Associate Professor Maartje Maria Abbenhuis

BA(Hons), PhD (Canterbury)

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Associate Professor


Maartje Abbenhuis is a historian of neutrality and internationalism, particularly in Europe in the period 1815 - 1919. She has published a book on the maintenance of neutrality by the Netherlands in the First World War, entitled The Art of Staying Neutral. The Netherlands in the First World War, 1914 - 1918 (Amsterdam University Press, 2006). Her latest book, An Age of Neutrals. Great Power Politics 1815 - 1914 was released by Cambridge University Press in 2014 and won a Choice Outstanding Academic Title award.

At present she is working on the global history of the two Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907, research for which she was awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant. She is in the process of writing two books for Bloomsbury publishing: The Nineteenth-Century World. The First Age of Globalisation (with Gordon Morrell, forthcoming, 2019) and Global War, Global Catastrophe. Neutrals, Belligerents and the Transformation of the First World War (with Ismee Tames, forthcoming, 2020).

She has co-edited four academic collections, three with her colleage Dr Sara Buttsworth: Restaging War in the Western World. Non-Combatant Experiences 1890 - Today (Palgrave 2009); Monsters in the Mirror. Representations of Nazism in Post-War Popular Culture (Praeger, 2010); War, Myths and Fairy Tales (Palgrave, 2017); and one with Chris Barber and Annalise Higgins, War, Peace and International Order. The Legacies of the Hague Peace Conferences of 1898 and 1907 (Routledge, 2017).

Neutrality often makes life difficult - this First World War cartoon shows the neutral Netherlands squashed between the might of Great Britain and Germany

Research | Current

  • European history, 1815-1918
  • History of the Hague peace conferences of 1899 and 1907
  • History of the Netherlands, especially in the First World War
  • History of neutrality
  • War and society history
  • History of peace, internationalism and globalisation
  • History of borderlands and borderlands theory
  • Cultural history and popular representations of war and Nazism

Teaching | Current

HISTORY 103 Global History

HISTORY 207 History of Modern Germany

HISTORY 217 Nazi Germany and its Legacies

HISTORY 238 International History of Europe 1815 - 1914

HISTORY 307 History of Modern Germany

HISTORY 317 Nazi Germany and its Legacies

HISTORY 338 International History of Europe 1815 - 1914

HISTORY 715 Topics in the History of War and Peace (also available for the Master of Conflict and Terrorism Studies)

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised widely in the fields of the history of war, peace and neutrality, as well as more generally in European history from 1815 to today. Students with particular interests in the history of Europe in the period 1815 - 1918 or in the history of neutrality, peace, international law, globalisation or popular perceptions of war and Nazism are encouraged to seek contact.

Current Supervisions:

Anthony Artus, ‘Britishness and the Risorgimento 1859 - 1860’ MA

Christopher Barber, 'An international history of arbitration 1815 - 1914' PhD

Harry Bloomfield, 'British neutrality at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War' BA(Hons)

Gordon Elder, ‘Britain and neutral Scandinavia 1939 - 1940’ MA

Grace Jensen, 'The Congo atrocities and the media 1904-1914' BA(Hons)

Ken MacPherson, 'Martial microphagia' PhD (co-supervisor).

Thomas Munro, 'The Hague's war, 1914 - 1929' PhD

Steven Sheldon, 'The attack of Port Arthur in the Anglo-American press, 1904' BA(Hons)

Laura Staveley, 'Dum-dum bullets in British media perception 1897 - 1918' BA(Hons)

Mark Stevenson, ‘Assessing the life of Samuel Hoare’ MA

Harry Vossen, 'Ivan Bloch's Is War Now Impossible in British understanding 1899 - 1914' BA(Hons)


Past Supervisions:

Brodie Adamson, 'Compulsory Military Training in New Zealand, 1945 - 1972' MA, 2009.

Anthony Artus, 'Drawn to war: Punch and the Crimean War, 1853 - 1854' BA(Hons), 2015.

Christopher Barber, ‘The sensibility of statecraft. The politics of moderation in the Franco-Prussian War’ MA, 2013.

Christopher Barber, ‘Post-Habsburg Politics: Die Schicksalsfrage in Austria 1918 – 1919’ BA(Hons), 2012.

