SOAS University of London

Major funding for SOAS and Ralph Bunche Institute collaboration

12 February 2013

SOAS Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) and the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies in New York have received substantial funding for a joint venture.

Wartime History and the Future United Nations has won a grant of $200,000 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Led by CISD director Dr Dan Plesch and Prof Thomas G. Weiss, presidential professor of political science and director of the Bunche Institute, the research project builds on Dr Plesch’s previous work, America, Hitler and the UN.

The Carnegie grant is intended to sponsor research and conferences to result in a book edited by Dr Plesch and Prof Weiss tentatively entitled, Past as prelude? Wartime history and the future United Nations. The volume aims to improve knowledge of the historical record and relevance of World War II activities in relation to postwar peace and prosperity through multilateral cooperation. It is hoped that the volume will help increase public awareness among not only academics but also the public, media, and policymakers of the crucial input by the United States.

Dr Plesch commented: “Prof Weiss and I are delighted to receive the support of the Carnegie Corporation, which gives us the opportunity to contribute to a stronger future UN.”
The Carnegie grant comes on top of an earlier £32,000 grant from The Oak Foundation, seed funding for one aspect of the historical puzzle - to unlock the lessons from the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC).

Wartime History and the Future United Nations has been described by Justice Richard Goldstone as introducing a positive “new paradigm” in International Criminal Law, the research team is developing multiple partners with events planned to mark the 70th Anniversary of the creation of the UNWCC in 1943.

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