Skip to main content

Neutrality and the ‘International’: a History of a Relationship

portrait of the speaker
Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

The concept of neutrality has in recent years experienced a revival following its disappearance and assumed irrelevance after the end of the Cold War, with a plurality of meanings invoked by different actors seeking to either normalize or eliminate it. Upon closer inspection, politicization of this concept is not a unique event and discursive struggles over its meaning and place in the ‘international’ took place over the past centuries. In this talk I will present findings from my dissertation research which explores the constitutive relation between neutrality and the ‘international’, to understand why neutrality was considered normal in some international orders, while in others it was seen as deviant, and how the different understandings of the order conditioned the shifts in its conceptualization. I will cover different episodes of how this relation developed, beginning with its medieval origins until the end of the long 19th century. In doing so I aim to contextualize the current revival of neutrality within the broader historical, political, and discursive conditions, to show how the current articulations of neutrality taking place in the backdrop of a ‘crisis’ of the international order are contingent on these past conceptual developments.

Bio: Monika is a PhD candidate at the International Relations department at CEU. She holds an MA in Nationalism Studies from CEU and an MA in European Studies and International Relations from Comenius University. Her research interests cover historical international relations, critical security studies, and Eastern European politics.

                                      --- Brown bag discussion, registration is required ---