Building States investigates how the UN tried to manage the dissolution of European empires in the 1950s and 1960s—and helped transform the practice of international development and the meaning of state sovereignty in the process.
The United Nations, Development, and Decolonization, 1945–1965
By Eva-Maria Muschik
Columbia University Press
Postwar multilateral cooperation is often viewed as an attempt to overcome the limitations of the nation-state system. However, in 1945, when the United Nations was founded, large parts of the world were still under imperial control. Building States investigates how the UN tried to manage the dissolution of European empires in the 1950s and 1960s—and helped transform the practice of international development and the meaning of state sovereignty in the process.
Eva-Maria Muschik argues that the UN played a key role in the global proliferation and reinvention of the nation-state in the postwar era, as newly independent states came to rely on international assistance. Drawing on previously untapped primary sources, she traces how UN personnel—usually in close consultation with Western officials—sought to manage decolonization peacefully through international development assistance. Examining initiatives in Libya, Somaliland, Bolivia, the Congo, and New York, Muschik shows how the UN pioneered a new understanding and practice of state building, presented as a technical challenge for international experts rather than a political process. UN officials increasingly took on public-policy functions, despite the organization’s mandate not to interfere in the domestic affairs of its member states. These initiatives, Muschik suggests, had lasting effects on international development practice, peacekeeping, and post-conflict territorial administration.
Casting new light on how international organizations became major players in the governance of developing countries, Building States has significant implications for the histories of decolonization, the Cold War, and international development.
About The Author
Eva-Maria Muschik is a historian and an assistant professor in the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna.
Introduction: Managing the World
2. How to Build a State?: The UN in Libya
3. If Ten Years Suffice for Somaliland…
4. Moving Beyond Advice: Pioneering Administrative Assistance in Bolivia
5. Hammarskjöld, Decolonization, and the Proposal for an International Administrative Service
6. State-Building Meets Peacekeeping: The UN Civilian Operations in the Congo Crisis, 1960–1964
INTRODUCTION: Managing the World
One day it may seem paradoxical to have urged territories towards national independence at a time when it is acknowledged that world peace and the chance of survival are solely dependent upon the goodwill with which so-called sovereign states consent to sacrifice a part of their sovereignty.
— Jean de la Roche, United Nations Secretariat, September 1946
Writing in the wake of World War II, Jean de la Roche, a mid-level French civil servant with the United Nations (UN), argued that the two World Wars had sounded the death knell of both colonialism and nationalism. There was a palpable sense of a new beginning among those invested in international cooperation at the time, but also considerable uncertainty with regard to the future shape of the world order and the role that the UN might play in it. To de la Roche, it was clear that “the idea of the colonizer and colonized” had to be abolished and replaced by “cooperation and mutual assistance for the common good and the stability of the world.” Yet, dividing the world into “watertight compartments” of nationalism offered no solution to the imperial question. Such a development would only breed ignorance and suspicion, as the two World Wars had made abundantly clear. Doubtful that true independence could even be achieved in the twentieth century in anything but name, de la Roche thought that interdependence had to be recognized as a fact of international life. It would be a folly, he argued, “to form states on already outmoded lines,” only to retrace one’s steps later on. What was called for, then, was something entirely new: a reimagination of state sovereignty and international relations for the postcolonial world, a transformation in which the UN would play a central role.
Multilateral cooperation is often presented as an attempt to overcome the limitations of the nation-state system. This book, by contrast, explores how the UN was involved in establishing said system and examines the organization’s role in the transition from a world of empires to one of nominal nation-states in the 1950s and 1960s. When the UN was founded in 1945, it had fifty-one member states. European colonial powers were still, and in some cases again, in control of large parts of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. Twenty years later, UN membership had jumped to 117, and a majority of the new members were former colonies. This book explores the role of the UN Secretariat in New York, the bureaucracy of civil servants that carry out the day-to-day work of the organization, in contributing to this strange triumph of state sovereignty.
The rapid proliferation of newly independent states after 1945 might be perceived as strange, first because, at the outset of postwar decolonization, there were a number of alternative political projects to empire, from nonhierarchical associations between “metropoles” and colonies to regional federal arrangements. Second, during this era of decolonization, state sovereignty became an increasingly less meaningful barrier to outside intervention because the process of state proliferation went hand in hand with an expansion of the activities of international organizations, especially in “developing countries.” As Guy Fiti Sinclair notes, it would be overly simplistic to suggest that this development resulted in a loss of sovereignty by states. To the contrary: the expansion of the activities and powers of international organizations was intimately bound up with the creation of states, the construction of state power, and the very constitution of modern statehood in the postwar period. The post-1945 triumph of state sovereignty, then, represents no extension of a European, Westphalian model of international relations to the rest of the world, but a new phenomenon of the postcolonial world, which brought into being a multitude of “developmental states” that depend on foreign personnel and funding in exercising their sovereignty.
Year of Admission:
1948: Burma (Myanmar in 1989)
1955: Cambodia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka in 1991), Jordan, Laos, Libya
1956: Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia
1957: Ghana, Malaya (Malaysia in 1963)
1960: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Leopoldville), Cyprus, Dahomey (Benin in 1974), Gabon, Ivory Coast, Malagasy Republic (Madagascar in 1975), Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Togo, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso in 1984)
1961: Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Tanganyika (Tanzania in 1964)
1962: Algeria, Burundi, Jamaica, Rwanda, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda
1963: Kenya, Kuwait, Zanzibar (Tanzania in 1964)
1964: Malawi, Malta, Zambia
1965: The Gambia, Maldives, Singapore
Source: Data drawn from https://www.un.org/en/about-us/growth-in-un-membership. Image by author.
In 1945, when some 750 million people were living under colonial rule, the UN was founded as both a creature of empires and of nation-states. European colonial powers initially hoped that the organization—like its predecessor, the League of Nations—might help to newly legitimize imperial rule at the international level. And indeed, the UN Charter, the organization’s foundational, constituent treaty, explicitly recognized and thus legitimized colonialism as a form of international trusteeship in the name of the advancement of the inhabitants of a given territory under foreign rule. Yet, in the years to come, a growing number of “Third World” states gave new meaning to the Charter’s principle of self-determination and turned the UN into an instrument for ending formal colonialism. This development did not flow automatically from the letter of the Charter but was a hotly contested process of confrontation and negotiation. Building States looks at how the UN Secretariat tried to reconcile these two competing projects: the internationalization of empire and the Third World campaign to end colonialism. It examines how UN officials managed the tension between the organization’s commitment to international trusteeship in the name of development as well as its simultaneous commitment to self-determination and respect for state sovereignty.
The provision of international “technical assistance”—the dispatch of experts to assist requesting governments with any number of issues—became key to this endeavor. This type of development assistance, this book argues, enabled the UN to reconcile its position as both “arbiter of the universal and defender of the particularism of the nation-state.” It provided the organization with a means to support the nation-state form and thus widen the base of UN clientele, while simultaneously giving it a privileged position to influence national policies. Moreover, technical assistance allowed the Secretariat to work with and build on colonial development initiatives, while leaving room for national governments to determine policies. In short, development assistance seemed to offer a way of accommodating competing political projects and thus peacefully managing and facilitating decolonization.
By shifting away from the high politics of the Security Council and the General Assembly to the nominally “technical” work of the organization, Building States challenges the narrative of the organization as a mere “talking shop” that was largely paralyzed during the Cold War by the superpower standoff. As UN officials responded to the distinct pressures of decolonization in a Cold War context, they extended the activities of the organization from development assistance to peacekeeping, far beyond the scope and powers that its founding fathers had envisioned.
Focusing on Secretariat initiatives represents just one way of telling the history of the United Nations. The UN system is confusingly vast, with multiple headquarters, intergovernmental bodies, subcommittees, regional commissions, affiliated organizations, and programs. The organization as such can be approached as an international public forum that states can use for propaganda purposes, negotiation, and norm-setting. It can also be seen as an international venue for informal networking among government representatives, activists, and communities of experts. A focus on the Secretariat (and not just the secretaries-general), however, allows us to see more clearly the agency of the organization itself in global affairs—as well as the limits thereof.
