The Martin Wight Memorial Trust
Footnotes to Biography


Martin Wight: A Biographical Overview of his Life and Work by Ian Hall, School of History and Politics, University of Adelaide.

- Footnotes -


[1] Pitt, ‘Wight, (Robert James) Martin (1913-1972)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edition.

[2] Hedley Bull, ‘Introduction: Martin Wight and the study of international relations’, in Wight, Systems of States ed. Hedley Bull (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1977), p. 3.

[3] Bull, ‘Martin Wight and the study of international relations’, p. 3.

[4] During the inter-war period, a single lecturer was employed by the College to assist the Woodrow Wilson Professor with his teaching duties.

[5] Brian Porter, ‘E. H. Carr – The Aberystwyth Years, 1936-47’, in Michael Cox (ed.), E. H. Carr: A Critical Appraisal (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004), p. 53. The successful applicant, favoured by Carr, was Hugh Seton-Watson.

[6] Bull, ‘Martin Wight and the study of international relations’, p. 3.

[7] Wight, ‘Christian Pacifism’, Theology 33:193 (July 1936), pp. 12-21.

[8] Bull (op. cit.) dates Wight’s employment at Chatham House from 1936 to 1938. However, Wight to Toynbee, 13 October, 1954, Toynbee MSS 86, Bodleian Library, Oxford, states that Wight joined Chatham House in the spring of 1937. See The Republic of South Africa (London: Oxford University Press, 1937), The Political and Strategic Interests of the United Kingdom (London: Oxford University Press, 1938) and H. V. Hodson (ed.), The British Empire: A Report on its Structure and Problems (London: Oxford University Press, 1937). Hedley Bull, in ‘Martin Wight and the study of international relations’, argues that Wight also worked on the Surveys, and contributed to Toynbee’s Study. It is more plausible that this work was done after rather than before the Second World War (1946-49).

[9] Wight to Toynbee, 13 October 1954, Toynbee MSS 86. On the broader intellectual relationship between the two, see Ian Hall, ‘Challenge and Response: The Lasting Engagement of Arnold J. Toynbee and Martin Wight’, International Relations 17:3 (2003), pp. 389-404.

[10] Laski to Wight, 26 December 1938, Wight MSS 233 3/9, British Library of Political and Economic Sciences, London.

[11] It should be noted that Wight probably need not have taken this stand: he was in a ‘reserved occupation’ and suffered from chronic asthma. See Pitt to Bull, 2 April 1974, Wight MSS 250. Parts of Wight’s application are reproduced in Bull, ‘Martin Wight and the study of international relations’, p. 4, and Dunne, Inventing International Society, p. 65, note 23.

[12] Pitt, ‘Wight, (Robert James) Martin (1913-1972)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online version.

[13] For some of the details of this position, see Bull to Butterfield, 19 March, 1976, Butterfield MSS 531(i)/ B191, Cambridge University Library.

[14] Wight, The Development of the Legislative Council 1606-1945 vol. I (London: Faber & Faber, 1946); The Gold Coast Legislative Council (London: Faber & Faber, 1947); British Colonial Constitutions (London: Clarendon, 1952).

[15] At this time it seems that Charles Manning made an unsuccessful bid to bring Wight to the LSE, but he was unable to create a new Readership in his Department. See Manning to Bull, 11 April 1974, Wight MSS 250.

[16] Power Politics Looking Forward Pamphlet no. 8 (London: RIIA, 1946).

[17] Richard Cockett, David Astor and the Observer (London: André Deutsch, 1991), p. 148.

[18] Susan Strange (1923-1998) later became one of the most influential British scholars on international political economy and Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics from 1978 to 1988.

[19] Wight, ‘Spain and Portugal’, ‘Switzerland, The Low Countries, and Scandinavia’, ‘Eastern Europe’, ‘Germany’ & ‘The Balance of Power’ in A. J. Toynbee & F. T. Ashton-Gwatkin (eds.) Survey of International Affairs 1939-1946: The World in March 1939 (London: Oxford University Press, 1952), pp.138-150, pp. 151-165, pp. 206-292, pp. 293-365 & pp. 508-532. Toynbee, Study of History, VII, p. 396, note 3, p. 415, note 5, p. 428, note 2, pp. 456-457, note 3, p. 460, notes 1 & 4, p. 464, note 1, p. 488, note 2, p. 489, note 3, p. 505, note 2, p. 543, note 1, pp. 711-715. See also Wight’s ‘The Crux for an Historian brought up in the Christian Tradition’, pp. 737-748.

