Instruments of International Order: Internationalism and Diplomacy during the First Half of the Twentieth Century

Instruments of International Order: Internationalism and Diplomacy during the First Half of the Twentieth Century

Jan Stöckmann, Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg; Thomas Bottelier, Utrecht University
From - Until
25.03.2021 - 26.03.2021
Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

We invite proposals for a virtual workshop on the instruments of international politics pioneered in the time between the First Hague Conference (1899) and the emergence of the United Nations in the later 1940s—the formative period of our contemporary international order.

Instruments of International Order: Internationalism and Diplomacy during the First Half of the Twentieth Century

The aim is to survey and critically evaluate those international practices, such as disarmament, sanctions, summits, (binding) arbitration or plebiscites, which were developed in this period in order to (re)organise international affairs in the interest of peace. While never fixed nor complete, and sometimes resulting in catastrophic failures, these practices amounted to a reasonably coherent repertoire—the instruments of international order—which has been widely applied and continued to shape international relations since. Our hope is to produce a collection that will advance the ‘internationalist’ and transnational turns of the past three decades in international history. So far, these turns have focused on forms of global governance, international organisation as well as transnational social and intellectual movements. While this has moved the boundaries of the field far beyond the confines of ‘what one clerk said to another’, the full implications for the history of international politics remain to be explored. How did new forms of international and transnational cooperation alter the nineteenth-century society of states and its logic of the ‘balance of power’? What was the relationship between diplomatic elites and internationalist movements and ideas? To what extent were new international practices and instruments inflections of national interests? We hope that the concept of ‘instruments’ will help us to find answers to such questions. Contributions should address the origins, the political and legal manifestations, and the applications of one ‘instrument’. The goal is to put together an edited volume or a special issue, depending on how the project develops.

Potential contributions could cover (but are not limited to) the following instruments:

- Disarmament
- Sanctions
- Plebiscites / Partitions • (Non-)Recognition
- Arbitration
- Summits
- Investigations
- Mandates
- Self-Determination
- Free Trade
- Outlawry of War
- Alliances / Collective Security • Development
- Humanitarian Aid
- Refugees and Asylum
- International Crime
- Protection / Guarantees
- Economic Cooperation

Due to current restrictions the workshop will be held online on 25–26 March 2021. Papers will be 20 minutes, with 10 minutes for questions. There will be room for a general discussion and a keynote address.

Please send a one-page abstract, detailing how your paper contributes to the project, and a short bio by 11 December 2020 to Jan Stöckmann ( and Thomas Bottelier ( Participants will be notified with further information shortly thereafter.

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Jan Stöckmann

Thomas Bottelier

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