As with many other features of the UN, its international bureaucracy—which possesses diplomatic immunities and is supposed to be loyal only to the world organization—was an innovation pioneered by the League of Nations. Like the League Secretariat, the UN bureaucracy was divided into functional units, corresponding roughly to the principal organs of the world organization (the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and the Trusteeship Council). In comparison to national or even municipal bureaucracies, in the early years, the UN Secretariat was a fairly small “club” of only a few thousand employees. While the secretary-general was appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council, the hiring of permanent UN staff fell to the Secretariat itself, which relied heavily on the professional networks and contacts of its earliest members. Despite officially aspiring to broad geographic representation, the early Secretariat—much like the League bureaucracy before it—was dominated by Western civil servants. In 1956, for example, nationals from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France filled about half of all high-level posts within the UN bureaucracy. Though presented as an apolitical administration, the Secretariat did much more than simply execute directives from the organization’s main intergovernmental organs. By shaping how member states framed their interests, by developing and lobbying for their own aid proposals, and by interpreting requests for assistance from member states, UN officials were not simply intergovernmental or bureaucratic conduits, but assumed a proactive role in international governance. At the same time, UN employees were in no position to simply impose their ideas and initiatives on member states and aid recipients.
Until now, scholarship on the UN and development has largely focused on ideas rather than practice and privileged the goings-on at the headquarters over activities in the field. A second deliberate choice in writing this book was therefore to focus primarily on the activities of the organization in select settings abroad—in the former Italian colonies of Libya and Somaliland, in Bolivia, and in the Congo —rather than on New York or Geneva. This approach follows from the conviction that UN thinking and practice did not result from isolated contemplation of abstract issues at the headquarters, but was shaped by the organization’s engagement in member states and territories bound for UN membership. This book’s rather unusual geography is a result of the sites deemed interconnected and important for UN development assistance by the world organization’s staff members at the time. To be clear, the book does not offer a history of those sites, but rather a history of the United Nations told mainly through its archival trail and the personal papers of key Western UN officials. As a result, non-Western voices are not as well represented in the following pages as one would like them to be. This approach—though necessarily limited—nevertheless illuminates biases and interests, decisions and unintended consequences, as well as the hidden diplomacy that shaped international assistance in the postwar decades. Hopefully, it will also encourage further studies that broaden the UN cast and probe how the world organization affected the societies it engaged in various ways and vice versa.
The book advances three basic, interrelated arguments. First, the UN should be taken seriously as more than an intergovernmental forum: namely, as an important actor in global history that was substantially shaped by its employees. Second, although Western member states, especially the United States, enjoyed disproportionate influence on the day-to-day work of the organization, the Secretariat was no simple handmaiden of powerful Western nations, but pursued its own agenda. Third, in its attempt to manage decolonization, the UN Secretariat made important contributions to development thinking and practice: it helped shape an understanding of state-building as a universal technical challenge (rather than a unique political or historical process) that required the expertise of myriad specialists in order to succeed. And UN staff helped push international development assistance from an earlier emphasis on advisory services into a more operational direction that focused on getting the job done on behalf of aid recipients. Recovering this history helps us to better understand the role of the UN in the end of empire, the Cold War bloc competition, and the history of development.
THE UN, EMPIRE, AND DECOLONIZATION
Formal empire had taken multiple hits both before and during World War II. While the large European land empires dissolved as a result of World War I, most overseas empires—save for the comparatively short-lived German one—survived the war and even extended their reach. At the same time, the “Great War” also catalyzed anticolonial resistance. The severe ramifications of the Great Depression of the early 1930s led to additional pressure by causing strikes and riots in many colonies. During the Second World War, European imperial powers appeared vulnerable in the eyes of colonial soldiers, who fought on their behalf, and vis-à-vis subject populations, when their colonies in East Asia were seized by Japan. The Free French, the antifascist government-in-exile, was thrown back completely on colonial territory when continental France fell to Germany in 1940. The Allied anti-Nazi propaganda further discredited racist ideas of superiority as a legitimation for colonial rule, and important voices within the emerging superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, assumed anticolonial positions.
By signing the Atlantic Charter in 1941, the British technically approved of a people’s right to self-determination, while France explicitly recognized the contribution of the colonies to the war effort at the Brazzaville conference in 1944. In their need to newly legitimize empire before international, domestic, and colonial audiences during and after the war, European imperial powers turned to the promise of welfare and development as well as a closer association between “metropole” and colonies. As a result of new commitments in this regard, imperial governance became increasingly costly for European powers, which were already struggling with the economic legacies of the war. Some “metropolitan” policymakers thus began to wonder whether they had more to gain from close-knit post-independence relationships with their former “charges” than from continuing to maintain formal sovereignty in the colonies; much as they had done with regard to colonies that had come under international oversight in the interwar period.
Following World War I, League of Nations oversight of select colonial administrations, so-called mandates, had raised the stakes of imperial governance. As a result, some “metropolitan” policymakers began to view formal independence in combination with significant informal influence as a good alternative to continued colonial rule under international purview. The British and indeed the international granting of formal independence to the League mandate of Iraq in 1932 provided a model for postcolonial informal rule, as London maintained extensive military and economic rights in the new state. As Susan Pedersen has argued, Iraq’s transition to sovereign statehood—to a degree—robbed formal independence of its terrors and helped make the end of empire imaginable in British eyes. This is not to suggest that decolonization thereafter unfolded peacefully as the result of a sober cost-benefit analysis in the European capitals. Prolonged and brutal wars, such as the ones in Indonesia, Kenya, and Algeria, which ultimately led to these countries’ independent statehood, illustrate the continued European unwillingness to give up empire. It took several developments—in the colonies, in the “metropoles,” and at the international level—that together led to the acceleration of decolonization after 1945. The UN was one among many factors in that story.
As is often acknowledged, the world organization was not just remade by decolonization but played an important role in the end of empire itself. Yet, this story is less straightforward than UN informational material, which depicts decolonization as the success story of the world organization, might suggest. The UN was not originally intended as an instrument of decolonization. The planners who were instrumental in setting up the world organization contemplated a number of plans with regard to the colonial world, ranging from immediate independence for all colonies to an extension of League-style international supervision to all imperial holdings. At first sight, the UN founding conference in San Francisco in 1945 offered no New Deal for the Black man, as frustrated contemporary observers put it. The League of Nations regime of international supervision for a few select territories was reestablished under a new name: the UN trusteeship system—with the important difference that a special category of so-called strategic UN trust territories was created, which effectively allowed the United States to administer Pacific island territories without UN supervision. Another important difference to the League was the inclusion of a “Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories” in the UN Charter, which established general principles for colonial rule by UN member states. On the one hand, this declaration newly legitimized all colonial rule at the international level as “a sacred trust” in the name of protection and advancement of the territories in question. On the other hand, it officially turned imperial rule in general into a matter of international concern, which anticolonial member states within the General Assembly soon seized upon.
At the San Francisco conference, the ultimate goal of colonial trusteeship, framed as a choice between eventual self-government or political independence, was a hotly debated issue. In the Charter, independence was spelled out as a possible goal for UN trust territories, but not for other colonies. Yet, within the General Assembly, a growing coalition of Arab, Asian, and African states— often supported by the Soviet Union and its allies as well as some Latin American countries—increasingly championed political independence as the goal for colonial territories. The fiercely contested 1949 General Assembly decision to grant independence to the former Italian colonies of Libya and Somaliland after a temporally limited period of colonial trusteeship had a signal effect: if such “poorly advanced” territories (in terms of economic resources, professional personnel, and infrastructure) could be established as independent states within a relatively short period, why did other, “more advanced” colonies have to continue to rely on colonial trusteeship for their development for an undeterminable time?
At the same time, UN representatives began to scrutinize imperial powers’ developmental promises with regard to their colonies, not just in the Trusteeship Council but also in the General Assembly. Against resistance from the imperial powers, the first General Assembly—aided by Secretariat officials—set up a Committee on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories, composed of imperial and nonimperial powers alike. The committee would henceforth review and discuss reports submitted by the colonial powers, relating to ostensibly technical matters in “dependent territories,” as colonies were now called in UN parlance: that is, a colony’s economic, social, and educational conditions. By drawing up the detailed questionnaire on the basis of which colonial powers drafted their annual reports for each territory, Secretariat officials had a hand in promoting an expansive view of national development. As Jessica L. Pearson has shown, the Committee became an important site for both pro- and anticolonial government representatives at the UN to discuss which territories would be considered colonies, as well as how and to what end colonial rule should be practiced. It created a significant opening that allowed the world to see “the inner lives of empires.”
