Call for Papers: Recasting the History of Dutch Foreign Relations, 1814-2000

8 May 2015

The Modern History Research Group at the University of Amsterdam, in collaboration with the Amsterdam School for Culture and History, seeks proposals for papers to be presented at a symposium on Thursday, March 17, 2016.

Aim

Our aim is to revise the history of the foreign relations of the Netherlands since 1814, and to bring it up to date with the needs and challenges of the early twenty-first century. An additional objective is to have the project serve as guide to recent approaches and new archival collections. Throughout the past two centuries, the Netherlands was a small nation, but for a long time it had a large empire; modest in size, it has been a country with big businesses, and in multiple ways it has served as a transition state (“sleutel- or schakelland”); the Netherlands has also frequently tried to shape its international environment (“Gidsland”) instead of primarily seeking to benefit from the international system. Both national interests and national identity, or perceptions thereof, have played a part in modern Dutch foreign relations, and implementation has occurred in many different ways. One of our key starting points is that multiple stakeholders play a part in a country's foreign relations--not solely politicians and diplomats. Another of our assumptions is the contingent and conditional nature of a country's foreign relations: what, at any given time, may be a country's interests depends a great deal on the self-definition (or “mental maps”) of the individuals or groups involved. What are good examples of new approaches to the history of Dutch foreign relations? Who or what are compelling and innovative case studies? What kinds of new, or newly disclosed, primary source collections do specialists use nowadays? Finally, how can we think about the relative impact of the Netherlands on the world in the past two centuries?

Proposals

Successful proposals, in English, would orient themselves toward these starting points, and papers should be based on original research in primary source collections. The papers will be pre-circulated in order to promote meaningful discussion at the symposium. The organizers will seek to design a balanced program, with coverage of the entire 1814-2000 time period, and they will seek to publish a collection of the most compelling and representative essays for the benefit of an international readership through a reputable academic publisher.
Proposals (250-300 words) and a short (one page) curriculum vitae can be submitted as .pdf files via email to: ruud.vandijk@uva.nl

The organizing committee

Ruud van Dijk; Samuël Kruizinga; Vincent Kuitenbrouwer; Rimko van der Maar.

Ex Officio (Chair, Modern History) Elizabeth Buettner.

Advisers

Beatrice de Graaf (Utrecht University); Niek van Sas (University of Amsterdam);
Giles Scott Smith (Leiden University; Roosevelt Study Center).