The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations - Vol. 2

By Cathal J. Nolan | Go to book overview

Suggested Readings:
Martha B. Olcott, The Kazakhs (1987, 1995); Martha B. Olcott, Central Asia’s New States (1996).
Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928). General Treaty for the Renunciation of War. Also known as the Pact of Paris. In March 1927, French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand floated the idea of a defense pact with the United States, calling for joint renunciation of war as an instrument of policy. At first, Secretary of State Frank Kellogg and President Calvin Coolidge were annoyed. They objected to Briand appealing over their heads to American public opinion, and they thought his proposal could represent an entangling alliance. It was William Borah, the powerful Senate isolationist, who suggested deflecting the initiative into a multilateral declaration outlawing war. The French were greatly displeased. However, as holder of the 1926 Nobel Prize for Peace, Briand could hardly spurn a formal renunciation of war, no matter how little he actually believed in it. France eventually agreed to a multilateral pact, although with reservations that suggested to close observers that it reserved the right to use force for “legitimate self-defense.” Kellogg, who had supported the pact by ulterior design, soon came to believe it would be a benediction for humanity and embraced the cause with enthusiasm. It was duly agreed by some 65 states, including later aggressors such as Italy and Japan. It had no provision for enforcement. It was touted by more naïve liberal-internationalists as an advance for moral consciousness among states but was criticized by realists as a prime example of legalistic and moralistic folly in statecraft and diplomacy. Neither view seems entirely merited. The pact was actually a low-cost, even clever, security gambit by Briand. It failed because he did not foresee that isolationists in the United States would deflect it into an innocuous public relations exercise—that they would gut it by making it general. Despite this checkered history, the pact achieved much public acclaim. It was

cited in the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials to support charges of crimes against peace, and wording derived from it was later added to Article 9 of the post–World War II Japanese “Peace Constitution.”

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The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iv
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • F 530
  • Suggested Reading: 534
  • Suggested Readings: 547
  • Suggested Reading: 548
  • Suggested Reading: 557
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  • G 601
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  • H 681
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  • I 752
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  • J 846
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  • K 884
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  • L 927
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