In 1919 the world's first Chair in International Politics was established at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. This was a notable event in the history of the College, but even more so in the history of the subject. International Politics, or International Relations, is now, throughout the world, a fully developed branch of university learning, with its own body of literature and its own corps of specialist teachers. And in this development Aberystwyth has played a distinctive part, largely through the work of some of the eminent scholars who have occupied its Woodrow Wilson Chair.
In 1969, therefore, it was thought fitting to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding, by David Davies and his sisters, of the Chair and Department. The commemoration took two forms: the commissioning of a series of Papers by distinguished scholars in the field, and a conference to which were invited leading specialists in the study and teaching of the subject.
The conference was held from 13 to 17 December 1969 at Gregynog Hall, Montgomeryshire, once the home of the Misses Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, co-founders of the Chair. The Chancellor of the University of Wales, H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, expressed his interest in the meeting and sent his best wishes for its success.
The object of the Gregynog Conference was to hear and discuss preliminary drafts of some of the Papers' to be contributed to the commemorative volume. In the event, Dr. William Olson, Professor Seton-Watson, Professor Goodwin, Professor Morgenthau, Sir Herbert Butterfield, Professor Manning, and Professor Hinsley, read drafts of their Papers. The audience included other distinguished academics from British and overseas universities, together with the President and Principal of the University College of Wales, and the Wilson Professor, staff, and senior students from the Department o f International Politics. It was particularly gratifying to be able to bring together in such agreeable surroundings three great scholars whose pioneering work had done so much to shape the subject: E. H. Carr, C. A. W. Manning, and Hans J. Morgenthau.
Most of the Papers were completed during the course of 1970. The book they now form was designed to illuminate different aspects of both the subject and the subject-matter of International Politics over the previous half-century. In consequence, first the titles of the Papers were drawn up, and then scholars were approached who were especially well fitted to write upon them. Within the unifying theme of the volume expressed in the sub-title, and the necessary limits placed upon length, contributors were free to treat their subjects exactly as they wished. .........................