Going beyond scrutiny of imperial rule and holding imperial powers accountable to their lofty promises of protection and development, representatives from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa —aided by the Soviet Union and its satellite states—mounted an active campaign within and outside the UN to end formal colonialism. This culminated in the 1960 UN General Assembly Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Peoples, which called for the immediate transfer of power “without any conditions or reservations” and thus, as Adom Getachew has argued, marked a watershed in the history of decolonization. The Committee of 24, which was subsequently established in order to oversee the implementation of the 1960 Declaration, featured an overwhelming number of anticolonial powers and thus quickly became a year-round source of critique of the remnants of imperial rule. While this campaign gave momentum to individual liberation struggles, as was the case in Algeria, there were naturally limits to what critiques in New York could achieve on the ground. A case in point was recalcitrant South Africa, which continued to rule South West Africa (Namibia) until 1990, despite manifold UN protestations. And, of course, there were limits to the kinds of claims to self-determination that were recognized as legitimate within the halls of the General Assembly; those excluded, for example, the ones that were made by ethnic minorities within established nation-states. Nevertheless, the UN General Assembly was an important site for government representatives from the Global South to lobby for a more egalitarian, post-imperial world order.
Departing from a focus on these intergovernmental deliberations, Building States examines the hands-on-role that UN officials sought to play in processes of decolonization. In heeding the increasingly vociferous calls within the General Assembly for a break with formal colonialism, the Secretariat soon offered to assume “impartial” trusteeship in the postcolonial world itself, to fill the presumed void left by the departure of the colonial powers, and to guide national development after empire. Governments in the Global South, many of whom were struggling with very real shortages in terms of professional personnel, relied on UN assistance to varying degrees. Though limited in scope, the UN project of international trusteeship clashed with the organization’s pronounced goal of noninterference in the internal affairs of member states. It also put the world organization in direct competition with imperial powers’ attempts to manage decolonization and maintain strong informal ties with their former colonies after independence.
Despite increasingly confrontational rhetoric in the General Assembly, Secretariat officials who managed to get a foothold in decolonization processes in “dependent territories,” such as the former Italian colonies, prior to independence generally sought to build on the colonial experience and cooperate with often highly reluctant imperial administrators. Initially, colonial officials in Libya and Somaliland perceived the world organization as a nuisance or even a threat: a useless drain on resources and an incompetent challenge to imperial expertise and authority. Eventually, however, some imperial administrators came to regard UN officials as useful allies. The Secretariat, in any case, hoped to build a supposedly neutral bridge from an imperial past and present to an international future and at the same time avoid a Cold War superpower confrontation over Third World development.
A COLD WAR INSTRUMENT?
The United States is widely recognized as the main driving force behind the UN’s establishment, though scholars continue to debate Washington’s intentions and influence. How exactly Western states tried to steer the day-to-day operations of the organization once it was set up has received less scholarly attention. Of course, the world organization was by no means the impartial body it presented itself to be. As noted above, in the first two postwar decades, the majority of UN funding and staff, particularly in key senior positions, came from Western nations. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, European colonial powers constituted the principal (though not exclusive), recruiting grounds for UN development experts. As this book demonstrates, the United States—as the main financial sponsor and host country of the organization—enjoyed outsized informal access to and influence on many UN civil servants.
Prior to visiting aid recipient countries, UN officials would usually consult policymakers in Washington, D.C. as well as the relevant imperial “metropoles.” “In the field,” they mingled with Western diplomats and often relied on the U.S. embassies’ communication services. It is thus no surprise that in Bolivia in the late 1940s and early 1950s, for example, the United States and the UN were often seen as synonymous. At the same time, reactionary forces in Washington attacked the UN as a seedbed of communism, embroiling the Secretariat in McCarthyist witch-hunts. Eastern European and Third World countries, meanwhile, continuously pushed for a diversification of UN staff in terms of geographic representation, especially after the sudden expansion of UN membership in 1955, when sixteen new member states joined the World Organization. By the early 1960s, the push to diversify the Secretariat was increasingly successful.
But even the Western staff covered in this book, which dominated the work of the organization in the first two decades, were a fairly diverse, though generally left-leaning group that included former colonial officials such as de la Roche, African-American scholars such as Ralph Bunche, League bureaucrats such as the Dutch Adrian Pelt, and “exponents of Swedish socialism” such as economist John Lindberg. Given the diversity of experience and outlooks this brought to the table, UN officials did not always agree on how best to assist member states and promote development. More importantly, the Secretariat was no straightforward instrument of American or European politics. Rather, UN staff pursued their own agenda, reflecting a degree of disunity in the “Western camp” when it came to matters of development. At times, specific UN developmental recommendations were thwarted by American or European resistance (e.g., with regard to the monetary arrangement for Libya); other times, UN thinking influenced Western policies (e.g., the U.S. decision to support a revolutionary regime in Bolivia). Often Western powers found more useful allies in employees of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as the British did in Libya, and the United States in Bolivia.
An examination of U.S. and European influence on the Secretariat thus complicates schematic chronologies that suggest “years of Western domination” at the UN up until the early 1960s, followed by a Western turn away from the world organization (when it became too “unwieldy” as a result of decolonization) toward ideologically more reliable organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank. To policymakers in the United States and the European “metropoles,” it seems the UN was a rather unreliable instrument for imposing their agendas from the get-go. As a result, Washington did not put much weight behind any of the UN initiatives covered in this book, with the important exception of the organization’s intervention in the Congo Crisis, but here, too, the Secretariat pursued its own agenda.
Generally, the UN officials portrayed in this book were keen to work in close consultation with European colonial administrators and U.S. representatives and hoped to guide the development of UN member states in a social democratic, capitalist direction. While some thought that multilateral assistance offered a path to “win the Cold War by other means,” most were more concerned with peacefully managing the end of empire. The UN, in any case, was far from paralyzed during the Cold War. Indeed, in the two postwar decades covered here, it pioneered certain practices such as developmental state-building and peacekeeping, which ultimately outlasted the superpower conflict and was taken to new heights in the 1990s.
INTERNATIONAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND THE LIMITS OF UN AGENCY
While no simple tool of an all-powerful West, the idea of the UN as a neocolonial force in its own right is equally misleading. The organization’s employees could only hope to affect national development by persuasion, not by coercion. In the early years of the UN (even before U.S. President Harry Truman’s famous Point IV speech), the primary means to deliver on the promise of development was “technical assistance”—that is, the extension of knowledge and skills, usually by dispatching international experts to advise governments, but also by offering training or scholarships in various fields to select nationals of interested member states. International technical assistance was based on the uncontroversial ideas that lack of expert personnel and know-how was among the factors impeding development and that requesting governments should be in full control over the kind of foreign assistance rendered. (The insistence by poorer countries at the UN that substantial capital assistance was also needed to promote development found less support among the richer member states.) Upon request, technical assistance experts would conduct a visit to study a particular problem or the country’s overall potential for development and then submit a report making certain policy- recommendations, which the recipient government was free to accept or reject. The UN framework for improving the world’s welfare and development was thus decidedly national, even though many of its officials were painfully aware of the limitations of such an approach. UN economists Hans Singer and Raúl Prebisch, for example, demonstrated as early as 1950 that the terms of world trade were detrimental to many countries in the Global South, which depended on the export of primary commodities. Drawing on this insight, Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld conceded in the mid-1950s that much more could be achieved if the goodwill that had led to the establishment of postwar international aid programs was applied to improving world trade relations for these countries. Yet, it was only in the late 1960s and 1970s, when the balance of power within the General Assembly shifted more decisively toward Third World states, that arguments in favor of global policies to tackle inequalities among nations gained new momentum with the establishment of the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the call for a New International Economic Order. The 1950s and early 1960s by contrast, were not just the prime time of the “high modernist” projects that have received much scholarly attention, but also of small-scale technical assistance projects.
Though UN officials would often present it as such, postwar technical assistance was not a new phenomenon. In the interwar period, the League of Nations’ Committee on Technical Cooperation had sent several expert missions abroad, to India, Palestine, China, and Chile, with the goal of improving public health and fostering economic growth. The League-affiliated International Labor Organization (ILO) had also dispatched small teams of advisers to support various governments in the introduction of labor legislation and social security programs. During World War II, this type of practical international assistance increased and—in addition to setting up the UN Organization itself—the Allies also established a number of so-called UN specialized agencies: independent UN-affiliated international organizations that would focus on specific economic and social problems and thus, it was hoped, help stave off unrest and war in the postwar period. In 1942, the Allies set up the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the following year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In 1944, the UN Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, established the IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which later came to be known as the World Bank. Each UN agency would offer technical assistance in its respective field.
Many states initially hoped that the IBRD would serve as the main economic development agency of the UN system, but were soon disappointed. Accordingly, poorer countries turned directly to the UN, where voting power was not tied to economic might, to provide an overall framework for the many proliferating assistance services. In the Charter, UN member states had vaguely vowed “to employ international machinery” “to promote economic and social progress and development” around the world in order “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” During the very first meeting of the General Assembly in London in 1946, representatives from Colombia and Lebanon took up the issue and placed the inequalities in economic development among member states on the organization’s agenda, calling for a UN plan to remedy the situation. Their initiative set the ball rolling and, supported by Latin American, Asian, and Arab countries, led to the December 1948 General Assembly decision to fund “technical assistance for economic development.”
