The Dream of The Hague is a captivating history of international law, diplomacy, and visionary ideas for a new world order.

Atlas Contact, Amsterdam
(expected release in May 2024)
272 pages
ISBN: 9789045048376
Pre-order now

Stronger weapons, international tensions, and an arms race created a dangerous mix at the end of the nineteenth century.

To halt the looming cycle of violence, diplomats, lawyers, and activists assembled in Dutch city of The Hague in 1899 and 1907.

At two international peace conferences, they worked out treaties and organisations to create a more peaceful world. The conferences were unprecedented in their ambition and size. For two long summers, The Hague was the centre of the world.

Benjamin Duerr tells the captivating story of the conferences from the perspective of key players, such as the influential peace activist Bertha von Suttner and the proud Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilhelm Hendrik de Beaufort.

Duerr shows how they fought for disarmament, binding laws of war, and the establishment of international courts, but also how their idealism clashed with the power politics of the great powers.

After two world wars, the Hague Conferences have been regarded as a failure. In ‘The Dream of The Hague’, Duerr convincingly shows, however, that they laid the foundation for modern multilateralism and today’s rules-based international order.