An anomaly among anomalies: Colonial membership at the League of Nations

Rather than a grouping of sovereign states, the League of Nations, the precursor organisation to the United Nations, admitted several colonies and Dominions as member-states. Perhaps the most unusual addition to the League was that of British India, that was described as an ‘anomaly among anomalies’.

In today’s podcast, we will discuss under what terms colonies could be member-states of an international organisation, as well as why an Empire would want to admit them. And finally, we will cover the precedents that the inclusion of India caused at the League, and how they left their footprint in the structure of the UN. 

Thomas Gidney discusses his PhD thesis on how colonies could become admitted as member-states of international organisations, and the role they play in British imperial policy.

An anomaly among anomalies: Colonial membership at the League of Nations

Picture: LONTAD project
Music: England, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Pictures of the Floating World