Historian Helmer Helmers will discuss the role that the Dutch Republic played in the rise of public diplomacy.
About the seminar
Public diplomacy, the practice of managing international relations by interacting with foreign publics rather than state actors, is often considered an inherently modern phenomenon, which flourished especially in the Cold War. The arrival of social media has produced a renewed interest in public diplomacy in the twenty-first century. My project seeks to historicize the study of the practice. It argues that public diplomacy was actually invented in early modern Europe, when the printing press, a relatively new medium, allowed states to communicate more effectively with audiences abroad, and when the Reformation transformed international relations, increasingly dividing Europe into two power blocks, in which it was imperative to create and sustain international ideological communities. The paper discusses how the emergence of a new state emerging on the map of Europe in this period, the Dutch Republic, contributed to this process. I willl focus especially on the twelve-year Truce Period, when a veritable cold war developed. I analyse this war by other means by focusing on two weapons with which the Dutch now fought on the international stage: diplomacy and the political press. Both were developed with tremendous energy, and combined, they contributed significantly to the rising tensions in Europe that would soon produce a full-scale war.
About NIAS Seminars
NIAS Seminars are aimed to stimulate scientific cross-pollination within the NIAS academic community, but seminars are open to others who are interested. Please let us know if you wish to attend.