Neutral Switzerland – an agent for European peace?
samedi, 9. février
10:30 jusqu'à 13:00 heures
Salle Aud. B
For much of the eighteenth century Swiss authors considered neutrality indispensable for maintaining peace within the Confederation. It primarily served the interests of the Swiss in that it allowed them, notably through their export of mercenaries and investments in the public debts of other states, to partake in the military adventures of Europe’s warring nations without being exposed to the full social consequences of armed conflict. By the end of the nineteenth century this understanding of neutrality as a welcome, albeit unreliable, support for Switzerland’s fragile position within Europe had given way to a more positive assessment of neutrality as an active contributor to international peace. It was in this sense that the legal theorist, Johann Caspar Bluntschli, could describe Switzerland as a staunch ally of international law and as a potential model for the containment of war. This panel is interested in studying this shift in the perception of neutrality by comparing different Swiss visions of peaceful Europe from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. What role, if any, did Swiss theorists attribute to neutral Switzerland in this process? How, in turn, did their view of international politics and markets influence their ideas on domestic political and economic reforms? What consequences was any attempt to disengage from European politics likely to have on the local settings of the Swiss Confederation? By following questions like these, a clearer understanding will hopefully emerge of what early-modern authors saw as the increasingly close interlinkage between domestic and international, local and global reform endeavours.
- Introduction : Early-modern Swiss visions of peaceful Europe
- Les prémices de la neutralité suisse. Henripolis, lieu d'accommodement européen au XVIIe siècle
- J.C.L. Sismondi on the role of small states in Europe
- 'La Neutralité de la Suisse dans l'intérêt de l'Europe'
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