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Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975) was a leading scholar of international relations and international history. He was Director of Studies at Chatham House from 1924 to 1943 and during this time wrote the twelve-volume A study of history, International Affairs and IA. He also wrote numerous articles for International Affairs, of which we have picked three to highlight in a series of featured articles from the IA archives.
In his article ‘The trend of international affairs since the war’ (Nov. 1931) Toynbee looks at the period since the end of the First World War and argues that while there had been ‘remarkable progress’ in the economic unification of the world before the war, in the postwar period all human affairs had become international. In an article from October 1947, ‘The international outlook’, he reflects on international relations after the Second World War—on how the rivalry between the two remaining Great Powers might develop and whether a ‘third Great Power’ might arise, in Europe or elsewhere. In his short article ‘Writing of contemporary history for Chatham House’ (April 1953) Toynbee offers some thoughts on the challenges faced by historians ‘writing about controversial events in dangerous times’.