Although the UN goal of promoting better living standards worldwide was ambitious, the means made available to this end were miniscule: the General Assembly initially appropriated no more than $288,000 from the organization’s regular budget for development assistance. A month after the UN’s decision, however, U.S. President Truman followed the world organization’s lead and called for “a bold new program” of international technical assistance “for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas” in his famous Point IV inaugural speech. While Truman is often credited with ushering in the “great American mission” of global modernization in the postwar period, it is mostly forgotten that he called on all nations to work together through the UN and its specialized agencies for this purpose.
Even though critics charged that the president’s foray was neither bold nor new, his speech caused great excitement among UN officials, and the subsequent U.S. commitment of funds to development propelled the organization’s fledgling assistance activities to another level. Following Truman’s speech, Western UN member states allocated $20,000,000 to the UN on a voluntary basis for technical assistance purposes and the contributions continued to increase in the years to come. Denouncing technical assistance as an imperialist design to exploit the resources of poorer countries, the Soviet Union and its allies refused to donate money to the UN program until 1953. Even when they joined the effort after Stalin’s death, the socialist contribution to the UN assistance budget remained minimal, hovering around 5 percent throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, as opposed to the 87 percent shouldered by Western European and North American countries.
The donated technical assistance funds were distributed among the specialized agencies and the UN Secretariat according to predetermined shares, but the Secretariat also assumed a coordinating function for the UN assistance program, called the Expanded Program for Technical Assistance (EPTA), in which the agencies participated. Within the Secretariat, a new department— the Technical Assistance Administration (TAA)—was created for that purpose in 1950. In aid-recipient countries, the UN build up a system of so-called resident representatives to help governments plan for development and formulate requests for assistance. Though officially in charge of the UN system’s program, the Secretariat was just one among a number of technical assistance providers—and not the best endowed one, at that—in a rapidly expanding and professionalizing field covered by the specialized agencies (which had their own technical assistance programs in addition to EPTA), philanthropic organizations such as the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, and bilateral assistance programs offered by the United States and Western European countries, and eventually Eastern European states as well. Within EPTA, the Secretariat initially assumed primary responsibility for assistance in the fields of economic and industrial development, transport and communications, public finance and fiscal questions, social development, and public administration. As this book will show, it was in the latter field where UN officials soon saw the opportunity of offering a unique service to “developing countries.”
FROM PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION TO STATE-BUILDING
The Secretariat viewed technical assistance in government administration as a comparatively cheap, ostensibly apolitical type of aid with the biggest possible impact on a country’s development. Like many of their contemporaries who were professionally concerned with development, UN officials in the postwar period thought of the state as the main provider of national welfare and the principal driving force behind a country’s progress. But they went a step further in identifying proper government administration as the key to ensuring both national self-determination and development. UN representatives presented public administration as a universal technical skill, separate from politics and thus legitimate terrain for outside assistance. Yet, they also thought of such assistance as central enough for their intervention to have an important effect on national policies. The UN, so the argument went, would take care of governance while leaving actual government to national actors.
For the UN officials covered in this book, development was a complex process, involving political, economic, social, and educational progress. They did not promote any one-size-fits-all solutions, nor did they call for a radical redistribution of power and wealth. Rather, they advocated incremental, progressive change in all spheres of public life, which they believed could be stimulated and sped up by government intervention. The “modern state” was to ensure public welfare, education, and infrastructure while also continuously improving existing industries and kick-starting new ones to diversify the country’s economy and increase its overall productivity. Especially in decolonizing countries, the perceived challenge was how to meet rising public expectations of prosperity and welfare, despite generally declining state revenues and lack of professional staff. For ambitious national policymakers in these countries, the room to maneuver was very much constrained. Hence, the UN insisted on the necessity of impartial foreign assistance in terms of both personnel and funding, for what they perceived to be an essentially national endeavor of development.
Following James Ferguson’s landmark study of development as an “anti-politics machine,” scholars have repeatedly shown how development work depoliticized contentious issues by presenting them as technical problems. The UN officials in this book were often well aware of the politics behind any given request for assistance. Still, they interpreted their mandate to respect state sovereignty as a ban against becoming involved in contentious national issues such as labor conflicts and instead chose to subsume them within the broader framework of national development. Many national governments embraced this framing for their own reasons. Ferguson’s other finding, which has received less attention, suggests that the expansion of bureaucratic state power was a “side effect” of development efforts. This book suggests that UN officials quite consciously put heavy emphasis on strengthening administrative structures as a prime objective of development.
Although tackling the world’s administrative problems threatened to be a rather dull undertaking, it steered the UN head-on into serious controversy. The notion of public administration as distinct from politics and thus the rightful terrain for international experts did not go unchallenged: many UN member states jealously guarded their sovereignty and independence and, in the case of former imperial powers, the ties to their former colonies. While London and Paris perceived UN assistance in this field as unwelcome competition, some “developing countries” expressed well-founded concern that the UN might simply reintroduce colonial administrators under international auspices. International civil servants, meanwhile, worried about the repercussions of UN overreach, cautioning that the specter of “world government” might jeopardize member states’ support for the organization as a whole. Yet, many governments—for varying reasons—ultimately welcomed international administrative assistance as a means to bolster their national state-building projects.
In that sense, UN development assistance was neither a neocolonial imposition nor a triumph of international understanding. Rather, it was the result of negotiation between international civil servants and sovereign states of vastly different bargaining power. UN assistance came to function as a voluntary state-building program in which the tension between foreign tutelage in the name of expertise and the self-determination of sovereign states was continuously renegotiated. There was no literal “rule of experts,” much as there was no world government. The United Nations, as Daniel Speich Chassé has argued, established norms of government but did not rule. It functioned neither as a globalized nation-state nor as an empire ruled from New York. Instead global governance as practiced by UN experts drew legitimacy and gained adherence through the communication of scientific rationality. Where the UN failed to convince recipient governments of the soundness or utility of its advice or operations, there was little the organization could do to determine national policymaking.
Ultimately, the UN never provided the large-scale administrative assistance it envisioned as necessary to overcome the imperial past and build a peaceful international future. The global “age of functionaries” that some of its officials had dreamed of, envisioning an international brotherhood (there were few female UN experts) of scientists, technicians, and educators working side by side in the administration of sovereign states to develop the world’s resources and ensure global prosperity and security, never came to pass. It should nevertheless be taken seriously as one vision of world order
—a managerial, technocratic internationalism—that competed with many other visions at a time when the outcome of processes of decolonization seemed far from certain. A version of this dream lives on today in instances of so-called international territorial administration, where nonelected international officials perform public policy functions in post-conflict settings.
The United Nations initiatives discussed in this book thus had significant repercussions. First, in their attempt to manage decolonization, UN officials helped to establish an understanding of state-building that is still relevant today: namely, as a technical challenge for international experts rather than a unique political or historical process. Whereas prior to 1945, the road to statehood led through political negotiations, under UN auspices, it became a process increasingly reliant on international “technical” expertise in an ever-expanding range of fields, from constitution writing to public health. Importantly, international state-building efforts did not conclude upon formal political independence but, to the contrary, were often pursued more vigorously in newly sovereign states and also became a central feature of many peacekeeping missions in the postcolonial world.
Second, UN officials helped push international development assistance more generally from an earlier emphasis on advisory services into an increasingly operational direction that focused on getting the job done on behalf of aid recipients. A sense of frustration over the limits of advisory assistance among both the recipients of the UN’s advice and the organization’s technical experts set in motion a reformulation of international assistance almost as soon as it had been agreed upon by UN member states in the late 1940s. As a result, foreign personnel were soon integrated into national government bureaucracies to carry out a multiplicity of jobs rather than merely provide advice on specialized problems. Taken together, this story helps to explain how international actors came to occupy increasingly important public policy functions in many of today’s “developing countries,” culminating in international attempts to assume virtual trusteeship of “weak” or “failed” states in the name of expertise and impartiality.
The UN role with regard to empire had been one of the most contentious issues of the wartime planning that led to the creation of the World Organization. This book’s first chapter, “The UN and the Colonial World,” revisits this history. It examines the codification of general principles of colonial rule applicable to all colonies in the UN Charter—the so-called Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories—and the establishment of the UN trusteeship system in the 1940s. The trusteeship system functioned as an apparatus of international oversight for specific colonial administrations and was intended to ensure the trust territories’ advancement toward self-government. Initiatives from within the UN trusteeship division, then directed by African-American political scientist Ralph Bunche, to shape this advancement and influence the day-to-day politics in the trust territories largely failed in view of imperial powers’ claims to sovereignty. This chapter argues that UN assistance after the nominal independence of former colonies was thus often more significant for the development of individual territories than formal UN trusteeship prior to independence.
