Arne Gellrich, M.A.
My dissertation deals with the evolution of the elite discourse around decolonisation and ‘development’ within the framework of the League of Nations Mandates system.
Introduced in the inter-war period to administer the formerly German colonies along with a handful of provinces of the disintegrating Ottoman Empire, the Mandates system placed the territories in question under the quasi-colonial rule of imperialist allied powers; yet avoided the terminology of colonialism and incorporated the idea of a possible future independence.
The communications historical study takes a discourse analytical approach to the communication between relevant actors as recorded in the concerning documents kept in the League of Nations archive of the UN Library in Geneva. Its aim is to map how ideas concerning international development were construed in the actors’ constellation of the Mandates system, and how the period can best be placed within the history of international development thinking.