[20] ‘Our Christian Position in the Face of the Conflict between Russia and the West’, Wight MSS 10.

[21] Wight, ‘The Church, Russia and the West’, A Ecumenical Review: A Quarterly, 1:1 (Autumn 1948), pp. 25-45.

[22] See Wight MSS 232. Wight attended the second meeting of the ‘Ecumenical Commission on European Co-operation’, 19-20 May 1950, at Bièvres in France.

[23] W. Arthur Lewis, Michael Scott, Colin Legum & Martin Wight, Attitude to Africa (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1951).

[24] Cockett, David Astor and the Observer, p. 187.

[25] See‘What is International Relations?’ (1950), Wight MSS 112.

[26] See Ian Hall, The International Thought of Martin Wight (New York: Palgrave, 2006), pp. 88-97.

[27] Harold J. Laski, An Introduction to Politics, new ed. prepared by Martin Wight (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1951). The bulk of the revisions were to chapter four, ‘The State and the International Community’, pp. 88-105; ‘History and Judgment: Butterfield, Niebuhr and the Technical Historian’, The Frontier 1:8 (1950), pp. 301-314; ‘What Makes a Good Historian?’, The Listener, 53:1355 (17 February 1955), pp. 283-284; ‘War and International Politics’, The Listener 54:1389 (13 October 1955) pp. 584-585; ‘The Power Struggle within the United Nations’, Proceedings of the Institute of World Affairs 33rd session (Los Angeles: USC, 1956), pp. 247-259; ‘Why is there no International Theory?’, International Relations 2 (1960), pp. 35-48; ‘Brutus in Foreign Policy: The Memoirs of Sir Anthony Eden’, International Affairs 36:3 (1960), pp. 299-309.

[28] Wight to Morgenthau, undated draft (January 1956), Wight MSS 103. The lectures were later reconstructed and published as Wight, International Theory: The Three Traditions ed. Gabriele Wight & Brian Porter (Leicester & London: RIIA & Leicester University Press, 1991).

[29] Bullock to Wight, 9 July 1955 & Wight to Bullock, 17 July 1955, both in Wight MSS 233 1/9.

[30] See Wight MSS 32.

[31] Wight to Grodzins, 27 May 1957, Wight MSS 103.

[32] Wight, ‘Why is there no International Theory?’, ‘Western Values in International Relations’ & ‘The Balance of Power’ in Butterfield & Wight (eds.), Diplomatic Investigations, pp. 17-34, pp. 89-131 & pp. 149-175.

[33] Wight, ‘University of Sussex’, 1960, Wight MSS 233 7/9.

[34] Asa Briggs, ‘Drawing a New Map of Learning’, in David Daiches (ed.), The Idea of a New University: The Experiment in Sussex (London: André Deutsch, 1964), p. 61.

[35] Wight, ‘European Studies’, in Daiches, Idea of a New University, p. 110.

[36] Wight ‘International Legitimacy’, reprinted in Systems of States, pp. 153-173; ‘The Balance of Power and International Order’, in Alan James (ed.), The Bases of International Order: Essays in honour of C. A. W. Manning (London: OUP, 1973), pp. 85-115. For an examination of this shift, see Hall, International Thought of Martin Wight, pp. 151-156.

[37] Wight, Power Politics ed. Hedley Bull & Carsten Holbraad (Leicester and London: RIIA & Leicester University Press, 1995 [1978]).

[38] ‘Is the Commonwealth a Non-Hobbesian Institution?’, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 26: 2 (1978), pp. 119-135; ‘An Anatomy of International Thought’, Review of International Studies 13 (1987), pp. 221-227. See also Wight’s ‘On the Abolition of War: Observations on a Memorandum by Walter Mills’, in Harry Bauer & Elizabeth Brighi (eds.), International Relations at the LSE: A History of 75 Years (London: Millennium Publishing Group, 2003), pp. 51-60.

[39] Wight, International Theory: The Three Traditions ed. Gabriele Wight & Brian Porter (London: Leicester University Press, 1991).

[40] Wight, Four Seminal Thinkers in International Theory: Machiavelli, Grotius, Kant, and Mazzini ed. Gabriele Wight & Brian Porter (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).