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A tale of two world capitals: the internationalisms of Pieter Eijkman and Paul Otlet

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The years before the First World War saw several proposals to establish a U+201CWorld CapitalU+201D in one of EuropeU+2019s smaller nations. Such proposals were transnational in at least three senses. They aimed to bring all international organizations and movements together; they hinged on international support; and they planned to concentrate all transnational traffic in one centre. At the same time, these grand projects often had nationalist intentions too, trying to advance their home country into a stronger international position. In this article we analyse the relationship between transnational and national dimensions by looking at two elaborate plans: the U+201CWorld CapitalU+201D, proposed by the Dutch physician Pieter Eijkman (1862U+20131914) to be built near The Hague; and the U+201CCité MondialeU+201D which the Belgian bibliographer and internationalist Paul Otlet (1868U+20131944) wanted to establish near Brussels. By comparing both projects and their mutual competition, we probe the combination of transnational and national ideology and opportunism
Tijdschrift: Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire
ISSN: 0035-0818
Issue: 4
Volume: 90
Pagina's: 1389 - 1409
Jaar van publicatie:2012