Lessons From The Past &​Visions For The 21st Century

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2017 Neutrality Conference


October 27–28, 2017
Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales (ICEI)

War and Peace have influenced novelists, social scientists, historians, and philosophers over centuries. Neutrality – the state of being at peace with those who are at war – on the other hand, not that much. Then again, ever since the Peloponnesian wars, we have records of polities and thinkers who remained committed to the idea of the right not to choose sides. Recent research in the fields of International Law, International Relations, Diplomacy and History have produced many insights on the importance of neutrality during the long 19th century and many valuable studies have been conducted on neutrals during the World Wars and even into the Cold War. But how do these periods relate to each other? What do we know about the development of neutrality itself and where does this leave us in the 21st Century?

We wish to illuminate all aspects regarding the development of the concept of neutrality over the past centuries as well as the most recent changes that we are witnessing today. By bringing together experts from around the world, the conference has the dual goal of exploring the above questions and serving as a starting point for a network of researchers committed to the intellectual exploration of neutrality. 

Conference Program

Friday, October 27

11:15 – 13:00Panel 1: Neutrality during the Cold War
Herbert ReginboginChair
Maartje AbbenhuisAvoiding War: Neutrality’s Role in Nineteenth-Century Diplomacy
Ismee TamesGlobal War, Global Catastrophe: How Neutrality And Belligerency Shaped The First World War
Wim KlinkertBetween Success And Failure: Dutch Neutrality 1914 vs 1939
Leos MüllerThe Forgotten History of Maritime Neutrality, 1500-1800
14:15 – 16:00Panel 2: Neutrality during the Cold War 
Oliver BangeChair
Aryo Makko​The Neutrals, Neutrality and the Soviet Union during the Cold War
Peter RuggenthalerThe Concept of Neutrality in Stalin’s Foreign Policy, 1945-53
Tvrtko Jakovina​Neutral and Non-Aligned Group, The Second Cold War and the Break up of Yugoslavia
Oliver BangeChanging Concepts and Understanding of Neutrality in the Cold War: The Neutral and Non-Aligned States (N+N)
16:30 – 18:15Panel 3: Neutrality and International Law
Neville WylieChair
Stephen C. Neff​Competing Visions of Neutrality: Lessons from the 1930s
Yolanda GamarraNeutrality’s Legal Concept in a Globalized World
Onur Guven The impact of technological innovations in weaponry and society on the neutrality of states through the lens of public international law
Annalise HigginsArtificial neutral seas: The international status of interoceanic canals, c.1850-1920

Saturday, October 28

09:00 – 10:45Panel 4: Neutrality during WWII 
Florentino RodaoChair
Maria Fragkou ​Contentious concepts of neutrality and social realities during the Holocaust
Jeremiah J. Fisher Balancing Pragmatism, Law, and Morality: A Comparative Reassessment of Neutral State Policy and Behaviors in the Second World War
Bryce Evans The Economic Consequences of Irish Neutrality during the Second World War
Mercedes Peñalba- SotorríoNeutrality explained. Early Nazi propaganda campaigns in Spain during World War II
11:15 – 13:00Panel 5: Portuguese Neutrality 
Teresa Nunes Chair
António Paulo Duarte João Chagas, Great War and Portuguese Neutrality
Frederico de Sousa Ribeiro BenvindaPeace and War in 1880s Europe: Zófimo Consiglieri Pedroso’s views
Pedro Alexandre Rodrigues Pires​Portugal and his neutrality in the Second Boer War (1899-1902)
Soraia Milene Marques Carvalho​League of Nations and Neutrality. The Portuguese diplomacy and the interpretations of Bettencourt Rodrigues about the groupings of nations
Teresa NunesWar, Peace and Neutrality: José de Macedo’ thoughts on Portuguese foreign policy and European issues (1900-1916)
16:30 – 18:15Panel 7: Neutrality after 1900
Pascal LottazChair
Montserrat Huguet Santos​Enlightening Neutrality. Recent History of Nuclear Freeze Movements in the USA
Herbert Reginbogin​TBD
David NoackPolitics of Neutrality in the Post-Soviet Space: A Comparison of Concepts, Practices and Outcomes of Neutrality in Moldova, Turkmenistan and Ukraine 1990–2015
Pedro Ponte e Sousa​Neutrality in contemporary Portuguese foreign policy: alternatives, alliances and advantages