It should not surprise us that war - wherever and whenever it may occur - is never only about the actors waging it. There were many non-belligerents in the First World War. Most of them came into the war with clear expectations of what their neutrality meant and what their country’s international obligations were. Those expectations had been shaped by a century of precedent within an environment that enhanced and protected the rights of neutrals. The two Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907, furthermore, had codified the parameters of neutrality. This lecture will consider these expectations and suggest some implications for the course, conduct and understanding of war and peace in the First World War years.
This Peace Palace Library lecture starts at 17:15. Doors open at 17 h. Entrance fee € 4. Visit of the exhibition this day possible until 17 h.
Maartje Abbenhuis is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Auckland. She has published widely on the history of neutrality, including The Art of Staying Neutral. The Netherlands in the First World War 1914 - 1918 (Amsterdam University Press, 2006) and An Age of Neutrals. Great Power Politics 1815 - 1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2014). She has worked on the history of borderlands, the impact of war on non-combatants and the study of Nazism in popular culture and has co-edited two collections: Restaging War in the Western World. Non-combatant Experiences, 1890 - Today (Palgrave 2009) and Monsters in the Mirror. Representations of Nazism in Post-war Popular Culture (Praeger, 2010). At present she is working on a global history of the two Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907, research that has been generously funded by a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant.