chapter  4
17 Pages

Reconsidering disarmament at the Hague Peace Conference of 1899, and after

WithAndrew Webster

This chapter explores two ways in which the first Hague Peace Conference's context and work as a whole, and not merely its slim results, shaped the international politics of disarmament for the following half century. The first is the relationship between the attitudes of the participating governments and the wider global peace movement. The second aspect concerns the close relationship between the specific proposals put forward during the Hague conference's discussions and the ideas that dominated the League of Nations' negotiations in Geneva during the interwar years. The work on disarmament at the 1899 conference can be divided analytically into some main aspects, although these aspects overlapped during the several weeks of discussion and were neither perceived nor treated as coherent categories by the delegates themselves. Between 1920 and the mid-1930s, the League oversaw a series of determined attempts to implement substantive disarmament by international agreement.