As seen from Roosevelt Island in the East River in 1955. The skyscraper houses the Secretariat’s offices. Council chambers and conference rooms are located in the low building at the river’s edge, and the General Assembly in the domed building at center.
Source: UN Photo, UN7635336
Chapters 2 and 3—“How to Build a State: The UN in Libya” and “If ten years suffice for Somaliland …”—examine the crucial, largely unexplored role of the world organization in two former Italian colonies that became early testing grounds of UN state-building in the 1950s. When the wartime Allies failed to agree on the fate of these territories after the war, decision-making was left to the General Assembly, which stipulated in 1949 that both Libya and Somaliland were to become independent states within a fixed period of time under international supervision. The question of how they might achieve independent statehood was largely left open. Confronted with the problem of how to build a state, UN employees —journalist-turned-diplomat Adrian Pelt in Libya and former French colonial official Jean de la Roche in Somalia—called upon the nascent UN development assistance services. Initially, development missions were dispatched to conduct economy, health, education, and agriculture surveys in an attempt to understand how these states might endure after political independence. Eventually, development assistance came to provide an answer in itself when UN experts framed the new polities as sovereign states that depended on continued international assistance for the foreseeable future.
Chapter 4, “Moving beyond Advice: Pioneering Administrative Assistance in Bolivia,” examines one of the earliest UN assistance missions dispatched to a member state in 1949. This mission proved crucial in shaping UN thinking about the unique contribution that the organization could offer to member states’ development more generally and to newly independent states in particular. The UN, represented by Canadian civil servant Hugh Keenleyside, suggested that Bolivian administrative instability and incapacity presented the main obstacles to successful national development. To solve this problem, the UN offered to integrate foreign “administrative assistants” into Bolivia’s governmental bureaucracy. These international “experts,” it was hoped, would not only reform the country’s administration but also carry out, rather than merely advise on development policies. Although highly controversial for its potential breach of Bolivian sovereignty (and thus time-consuming and difficult to negotiate), the scheme was by no means imposed on the country, but readily embraced by vastly different governments in La Paz, highlighting the negotiated nature of UN development assistance.
Library of the Department on the thirtieth floor of the Secretariat building (1951). Source: UN Photo, UN7768692
Temporary cafeteria on the fifth floor of the Secretariat building (1951). Source: UN Photo, UN7757643
A view of the staff lounge on the fifth floor of the Secretariat building (1960). Source: UN Photo, UN7768101
Chapter 5, “Hammarskjöld, Decolonization, and the Proposal for an International Administrative Service,” uncovers how Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld sought to build on the Bolivian experiment to respond to the ongoing dissolution of European overseas empires and shape the emerging world of postcolonial states. In 1956, the Swedish head of the UN proposed the creation of a new service that would offer “nations emerging from foreign rule” seasoned, high-level administrators from abroad to help manage their newly independent polities. While many new states enthusiastically embraced this idea, the opposition of an odd alliance of representatives of select Third World nations, imperial powers, and Eastern European countries ensured that Hammarskjöld’s far-reaching vision was considerably weakened. The resulting UN program for the provision of operational and executive personnel (OPEX) nevertheless proved significant in pushing what member states and other aid agencies thought of as acceptable international development assistance away from advisory services into a more operational, paternalist direction.
The final chapter, “State-Building Meets Peacekeeping: UN Civilian Operations in the Congo Crisis, 1960–1964,” examines the UN’s intervention in the former Belgian colony, also known as Opération des Nations Unies au Congo (ONUC). Under Hammarskjöld’s lead, UN officials sought to use the multifaceted emergency that followed the Congolese rush to independence and the unique superpower agreement sanctioning a UN military intervention to showcase the organization’s capabilities in managing decolonization through development assistance and in particular, through OPEX-type services. In the Congo, the Secretariat set up the largest UN assistance program in the organization’s history to that date. Operating parallel to the Congolese government, it covered every conceivable field of public administration, from transportation and communications to health, education, agriculture, finance, and the judiciary. ONUC thus expanded the scope of international peacekeeping beyond its original simple policing function, by including the maintenance of a state’s public services in the name of stability and development—with lasting effects for similar endeavors today. Initially mounted as a campaign to demonstrate the world organization’s efficacy and importance, the intervention in the Congo proved a sobering experience for UN officials and member states, one that demonstrated the limits of UN state-building capacities and brought the organization close to political and financial collapse. As the epilogue notes, it was not until the end of the Cold War and the apparent proliferation of “state failure” that international administrative management as practiced by the UN in the Congo in the 1960s reemerged and was indeed taken to new heights, e.g., in Kosovo and East Timor. Recovering the story told in this book helps us better understand not only the genealogy of current-day international territorial administrations but of the United Nations more generally as both a creature of empires and nation-states. What this book seeks to offer is a sober analysis of the history of the world organization in the two formative postwar decades that reveals both the UN’s limitations and its impact on global history, as well as its flexibility to adapt to new circumstances and change over time.
 Jean de la Roche, “The Objectives of International Trusteeship,” 23 September 1946, Ralph Bunche papers (RB), Box 83, Folder 2, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California (UCLA). For further biographical information on de la Roche, see chapter 1.
 Mark Mazower uses the phrase “strange triumph” to describe a strengthening of the principle of state sovereignty with the new human rights regime underwritten by the UN in 1945. See Mark Mazower, “The Strange Triumph of Human Rights, 1933– 1950,” The Historical Journal 47, no. 2 (June 1, 2004): 379–98. Susan Pedersen suggests that our current world order of formally independent states can be traced back to the mandates system of the UN predecessor body, the League of Nations. See Susan Pedersen, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 13, 403–4.
 For different political imaginaries at the time, from visions of “Eurafrica” to federalism, see, e.g., Michael Collins, “Decolonisation and the ‘Federal Moment,’” Diplomacy & Statecraft 24, no. 1 (2013): 21–40; Frederick Cooper, Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945–1960 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014); Gary Wilder, Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015); Adom Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019); and Lydia Walker, “Decolonization in the 1960s: On Legitimate and Illegitimate Nationalist Claims-Making,” Past & Present 242, no. 1 (2019): 227–64.
 To call attention to the problematic implication of developmental hierarchies, I use the term “developing countries” in quotation marks.
 Guy Fiti Sinclair, To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 22. For the role of international organizations in defining statehood and shaping its agenda, also see Connie McNeely, Constructing the Nation-State: International Organization and Prescriptive Action (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1995).
 For a similar argument, see Karuna Matena, “Popular Sovereignty and Anti- Colonialism,” in Popular Sovereignty in Historical Perspective, ed. Richard Bourke and Quentin Skinner (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 297–319; Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire. For Afghanistan as a laboratory for postcolonial sovereign statehood, see Timothy Nunan, Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016); for an analysis of NGOs performing functions of sovereignty in the Sahel, see Gregory Mann, From Empires to NGOs in the West African Sahel: The Road to Nongovernmentality, African Studies Series 129 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
 For the co-constitution and intersection between internationalism and imperialism, see Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo and José Pedro Monteiro, eds., The Pasts of the Present: Internationalism, Imperialism and the Formation of the Contemporary World (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017); and Susan Pedersen, “Foreword,” in The Institution of International Order: From the League of Nations to the United Nations (London: Routledge, 2018). For the UN’s own take on the organization’s role in decolonization, see https://www.un.org/en/decolonization/ (last accessed 15 August 2019).
 Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); Pedersen, The Guardians.
 The Charter stipulated that colonial trusteeship should lead to self-government (not necessarily independence). See UN Charter, Chapter XI: Declaration Regarding Non- Self-Governing Territories, https://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-xi/index .html (last accessed 24 June 2019).
 Following Vijay Prashad, I use the term “Third World” to denote a common political project. Evan Luard, A History of the United Nations: The Age of Decolonization, 1955–1965, vol. 2 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989); Vijay Prashad, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (New York: The New Press, 2008); Mark Mazower, Governing the World : The History of an Idea (New York: Penguin Press, 2012); Ryan Irwin, “Imagining Nation, State, and Order in the Mid-Twentieth Century,” Rethinking Cold War History in Southern Africa, Kronos 37 (2011): 12–22; Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire. Also see footnote 31 for histories of self- determination.
 Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire; also see Ryan Irwin, “A Wind of Change? White Redoubt and the Postcolonial Moment, 1960–1963,” Diplomatic History 33, no. 5 (2009): 897–925. Also see Cindy Ewing, “‘With a Minimum of Bitterness’: Decolonization, the Arab-Asian Group and Postcolonial Internationalism at the United Nations,” Journal of Global History, forthcoming.
 Sunil Amrith and Glenda Sluga, “New Histories of the United Nations,” Journal of World History 19, no. 3 (2008): 260.
 Mazower, No Enchanted Palace, 27; David MacKenzie, A World beyond Borders: An Introduction to the History of International Organizations (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), 57.
 For recent introductions to UN histories, see Amrith and Sluga, “New Histories”; Amy Sayward, The United Nations in International History (London: Bloomsbury, 2017); Elisabeth Röhrlich, “State of the Field Essay on the History of the United Nations and Its Organizations,” H-Diplo, 2018, http://tiny.cc/E153; for a focus on the UN Secretariat, see John Toye and Richard Toye, The UN and Global Political Economy: Trade, Finance, and Development, United Nations Intellectual History Project Series (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004); Craig Murphy, The United Nations Development Programme: A Better Way? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Daniel Speich Chassé, “Der Blick von Lake Success: Das Entwicklungsdenken der Frühen UNO als ‘Lokales Wissen,’” in Entwicklungswelten—Globalgeschichte der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit, ed. Hubertus Büschel and Daniel Speich Chassé, vol. 6: Globalgeschichte (Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2009), 143–74; David Webster, “Development Advisors in a Time of Cold War and Decolonization: The United Nations Technical Assistance Administration, 1950–59,” Journal of Global History 6, no. 2 (2011): 249–72.
 Alanna O’Malley similarly distinguishes between three dimensions of UN history: the UN as a public stage, the UN as an actor; and the UN as a socializing space. Writing about the League, Susan Pedersen understands international organizations as “force fields” made up of shifting alliances, networks, and institutions, which a host of different actors entered and thought to exploit. Alanna O’Malley, Diplomacy of Decolonisation: America, Britain and the United Nations during the Congo Crisis 1960–64 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018), 2–3; Pedersen, The Guardians, 5.
 For a focus on Hammarskjöld and decolonization, see Henning Melber, Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations and the Decolonization of Africa (London: Hurst & Company, 2019). The secretaries-general of the organization, and particularly Hammarskjöld, have indeed received scholarly attention; for biographies of Hammarskjöld, see Brian Urquhart, Hammarskjold (New York: Knopf, 1972); Manuel Fröhlich, Political Ethics and the United Nations: Dag Hammarskjöld as Secretary- General (London: Routledge, 2008); Roger Lipsey, Hammarskjöld: A Life (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013); for renewed attention to international public administrations, see Karen Gram-Skjoldager, Haakon A. Ikonomou, and Torsten Kahlert, eds., Organizing the 20th-Century World: International Organizations and the Emergence of International Public Administration, 1920–1960s (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020).
 Karen Gram-Skjoldager and Haakon A. Ikonomou, “The Making of the International Civil Servant c. 1920–60: Establishing a Profession,” in Gram-Skjoldager, Ikonomou, and Kahlert, Organizing the 20th-Century World, 215–30; also see David MacFayden et al., Eric Drummond and His Legacies: The League of Nations and the Beginnings of Global Governance (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
 The International Court of Justice, though officially also a principal organ of the UN, is not serviced by the Secretariat in New York because it is located in the Hague. Initially, the principal units were: the Department of Security Council Affairs, the Department of Economic Affairs, the Department of Social Affairs, the Department of Trusteeship and Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories, the Department of Public Information, the Legal Department, Conference and General Services, and Administrative and Financial Services. (The Department of Economic Affairs and the Department of Social Affairs were merged in 1955.) See Yearbook of the United Nations 1946–1947 (New York: United Nations, 1947), 614.
 While the Secretariat in New York counted around 1,000 staff members in 1956, it nearly tripled in size over the next decade. In 1966, for example, it counted approximately 6,100 staff members, of whom 3,600 served at the UN headquarters in New York, while the remainder worked “in the field,” including at other headquarters, such as the one in Geneva. In addition to these permanent staff members, there were about 1,400 temporarily employed UN technical assistance experts in 1966. See A/C.5/689 Composition of the Secretariat: report of the Secretary General, 7 December 1956, and information provided with the photograph “United Nations Secretariat” (UN7768049), UN Photo Digital Asset Management System, https://dam .media.un.org/, last accessed 8 February 2021. Today the number is closer to 40,000. See https://ask.un.org/faq/14626, last accessed 9 August 2021.
 Welsh civil servant David Owen, who served as deputy to the British executive secretary of the UN Preparatory Commission, Gladwyn Jebb, and then to the first UN secretary-general, Trygve Lie, played an important role in staffing the world organization. Toye and Toye, The UN and Global Political Economy, 61; Murphy, The UNDP, 75; Owen’s personal papers are available at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. For biographical information, see Box 35 and 36 and Murphy, chapter 3; Sixten Heppling, UNDP: From Agency Shares to Country Programmes, 1949–1975 (Stockholm: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1995), 20. Also see Chapter 5 on Owen.
 On the League Secretariat, see Gram-Skjoldager and Ikonomou, “The Making of the International Civil Servant”; on British experiences in the UN civil service, see Amy Limoncelli, “Great Britain and International Administration: Finding a New Role at the United Nations, 1941–1975” (doctoral dissertation, Boston College, 2016); on Soviet approaches to international bureaucracies, see Louis H. Porter, “Cold War Internationalisms: The USSR in UNESCO, 1945–1967” (PhD dissertation, University of North Carolina, 2018).
 Twenty-five posts were held by nationals from the U.S., fourteen from the UK, nine from France, five each from Sweden, Canada, and China, four from India, and three each from Mexico, the USSR, Poland, and Yugoslavia. See A/C.5/689 Composition of the Secretariat: report of the Secretary General, 7 December 1956.
 Similarly, Martha Finnemore has argued that international organizations are producers of knowledge that structures the articulation of the interest of its member nations. Martha Finnemore, National Interests in International Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996).
 For histories of the UN and development emphasizing ideas rather than practice, see the various contributions to the UN Intellectual History Project, which were written mainly by political scientists and economists based on the official publications by the organization: Richard Jolly, UN Contributions to Development Thinking and Practice (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004); Devaki Jain, Women, Development, and the UN: A Sixty-Year Quest for Equality and Justice (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005); Yves Berthelot, ed., Unity and Diversity in Development Ideas: Perspectives from the UN Regional Commissions (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004); Thomas Weiss, UN Voices: The Struggle for Development and Social Justice (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005); Olav Stokke, The UN and Development: From Aid to Cooperation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009); similarly based on the published records of the organization is: Digambar Bhouraskar, United Nations Development Aid: A Study in History and Politics (New Delhi: Academic Foundation, 2007). Archive-based accounts of the UN and development include Toye and Toye, The UN and Global Political Economy; Murphy, The UNDP; Webster, “Development Advisors in a Time of Cold War and Decolonization”; also see Daniel Speich Chassé, Die Erfindung des Bruttosozialprodukts: globale Ungleichheit in der Wissensgeschichte der Ökonomie (Göttingen: Vandenhock & Ruprecht, 2013). There is, however, a proliferating literature on the work of the various UN agencies and programs abroad, see https:// www.histecon.magd.cam.ac.uk/unhist/research/bibliographies/technical_agencies.html.
 Anne Orford and Guy Fiti Sinclair similarly point out that UN practice evolved not by formal amendments to the organization’s Charter, but through “experiments” abroad. Anne Orford, International Authority and the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Sinclair, To Reform the World; for an early emphasis on the importance of practical development experiences, see Monica Van Beusekom, Negotiating Development: African Farmers and Colonial Experts at the Office du Niger, 1920–1960 (Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2002).
 For the need of writing multilocal global histories of international organizations, see Simon Jackson and Alanna O’Malley, eds., The Institution of International Order: From the League of Nations to the United Nations (London: Routledge, 2018).
 While historians have become increasingly interested in the history of international organizations in their own right since at least the 2000s, the study of their international public administrations has received comparatively scant attention. See Karen Gram- Skjoldager, Haakon A. Ikonomou, and Torsten Kahlert, “Introduction,” in idem, Organizing the 20th-Century World, 2–3.
 Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).
 For recent overviews, see Martin Shipway, Decolonization and Its Impact: A Comparative Approach to the End of the Colonial Empires (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008); Jan Jansen and Jürgen Osterhammel, Dekolonisation: Das Ende der Imperien (Munich: C.H. Beck, 2013); Dane Kennedy, Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016); Martin Thomas and Andrew Thompson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).
