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14 May 2015

SEMINAR: International Law and Arbitration. From the Hague Conferences to the League of Nations. Global and Belgian Perspectives (University of Antwerp, 2 June 2015)

 (image source: dentriangel.be)

The Research Unit Political History at the University of Antwerp organizes a seminar on 2 June 2015 on the theme "International Law and Arbitration. From the Hague Conferences to the League of Nations. Global and Belgian Perspectives".

Programme and abstracts:

Seminar organized by PoHis (UAntwerpen)
2 June 2015
University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 10, 2000 Antwerp, room P.002
9:45 Welcome

10:00 Maartje Abbenhuis (University of Auckland): A Global History of the Hague Peace Conferences, 1898 – 1914

The two Hague conferences of 1899 and 1907 have a contested historiography. Depending on the historical tradition, the conferences are presented as either irrelevant, mere footnotes ‘en route to the First World War’, or as foundational moments shaping twentieth-century international law and order. Based on a variety of published and archival sources, this talk explains how contemporaries looked to The Hague conferences as golden opportunities to shape the international law and organisation and explains why these events are so important to understanding global realities of the time.

10:40 Vincent Genin (Université de Liège): Juristes, parlementaires et diplomates en Belgique dans le processus menant aux Conférences de la Paix de La Haye de 1875 à 1899/1907

Il n’est pas inintéressant de souligner que la manière dont la Belgique a appréhendé les Conférences de la Paix de La Haye de 1899 et 1907 mérite encore une étude solide. Notre ambition, dans le cadre de ce séminaire, est d’analyser les circonstances qui ont entouré ce rapport entre un pays déterminé et un phénomène défini, à savoir un aboutissement du processus de diffusion de l’arbitrage obligatoire entre les États. Promu en Belgique par diverses institutions, depuis 1870, et défendu de manière plus ferme par le Parlement dès 1875, cet arbitrage ou la volonté, par extension, de mettre sur pied un tribunal arbitral international, sont l’objet de débats importants en Belgique, tant au Ministère des Affaires étrangères, qu’au Parlement ou dans les écrits et correspondances privées des juristes de droit international. L’étude de ce phénomène et de la manière dont il a été représenté et accueilli, est l’objet de notre contribution.

11 :00 Maarten Van Alstein (Vlaams Vredesinstituut): A Realist View: The Belgian Diplomatic Elite and the League of Nations

After the First World War, principles such as collective security and arbitration were enhanced in international politics, not in the least because they formed the cornerstones of new international organizations such as the League of Nations. After nearly eighty decades of neutrality, Belgian policymakers and diplomats were determined to pursue a more activist foreign policy and engage in international organizations and alliances. Although Belgium became a member of the new League of Nations and provided the first president of its general assembly, Belgian policymakers and diplomats’ attitudes towards principles such as collective security and arbitration ranged from cautiousness to clear skepticism. Although an evolution towards increased trust in collective security and arbitration can be observed between 1919 and 1929, Belgian policymakers’ and diplomats’ views during this period remained predominantly based on realist premises and beliefs.

Participation is free, but registration is required. Please send an email to : henk.desmaele@uantwerpen.be.
(source: newdiplomatichistory.org)

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