Centenary Series: Exploring the International Affairs Archive

International Affairs has been a central part of the institute’s history, both as a record of speeches made by dignitaries such as Mahatma Gandhi and Henry Kissinger, and as a forum for policy-relevant academic research.

Published 10 June 2020 Updated 6 October 2020 2 minute READ

Delving into the International Affairs archive brings out stories behind some of the most significant players of the last century.



Mohandas K. Gandhi on the future of India

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948), of course, needs little introduction. He was a lawyer who successfully led the movement for Indian independence from the British Empire. Trained as a barrister in London, Gandhi spent his early career in South Africa where he was involved with the fight to obtain civil rights for the Indian diaspora community.

He then returned to India and became a key actor in the Indian National Congress party, through which he pursued a non-violent campaign calling for the end of British rule. He was assassinated soon after India became independent in 1947, but continues to inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

In October 1931, Gandhi gave a speech at Chatham House, which was then transcribed in the journal. The meeting was chaired by the Marquess of Lothian (Philip Kerr), who became Under-Secretary of State for India the month after this speech. So it is interesting that he introduced Gandhi by noting that:

he thought Mr. Gandhi had accepted the invitation to speak at Chatham House because it was one of his convictions that the best way of arriving at the solution of any problem, political or social, was for the protagonists of rival views to meet one another and talk things out with sincerity and candour.

the Marquess of Lothian, Philip Kerr

Read the full article

Read more highlights from the 1930s

Closing remarks

Chatham House Centenary 2020 Stamp






Chatham House Centenary
As part of the Chatham House Centenary in 2020, each month International Affairs presents its top ten articles from a given decade - all of them available to read for free. 

Read more from the whole series.

At the end of the year, the series finishes with an examination of the archive’s core lessons and clear omissions, in particular reflecting on how the journal and the discipline more broadly have evolved in terms of representation in the last century.