Small Powers in the Age of Total War 1900-1940
Call for papers
Royal Netherlands Defence Academy
26-27 November 2008
Over the past decade a new field of research has been explored: the position of the small European powers vis-a-vis the First World War and its military consequences. During the war the small powers had to uphold and protect their neutrality against infringements by the belligerents. After the war they had to accommodate themselves to the radically changed face of modern warfare. How should they react to the brutality and high costs of industrialized warfare if a new European conflict would spill over to them? And how could they hope to remain out of it?
Following the success of previous conferences on World War I for example in Copenhagen and Washington, the Netherlands Defence Academy in Breda is pleased to host a conference on this highly interesting theme. In doing so, we are continuing the tradition of bringing together researchers from both the PhD. and established academic scholarly levels. We invite researchers who are working on new approaches to the understanding of the above-mentioned problem field to submit proposals. In this respect the following subjects are of special importance:
- The nature and content of neutrality in an age of total war. What were the chances for retaining neutrality? Did neutrality prove to be negotiable?
- How to stay neutral: the contribution and attitude of the armed forces of small powers. How should the armed forces of the small powers prepare for total war, a contingency that was, for all practical purposes, beyond their grasp?
- What was the place and function of European neutral states in the war planning of the great powers before, during and after the First World War? How did the small powers involved use this position to their advantage?
- Political-military projects of cooperation of European small powers to protect themselves against the threat of war.
- How did the small powers perceive a possible surprise attack by a great power?
- How could the population in general and the soldiers in particular be prepared mentally for modern warfare?
- Bomber scare among the civil population. The danger of strategic air war for the civil population of the small powers, given their incapacity for reprisal. Protection of the civil population.
- Digesting total war: the consequences of large-scale industrialized warfare for the defence and war planning of the European small powers. The changing reality of the modern battlefield. Challenges for the military leadership.
- The First World War and the changing discourse on violence, humanity, war and peace within the European small powers. The cultural impact of mass destruction.
- Military planning by small powers for missions of the League of Nations. The participation in the League’s military missions.
- The special case of Germany during the 1919-1933 period: militarily speaking, since the Versailles Treaty Germany had been a small power on the defensive. How did the German military leadership react to this unusual and probably temporary position? What options for the defence of Germany did they develop?
Applicants please send a two-page abstract of the proposed paper and a curriculum vitae to prof. dr. H. Amersfoort at firstname.lastname@example.org or to prof. dr. W. Klinkert at email@example.com. ,
by February 1, 2008. Acceptance of the proposal will be made known by February 15, 2008.
Please also be prepared to submit a paper of a maximum of 10.000 words by November 1, 2008.
We will publish a selection of the papers presented at the conference, in 2009. Breda is halfway between Amsterdam and Brussels.
prof W. Klinkert
netherlands defence academy
PO Box 90002
4800 PA Breda
Netherlands Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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