 On the history of self-determination, see Manela, The Wilsonian Moment; Bradley Simpson, “Self-Determination, Human Rights, and the End of Empire in the 1970s,” Humanity 4, no. 2 (2013): 239–60; idem, The First Right: Self-Determination and the Transformation of Post-1941 International Relations (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming); Joseph Massad, “Against Self-Determination,” Humanity 9, no. 2 (2018); Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire; Walker, “Decolonization in the 1960s.”
 Frederick Cooper, “Writing the History of Development,” Journal of Modern European History 8, no. 1 (2010): 15. For further introductions to the topic, see idem, Africa since 1940: The Past of the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002); idem, Citizenship between Empire and Nation.
 Susan Pedersen, “Getting Out of Iraq—in 1932: The League of Nations and the Road to Normative Statehood,” The American Historical Review. 115, no. 4 (2010): 975; Pedersen, The Guardians.
 John Darwin, “Decolonization and the End of Empire,” in The Oxford History of the British Empire, vol. 5: Historiography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 541– 58.
 For a discussion of the entangled histories of decolonization and international organizations more generally see Eva-Maria Muschik, “Special Issue Introduction: Towards a Global History of International Organizations and Decolonization,” Journal of Global History, forthcoming.
 The UN Website’s page “Decolonization,” for example, reads: “The wave of decolonization, which changed the face of the planet, was born with the UN and represents the world body’s first great success.” See https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/decolonization/, last accessed 18 November 2020.
 Wm. Roger Louis, Imperialism at Bay: The United States and the Decolonization of the British Empire, 1941–1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978); Stephen Wertheim, “Instrumental Internationalism: The American Origins of the United Nations, 1940–3,” Journal of Contemporary History 54, no. 2 (2019): 265–83; idem, Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020).
 Marika Sherwood, “‘There Is No New Deal for the Blackman in San Francisco’: African Attempts to Influence the Founding Conference of the United Nations, April– July, 1945,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 29, no. 1 (1996): 71–94; Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire, chapter 3.
 For a concise introduction, see Luard, The Age of Decolonization; for strategic trust territories, see Ganeshwar Chand, “The United States and the Origins of the Trusteeship System,” Review (Fernand Braudel Center) 14, no. 2 (1991): 171–230.
 See UN Charter Chapter XI: Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories, https://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-xi/index.html, last accessed 18 November 2020.
 Jessica Pearson, “Defending Empire at the United Nations: The Politics of International Colonial Oversight in the Era of Decolonization,” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 45, no. 3 (May 31, 2017): 525–49.
 Yassin El-Ayouty, The United Nations and Decolonization: The Role of Afro-Asia (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1971); Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire. Also see Cindy Ewing, “‘With a Minimum of Bitterness’; and Elisabeth Leake, “States, Nations, and Self-Determination: Afghanistan and Decolonization at the United Nations” (forthcoming).
 To call attention to the problematic implication of dependence, I use the term in quotation marks. For a reflection on the disciplining nature of IO vocabulary, see Susan Pedersen, “An International Regime in an Age of Empire,” American Historical Review 124, no. 5 (2019): 1676, 1679; for a much stronger condemnation, see Sean Andrew Wempe, “A League to Preserve Empires: Understanding the Mandates System and Avenues for Further Scholarly Inquiry,” American Historical Review 124, no. 5 (2019): 1728.
 Luard, The Age of Decolonization, vol. 2, 176–79; Pearson, “Defending Empire at the UN,” 541.
 Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire, 90.
 For the anticolonial campaign, see El-Ayouty, The UN and Decolonization; Luard, The Age of Decolonization; Prashad, The Darker Nations; Irwin, “Imagining Nation, State, and Order in the Mid-Twentieth Century”; Melber, Hammarskjöld, the UN; Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire; for the 1960 Declaration, also Alessandro Iandolo, “Beyond the Shoe: Rethinking Khrushchev at the Fifteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly,” Diplomatic History 41, no. 1 (2017): 128–54; on the Special Committee, see Oliver Turner, “‘Finishing the Job’: The UN Special Committee on Decolonization and the Politics of Self-Governance,” Third World Quarterly 34, no. 7 (2013): 1193–1208.
 Matthew Connelly, A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post–Cold War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).
 On Namibia, see Henning Melber, “Liberating Namibia: The Long Diplomatic Struggle between the United Nations and South Africa,” Journal of Modern African Studies 50, no. 4 (2012): 733–34; Molly McCullers, “‘The Time of the United Nations in South West Africa Is Near’: Local Drama and Global Politics in Apartheid-Era Hereroland,” Journal of Southern African Studies 39, no. 2 (2018): 371–89; on South Africa at the UN, see Ryan Irwin, Gordian Knot: Apartheid and the Unmaking of the Liberal World Order (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
 Emma Kluge, “West Papua and the International History of Decolonization, 1961– 69,” The International History Review, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2019 .1694052; Walker, “Decolonization in the 1960s”; Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire.
 Prashad, The Darker Nations; Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire.
 For a similar dynamic, see Jessica Pearson, The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018).
 Elizabeth Borgwardt, A New Deal for the World: America’s Vision for Human Rights (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005); Mazower, No Enchanted Palace; Wertheim, “Instrumental Internationalism”; idem, Tomorrow, the World. Also see Alanna O’Malley, H-Diplo Article Review 882 on Wertheim “Instrumental Internationalism,” 2019, https://networks.h-net.org/node/4689090/pdf, last accessed 28 November 2020.
 On UN hiring practices, see Toye and Toye, The UN and Global Political Economy, 61; Murphy, The UNDP, 13, 72; For an in-depth discussion of UNESCO recruiting, which in many ways was certainly comparable, see Porter, “The USSR in UNESCO.”
 Stokke, The UN and Development, 74; on continuities between colonial and international development efforts in terms of personnel, see Joseph Hodge, “British Colonial Expertise, Post-Colonial Careering and the Early History of International Development,” Journal of Modern European History 8, no. 1 (2010): 24–46; Jennifer Gold, “The Reconfiguration of Scientific Career Networks in the Late Colonial Period: The Case of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the British Forestry Service,” in Science and Empire: Knowledge and Networks of Science across the British Empire, 1800–1970, ed. Brett Bennett and Joseph Hodge (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 297–320; Martin Rempe, Entwicklung im Konflikt: Die EWG und der Senegal, 1957–1975 (Cologne: Böhlau, 2012); Véronique Dimier, The Invention of a European Development Aid Bureaucracy: Recycling Empire (London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2014); Eva-Maria Muschik, “The Art of Chameleon Politics: From Colonial Servant to International Development Expert,” Humanity 9, no. 2 (2018): 219–44.
 Toye and Toye, The UN and Global Political Economy, 76; Porter, “The USSR in UNESCO,” chapter 3.
 While the efforts of Third World countries in staffing international organizations have yet to be examined in closer detail, Porter suggests that, despite considerable efforts, the Soviets never quite managed to “catch up.” For an informative introduction, see Urquhart, Hammarskjold, chapter 19. For the failed Soviet attempt to “catch up,” see Porter, “The USSR in UNESCO,” 218; apparently, there were similar initiatives with regard to the League Secretariat in the 1920s, which—similarly to the UN—bore increasing fruit once great powers retreated from the organization in the 1930s: see Gram-Skjoldager and Ikonomou, “The Making of the International Civil Servant,” 222.
 Sara Lorenzini, Global Development: A Cold War History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019).
 Evan Luard, A History of the United Nations, vol. 1: The Years of Western Domination, 1945–1955 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982); MacKenzie, World beyond Borders; Mazower, Governing the World; Irwin, Gordian Knot.
 See also Wertheim’s suggestion that the U.S. displayed an instrumental attachment to the UN since 1945, using it when convenient and bypassing it when necessary. Wertheim, “Instrumental Internationalism,” 282.
 “How to Win the Cold War” by Paul Hoffman, Andrew Cordier papers (AC), B96, Folder H, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University (RBML). For a brief discussion, see chapter 5.
 For an argument about Cold War paralysis, see MacKenzie, World beyond Borders, 57; for the argument that the end of the Cold War brought new challenges into the realm of peacekeeping, see Christopher O’Sullivan, The United Nations: A Concise History (Malabar: Kriegler, 2005), 81.
 General Assembly resolution “Technical Assistance for Economic Development,” 4 December 1948, A/RES/200(III).
 On the campaign for a Special UN Fund for Economic Development (SUNFED), see Toye and Toye, The UN and Global Political Economy, 172; Murphy, The UNDP, 57.
