Science and diplomacy

Dec 20, 2018 | Papers, Publications

Science and diplomacy: the National Education Board and the League of Nations. Portugal in the 1930s

  • Quintino Lopes
  • 2018
  • e-Journal of Portuguese History
  • Volume 16, Number 2
  • 42-58
  • Language: English
  • DOI:
  • ISSN: 1645-6432

Funded by the Junta de Educação Nacional (JEN—National Education Board), a State institution that aimed to europeanize scientific activity in Portugal in the 1930s, Fernando Silva obtained a PhD at the University of Geneva and became a privatdozent at the Faculty of Law. The authoritarian nationalist Estado Novo, seeking to avoid upsetting the status quo in Portuguese academia, appointed Silva, a specialist in international law, to a post in the Secretariat of the League of Nations, where international interests were assumed to take precedence over national interests. Embodying the ‘Spirit of Geneva,’ he influenced international diplomacy between the wars while acting against the interests of the Portuguese State. This makes interpretation of the actions of a regime that is traditionally seen as having turned its back on the rest of continental Europe even more complex.

League of Nations; Estado Novo; National Education Board; Diplomacy; Fernando Correia Pereira da Silva

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