Roger Barry, ‘"To such bright promise" : the development of New Zealand defence policy, 1945-1972’ PhD, 2006. Co-supervisor.

James David, 'Sex, gender and power in the Soviet gulag system' BA(Hons), 2010.

James David, 'Sex, lies and British spies. Nation and gender in early British spy fiction 1914 - 39' MA, 2013.

Karl Goddard, 'The Flushing Incident and British Perspectives on the Development of Anglo-German Rivalry, 1890-1914' MA, 2009.

Mathew Graham, 'Defense debates in the Royal United Services Institute Journal. How British gentlemen thought about war and peace, 1898 - 1914' MA 2015.

James Halcrow, 'British perceptions of Belgium at the outbreak of the First World War, 1914' BA(Hons), 2014.

James Halcrow, 'Media representations of the Opium Wars 1839 - 1843' MA, 2017

Mark Harrison, ‘"A Glorious Page of Past History": An analysis of the reporting on the Normandy invasion in the British popular press, 1944 - 1945, using the War Illustrated as a case study’ BA(Hons), 2007.

Annalise Higgins, 'Neutrality in newspapers. The British idea of neutrality at the turn of the twentieth century c. 1898 - 1901' BA(Hons), 2013.

Annalise Higgins, 'Petitioning The Hague. Britons engage with the first Hague Peace Conference 1898/1899' MA.

Dwain Hindriksen, ‘Clausewitz and the Prussian path of war: How did Carl von Clausewitz and On War impact upon Prussian military strategy in the period 1850-1871?’ BA(Hons), 2007.

Samuel Jaffe, ‘Primo Levi’s Periodic Table in history and memory’ BA(Hons), 2016.

Elliot Jost, 'Western perceptions of the 1953 GDR uprisings' BA(Hons), 2015.

Glenn Lamont, '"Flaws in their production": The aesthetic construction of the Schutzstaffel.' BA(Hons), 2007.

Blair Lodge, 'The First Hague Peace Conference in International Relations 1899' BA(Hons), 2010.

Paul MacDonald, 'Putting evil on trial: the Adolf Eichmann trial in the New Zealand media, 1960 - 1961' BA(Hons), 2009

Paul MacDonald, 'The Eichmann Trial and the Media in the United States' MA, 2012

Bernard Marsh, ‘Inter-national or international? Analysing the Second International 1889 - 1914’ MA, 2017

Michael Moon, 'Civilization and international legitimacy. The Hague Peace Conferences and western perceptions of the Far East' MA, 2014.

Michael Moon, ‘The Origins of the First ‘International Parliament’: Perceptions of the First Hague Peace Conference and Concepts of Universality, 1898 – 1899’  BA(Hons), 2012.

Thomas Munro, ‘"Reaping the Whirlwind": How the bombing of cities during World War II was presented to the public by the British press, using The Times as a case study.’ BA(Hons), 2007.

Thomas Munro, 'Representations of Airpower in Britain 1909 - 1937' MA, 2009.

Jin Koo Niersbach, 'Perceptions of Paris in the Freiburg Zeitung 1870 and 1914' BA(Hons), 2010.

Leon Peter Ostick, ‘The Bonds of a Benign Alliance: Anglo-Japanese Relations Regarding Neutrality during the Russo-Japanese War, 1904 – 1905’ BA(Hons), 2012.

Leon Peter Ostick, 'A legal guardian. Great Britain and naval prize law from 1856 - 1914' MA, 2014.

Thomas Rosie, ‘Due diligence and the Geneva Arbitration of 1871’ BA(Hons), 2016.

Wang Shuo, ‘Neutrality in British concession ports, 1856 – 1914’ MLitt, 2014.

Richard Steedman, 'Oceans of Grey: Martime neutrality at the end of the nineteenth century, a case study of the popular Anglo-American press during the Spanish-American War of 1898' BA(Hons), 2009.

Mark Stevenson, 'Britain and Spanish neutrality 1940 - 1941' BA(Hons), 2015.

Alanna Sullivan-Vaughn, ‘British-Spanish relations on abolitionism in the nineteenth century’ MA, 2012.

Kelly Van Boxel, 'A Beautiful Distraction: The NS Frauenschaft and the fashioning of Nazi women in the Second World War' BA(Hons), 2009.

