OBITUARY: Professor Geoffrey Goodwin

Geoffrey Lawrence Goodwin, scholar of international relations: born London 14 June 1916; Reconstruction Department, Foreign Office 1945-48; Lecturer in International Relations, London School of Economics 1948-58, Reader in International Relations 1958-62, Montague Burton Professor of International Relations 1962-78 (Emeritus); Principal, St Catharine's Foundation, Windsor Great Park 1971-72; FRSA 1975; married 1951 Janet Sewell (died 1986; one son, two daughters); died Norton Pilory, West Sussex 26 April 1995.

Geoffrey Goodwin was one of the principal builders of the International Relations department at the London School of Economics and of professional international studies in Britain. However, his academic life was in effect his third - though much his longest - career, after being a regular soldier and a member of the Foreign Office.

The son of a clergyman, after Marlborough College Goodwin passed through the Royal Military College at Sandhurst to become a regular army officer. Enlisting in the Suffolk Regiment in 1936, he transferred to the Army Physical Training Staff, and then when the Second World War came was put into Combined Operations. He had become a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (popularly known by the name of its elegant building, Chatham House) in April 1942, an early indication of what was to become an abiding interest for the young army officer. His last army post was as Major Commanding Independent Company, Gibraltar. He was invalided out of the Army with polio in 1943 and it was while in hospital in Oxford that he started to read for a London University BSc degree in Economics which he completed in 1945 at LSE.

Goodwin was a member of the Foreign Office in the Reconstruction Department from 1945 until 1948, when he left to become a lecturer in International Relations at LSE. This remained his base, a main object of his wide and deep loyalties until well after his retirement in the early 1980s; but he maintained and extended his Whitehall army contacts and was tutor to LSE's Foreign Service Course from 1955 to 1964. He also acted as a consultant to the Civil Service College, where he was involved in training administrative officers for Britain's entry into the European Community.

At LSE in the 1940s and 1950s, he was principally concerned to lecture and write on economic aspects of international matters and to encourage the spread of teaching of international relations not only at LSE but elsewhere. It was Goodwin who was the progenitor and sustainer of a series of meetings within the Bailey Conferences between school and university teachers which, tongue in cheek, he labelled the "Beaks and Dons" sessions. These were succeeded by the launch of the British International Studies Association (BISA), in which he was a prime mover.

As he became Reader in 1958 and from 1962 Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at London University (tenable at the LSE), Goodwin became an institution-builder in earnest. He was an assiduous and influential committee man who succeeded admirably, as convener of the International Relations department (and for a time as Vice-Chairman of LSE's notoriously self-willed Academic Board), in his aim to stabilise and then extend the department and to enhance its reputation in the school and the wider world after the pioneering but rather idiosyncratic leadership of his predecessor, Professor Charles Manning. The department is now one of the biggest and most international of all the departments at the LSE.

Modest about his own scholarship, Goodwin revealed in his range of publications his distinctive capacity for constructive teamwork, especially with younger colleagues. In 1951 he edited a long pamphlet, The University Teaching of International Relations, which was a vade-mecum on his subject for post-war Britain. His 1958 study Britain and the United Nations, though the fruit of a Chatham House study group, owed its unity of theme and argument and clarity of exposition to Goodwin's skills. Thereafter, a small stream of articles and books edited by Goodwin appeared, the titles of the latter accurately indicating his interests: New Dimensions of World Politics (1975); A New International Commodity Regime (1979); Ethics and Nuclear Deterrence (1982). He had friends and contacts throughout the English-speaking scholarly world, nourished by academic leave in Princeton, California, Geneva and Canberra.

A military-looking man with a heavy stick or sticks, mostly of good cheer even when stoically in pain, Goodwin was conspicuous stomping around his reputedly left-wing institution, and yet always commanded respect and affection from his students. He was an alert, encouraging tutor and chairman of seminars. He was hospitable to but discriminating with new ideas and techniques, good at asking pertinent questions, summing up arguments, and at moving digressive discussion back to main streams and themes. He put in long hours at the school, often sleeping on a camp-bed in his room or staying at a nearby hotel, and was a generous benefactor to the school's library. His teas and Derby Day picnics at his Epsom home, as well as his enthusiasm for student weekends at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park endeared him to his many bed-sit British and foreign students.

Goodwin was associated with St Catharine's Foundation at Cumberland Lodge, virtually from its inception just after the Second World War as a centre for residential study weekends for students of London University, and was particularly concerned with how in modern times St Cath's moral and Christian bent could be expressed. In 1971 he had a sabbatical year and went to St Catharine's as full-time Principal. He suggested that the appointment should become part-time and he might combine being Principal with his Chair at LSE; the Trustees however did not agree. He was a member of the World Council of Churches Committee for International Affairs from 1968 to 1975, and also of the Church of England Men's Society.

Goodwin practised his recreations of painting, sketching and singing whenever his busy academic life permitted. He was a member of Epsom Choral Society and of various art classes right until his death. He occasionally made wry but shrewd comments on some of his close colleagues' efforts at painting.

Peter Lyon

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada