future. In the fifth chapter, I turn to Churchill’s practical prescriptions for improved relations between states with an investigation of what he means by stating that honor can be a guide for international relations.



Winston Churchill. Statesmanship. International relations theory. Honor. Science and democracy.