Alex Voutratzis, 'The Salonika Front in The Times during the First World War' PG(Dip), 2010.

Merryn Ward, 'Popular perceptions of the second Hague Peace Conference, 1907, in the British and American press' BA(Hons), 2014.

Elle White, 'Melita Norwood and the representation of female spies in Britain' BA (Hons), 2015.


Academic appointments

  • 2014: Promoted to Associate Professor
  • 2008: Promoted to Senior Lecturer (above the bar)
  • 2006: Promoted to Senior Lecturer.
  • 2003: Lecturer in Modern European History, Department of History, The University of Auckland.
  • 2000 - 2003: Part-time appointments as tutor and lecturer in the History Department and German Department, University of Canterbury.

Distinctions and awards

  • 2016: The University of Auckland, Faculty of Arts, Research Excellence Award
  • 2015: CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award (American Library Association) for An Age of Neutrals
  • 2013: Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Award.
  • 2013: The University of Auckland, Faculty of Arts, Sustained Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2008: The University of Auckland, Early Career Research Excellence Award.
  • 2006: The University of Auckland, Faculty of Arts, Early Career Teaching Excellence Award.
  • 2004: Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden ‘Fast-Start’ Award.
  • 1998 - 2001: University of Canterbury Doctoral Scholarship.
  • 1997: University of Canterbury Senior Scholarship.
  • 1997: Joan Burns’ Memorial Scholarship for BA(Hons) in History.
  • 1994: University of Canterbury Junior Scholarship.


  • 2004 - 2006: Certificate in University Learning and Teaching (Centre for Academic Development, The University of Auckland).
  • 1998 - 2001: PhD in History, "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Netherlands, the Military and Neutrality in the Great War, 1914 - 1918" (University of Canterbury).
  • 1997: BA(Hons) in History, First Class (University of Canterbury).
  • 1994 - 1996: BA in History (University of Canterbury).


Senate Aegrotat Representative

History Schools' Liaison

Areas of expertise

European history, 1815 - 1918; history of the Netherlands, especially in the First World War; history of neutrality; war and society history; history of peace, internationalism and globalisation; history of borderlands and borderlands theory; cultural history and popular representations of war and Nazism.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Abbenhuis, M., Barber, C. E., & Higgins, A. R. (2017). War, Peace and International Order? The Legacies of the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907. Routledge. Pages: 240.
  • Abbenhuis, M. M. (2016). Not silent, nor silenced. Neutrality and the First World War. In Ruiz Sánchez, J-L, I. C. Olivero, García Sanz C (Eds.) Shaping neutrality throughout the First World War (pp. 17-36). Seville: Editorial Universidad de Sevilla.
  • Buttsworth, S., & Abbenhuis, M. (2016). War, myths, and fairy tales. 10.1007/978-981-10-2684-3
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sara Buttsworth
  • van Bergen, L., & Abbenhuis, M. M. (2016). Man-monkey, monkey-man: neutrality and the discussion about the “inhumanity” of poison gas in the Netherlands and International Committee of the Red Cross. In J. P. Zanders (Ed.) Innocence slaughtered: Gas and the transformation of warfare and society (pp. 212-237). London: Uniform Press.
  • Abbenhuis, M. M. (2014). An Age of Neutrals: Great Power Politics 1815-1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pages: 300. Related URL.
  • Abbenhuis, M. (2014). An age of neutrals: Great power politics, 1815–1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pages: 297. 10.1017/CBO9781139794695
  • Abbenhuis, M. M. (2013). A most useful tool for diplomacy and statecraft: Neutrality and Europe in the ‘long’ nineteenth century, 1815-1914. International History Review, 35 (1), 1-22. 10.1080/07075332.2012.737350
  • Bergen, L. V., & Abbenhuis, M. (2012). Man-monkey, monkey-man: Neutrality and the discussion about the “inhumanity” of poison gas in the Netherlands and International Committee of the Red Cross. First World War Studies, 3 (1), 1-23. 10.1080/19475020.2012.652442


Contact details

Office hours

Semester 2 office hours: MONDAYS 10 - 12, 2-3pm, Rm 703, Arts 1. Outside this time, please email for an appointment.

Primary location

Level 7, Room 703
New Zealand

Social links

Web links