 The five UN regional commissions that were set up in the 1940s and 1950s, most prominently the UN Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) in 1948, represented an early repudiation of the national approach. For the creation of ECLA as an “act of audacity,” see Toye and Toye, The UN and Global Political Economy, 137–38.
 Toye and Toye, chapter 5.
 Urquhart, Hammarskjold, 374.
 For UNCTAD, see Toye and Toye, The UN and Global Political Economy; Prashad, The Darker Nations. For the NIEO, see Nils Gilman, “The New International Economic Order: A Re-Introduction,” Humanity 6, no. 1 (2015): 1–16 as well as other contributions to this special issue; Samuel Moyn, Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018); Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire.
 For a similar focus on small-scale assistance projects in the 1950s and ‘60s, see Daniel Immerwahr, Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015).
 For two recent overviews, see Corinna Unger, International Development: A Postwar History (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018); Lorenzini, Global Development.
 On the League’s social work, see Margherita Zanasi, “Exporting Development: The League of Nations and Republican China,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 49, no. 1 (2007): 143–69; Magaly Rodríguez, Liat Kozma, and Davide Rodogno, eds., The League of Nations’ Work on Social Issues: Visions, Endeavours and Experiments (New York: United Nations Press, 2016). On the history of the ILO, see Daniel Maul, Human Rights, Development and Decolonization : The International Labour Organization, 1940–70 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); Sandrine Kott and Joëlle Droux, eds., Globalizing Social Rights: The International Labour Organization and Beyond (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Sandrine Kott, “Fighting the War or Preparing for Peace? The ILO during the Second World War,” Journal of Modern European History 12, no. 3 (2014): 359–76; Daniel Maul, The International Labour Organization: 100 Years of Global Social Policy (Berlin: DeGruyter, 2019).
 The Harvard-based “UN History Project” offers useful bibliographies on the UN and its specialized agencies; see https://www.histecon.magd.cam.ac.uk/unhist/research /bibliographies.html (last accessed 15 August 2019).
 Eric Helleiner argues that the Cold War, the American business community, and the bank’s conservative leadership quickly diluted Washington’s commitment to turn the IBRD into the premier international development agency. Eric Helleiner, Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016); for the Bank’s actual development activities, see Michele Alacevich, The Political Economy of the World Bank: The Early Years (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009); Patrick Sharma, Robert McNamara’s Other War: The World Bank and International Development (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).
 See UN Charter, Preamble and Chapter IX: “International and Economic Cooperation.” https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter/full-text, last accessed 23 April 2020.
 Bhouraskar, United Nations Development Aid; Stokke, The UN and Development.
 A/RES/200(III), 4 December 1948.
 Regardless of the internationalist rhetoric, the U.S. bilateral assistance budget was still far larger than the American commitment to multilateral assistance. For Truman’s speech, see, e.g., https://www.bartleby.com/124/pres53.html (last accessed 30 August 2019). For overviews of U.S. development activities, see David Ekbladh, The Great American Mission: Modernization and the Construction of an American World Order (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010); Michael Latham, The Right Kind of Revolution: Modernization, Development, and U.S. Foreign Policy from the Cold War to the Present (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011).
 Stokke, The UN and Development, 73; also see Harold Jacobson, The USSR and the UN’s Economic and Social Activities (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1963). On the Soviet turn to the UN technical assistance, see Porter, “The USSR in UNESCO,” 454–58. On Soviet aid more generally, see, e.g., Roger Kanet, The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the Third World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Jeremy Friedman, “Soviet Policy in the Developing World and the Chinese Challenge in the 1960s,” Cold War History 10, no. 2 (2010): 247–72; David Engerman, “The Second World’s Third World,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 12, no. 1 (2011): 183–211; Sara Lorenzini, “The Socialist Camp and the Challenge of Economic Modernization in the Third World,” in The Cambridge History of Communism, ed. Norman Naimark, Silvio Pons, and Sophie Quinn-Judge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 341–63; Artemy Kalinovsky, Laboratory of Socialist Development: Cold War Politics and Decolonization in Soviet Tajikistan (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018); James Mark, Artemy Kalinovsky, and Steffi Marung, eds., Alternative Globalizations: Eastern Europe and the Postcolonial World (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020).
 The FAO received 29 percent, the UN Secretariat 23 percent, the World Health Organization (WHO) 22 percent, the UNESCO 14 percent, the ILO 11 percent, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 1 percent. Later, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would join the program. The World Bank and the IMF did not automatically receive money through EPTA, but dispatched their own expert missions. For EPTA, see Stokke, The UN and Development, 57; Yonah Alexander, International Technical Assistance Experts: A Case Study of the UN Experience (New York: Praeger, 1966); Heppling, UNDP; Murphy, The UNDP; Bhouraskar, United Nations Development Aid. On the Bretton Woods institutions, see Alacevich, The Political Economy of the World Bank; Aldwin Roes, “World Bank Survey Missions and the Politics of Decolonization in British East Africa, 1957–1963,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 42, no. 1 (2009): 1–28; Helleiner, Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods.
 The TAA was initially led by Hugh Keenleyside, who figures prominently in chapter 3 as head of the UN technical assistance mission to Bolivia. On the TAA, see Alexander, International Technical Assistance Experts, 24–25; Webster, “Development Advisors in a Time of Cold War and Decolonization.” For Keenleyside’s own account of the UN assistance machinery, see Hugh Keenleyside, International Aid: A Summary (with Special Reference to the Programmes of the United Nations) (New York: James H. Heineman, 1966).
 See Unger, International Development, chapters 4 & 5.
 Walter Sharp, International Technical Assistance: Programs and Organization (Chicago: Public Administration Service, 1952), 67; Guy Fiti Sinclair, “The United Nations, Public Administration and the Making of Postcolonial States, “ paper presented at the Technologies of Stateness: International Organizations and the Making of States workshop, European University Institute, Florence, 15–16 September 2016, 8.
 Alden Young, Transforming Sudan: Decolonization, Economic Development and State Formation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018); Priya Lal, “Decolonization and the Gendered Politics of Developmental Labor in Southeastern Africa,” in The Development Century: A Global History, ed. Stephen Macekura and Erez Manela (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 173–96.
 James Ferguson, The Anti-Politics Machine: “Development,” Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
 For idealists’ accounts, see, e.g., Amy Sayward, The Birth of Development: How the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, and World Health Organization Changed the World, 1945–1965 (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2006); Murphy, The UNDP. For neocolonialist interpretations, see Antony Anghie, Colonialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Gilbert Rist, The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith, 3rd ed. (New York: Zed Books, 2008).
 Greg Mann similarly finds that NGOs did not “muscle” their way into newly independent African states uninvited. Mann, From Empires to NGOs in the West African Sahel.
 Writing about the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and USAID, the Washington-based agencies that became increasingly active across the postcolonial world, Timothy Mitchell, too, suggests that “they were seldom able to impose new policies, still less control the outcome when their interventions were successful. Where they did achieve results, however, was in the monopoly of their expertise.” Timothy Mitchell, Rule of Expert: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 211; for further arguments about the triumph and tyranny of development experts, see Joseph Hodge, Triumph of the Expert: Agrarian Doctrines of Development and the Legacies of British Colonialism (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007); William Easterly, The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (New York: Basic Books, 2013).
 Daniel Speich Chassé, “Decolonization and Global Governance: Approaches to the History of the UN-System” (Lecture HION, Geneva, 2013).
 Pelt to Broadley, 4 September 1950, and Broadley to Pelt, 13 September 1950, S- 0655–0002–04, UNARMS.
 For a discussion of international territorial administration, see the epilogue.
 See contributions to the workshop “Technologies of Stateness: International Organizations and the Making of States,” European University Institute, Fiesole, Italy, 15–16 September 2016.
 For political roads to statehood, see, for example, Susan Pedersen, “Getting Out of Iraq—in 1932,” ; and also the UN’s first case of decolonization: David Webster, Fire and the Full Moon: Canada and Indonesia in a Decolonizing World (Vancouver, BC: UBC Press, 2009).
 Stephen Browne similarly notes that while semantically “aid” turned into “cooperation,” in practice, development took a paternalist turn. Stephen Browne, The United Nations Development Programme and System (New York: Routledge, 2012), 12.
 For a twenty-first-century review of the literature on international territorial administration, see Anne Orford, “Book Review Article: ‘International Territorial Administration and the Management of Decolonization,’” International and Comparative Law Quarterly 59 (2010): 227–50.
 For a similar argument, see Inis Claude, Swords into Plowshares: The Problems and Progress of International Organization (New York: Random House, 1956), 370.
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