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Convenors: Dr. Anna Brinkman-Schwartz and Professor Greg Kennedy

25th May 2021, 15:30 - 21:00 (GMT)


The purpose of this seminar is to bring together scholars who research the intersections between strategic thinking, diplomacy, and international law in the maritime sphere from the early modern period to the 20th century. Whilst strategic thinking, diplomacy, and international law have all developed and evolved since the early modern period, there is a considerable amount of continuity in how they influence one another in the pursuit of geopolitical advantage.

This seminar will bring together scholars from around the world who focus on a variety of periods and topics in order to explore the complicated interactions and relationships between strategy, diplomacy, and international law. The research presented will explore and analyse these interactions and relationships, in both historical and contemporary contexts. The symposium will further our understanding of the nuances and continued entanglements between maritime strategy, law, and diplomacy. The symposium will be organized in the chronological order of the research in order to demonstrate, over the course of the day, how the relationships between strategy, law, and diplomacy have evolved.



(All panels will consist of a 20 minute presentation and 20 minute Q&A)

15:30 – 15:45 Welcome + Opening - Dr. Anna Brinkman-Schwartz (King’s College London)

15:45 – 16:25 ‘Fortifying the Right to Make War: Private and Public Violence in European Seaborne Empires 1500-1700’ - Professor Lauren Benton (Yale University)

16:30 – 17:10 ‘Pushing Boundaries: Mercantile Strategy and the Benefits of Maritime Neutrality for a Hamburg Merchant in France, 1744’ - Dr. Lucas Haasis (University of Oldenburg)

17:15 – 17:55 'Dealing with Third Parties:  The Evolution of the Laws of Blockade and Reprisal 1750-1914' - Professor Stephen Neff (University of Edinburgh)

18:00 – 18:40 ‘International Law as Imperial Invasion: Anglo-Spanish Anti-Slave-Trade Courts, Sovereignty, and the Balance of Power, 1817 – 1835’ - Dr. Anna Brinkman-Schwartz (King’s College London)

18:45 – 19:25 ‘Might Makes Right: From Belligerency to Neutrality in Maritime Law, 1853 – 1914’ - Professor Maartje Abbenhuis (University of Auckland)

19:30 – 20:10 ‘International Law and International Rivalry in South American Waters 1900 – 1918’ - Dr. Martin Robson (University of Exeter)

20:15 – 20:45 ‘Anglo-American Strategic Relations and the War at Sea: Influences of International Maritime Law, 1914 – 1922’ - Professor Greg Kennedy (King’s College London)

20:50 – 21:00 Closing Remarks - Professor Greg Kennedy (King’s College London)

Please register via Eventbrite, all attendees will be emailed the Zoom access links prior to the event.