Did Chamberlain do the right thing?A debate.

It is interesting to observe how people in the UK judge the two world wars in retrospect. I have placed the two debates on my blog because both of them have been asking the question whether either war could have been avoided. In the case of the outbreak of war in 1914, 63% of those who cast their vote in this debate concluded that the UK was right to enter the fray, despite the carnage that ensued and the terrible events that flowed from the war. By contrast, 52% in the ensuing debate thought that Chamberlain did not do the right thing, and as you can see in the final results, it is the side that argued the case for appeasement which won the most additional adherents during the course of the debate; though they lost the final vote.  Both sides argued that in the end there was no alternative to war; but the Chamberlainites argued that he went to the ends of the earth to avoid the catastrophe, whereas the anti-Chamberlainites maintained that a firmer position by the allies against Japan in China and Hitler in Europe could have made war less likely. We are not likely to move far beyond these positions.

 

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About Jonathan Story, Professor Emeritus, INSEAD

Jonathan Story is Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy at INSEAD. Prior to joining INSEAD in 1974, he worked in Brussels and Washington, where he obtained his PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has held the Marusi Chair of Global Business at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Graduate Schoold of Business, Fordham University, New York. He is preparing a monograph on China’s impact on the world political economy, and another on a proposal for a contextual approach to business studies. He has a chapter forthcoming on the Euro crisis. His latest book is China UnCovered: What you need to know to do business in China, (FT/ Pearson’s, 2010) (www.chinauncovered.net) His previous books include “China: The Race to Market” (FT/Pearsons, 2003), The Frontiers of Fortune, (Pitman’s, 1999); and The Political Economy of Financial Integration in Europe : The Battle of the Systems,(MIT Press, 1998) on monetary union and financial markets in the EU, and co-authored with Ingo Walter of NYU. His books have been translated into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Arabic. He is also a co-author in the Oxford Handbook on Business and Government(2010), and has contributed numerous chapters in books and articles in professional journals. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, and has been four times winner of the European Case Clearing House “Best Case of the Year” award. His latest cases detail hotel investments in Egypt and Argentina, as well as a women’s garment manufacturer in Sri Lanka and a Chinese auto parts producer. He teaches courses on international business and the global political economy. At the INSEAD campus, in Fontainebleau and Singapore, he has taught European and world politics, markets, and business in the MBA, and PhD programs. He has taught on INSEAD’s flagship Advanced Management Programme for the last three decades, as well as on other Executive Development and Company Specific courses. Jonathan Story works with governments, international organisations and multinational corporations. He is married with four children, and, now, thirteen grandchildren. Besides English, he is fluent in French, German, Spanish, Italian, reads Portuguese and is learning Russian. He has a bass voice, and gives concerts, including Afro-American spirituals, Russian folk, classical opera and oratorio.
This entry was posted in France and Germany, United Kingdom, World politics, business and economics, World war and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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