Professor Maartje Abbenhuis

BA(Hons), PhD (Canterbury)

Profile Image


Maartje Abbenhuis is a historian of war, peace, neutrality and internationalism, particularly in Europe in the period 1815 - 1919. She has published several monographs, including The Art of Staying Neutral: The Netherlands in the First World War, 1914 - 1918 (Amsterdam University Press, 2006); An Age of Neutrals: Great Power Politics 1815 - 1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which won a Choice Outstanding Academic Title award; The Hague Conferences in International Politics 1898-1915 (Bloomsbury, 2018); and (with Gordon Morrell) The First Age of Industrial Globalisation: An International History 1815-1918 (Bloomsbury, 2019). Her latest book, co-authored with Prof. Ismee Tames, entitled Global War, Global Catastrophe: Neutrals, Belligerents and the Transformation of the First World War was published by Bloomsbury Academic (2021). At present, she is working on  a new research project, entitled 'Dum Dum: A Global History of a Bullet'.

She is the recipient of two Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grants: one in 2004 for work on the borderlands of the Netherlands in the First World War and the other in 2014 for her Hague conferences project. In 2018, she spent a semester as a Residential Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies in Amsterdam. She has co-edited five academic collections: three with her colleague 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). Her latest co-edited collection The Myriad Legacies of 1917: A Year of War and Revolution (Palgrave, 2018) was the product of an interdisciplinary international symposium held in Wellington in 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

  • International history, 1815-1918
  • History of neutrality, diplomacy and international law
  • History of peace, internationalism and globalisation
  • War and society history
  • Cultural history and popular representations of war and Nazism

Teaching | Current

Semester 1 2022:

On leave

Semester 2 2022:

HISTORY 205/309 Bloodlands: Global Warfare 1850-1950

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 international 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 PhD Supervisions

Anthony Artus, 'British ideas of security, 1848' PhD (primary supervisor).

Sarah Russell, 'Siberia in the British imagination in the Victorian era' PhD (primary supervisor).

Mark Stevenson, 'Surveying and Mapping the Third World: The Role of the Directorate of Surveys' PhD (primary supervisor).

James Halcrow, 'The international history of the Treaty Port of Amoy/Xiamin' (primary supervisor)

Justine Pillay, 'Allohistories of the Spanish Civil War, 1976-' (secondary supervisor)

Omar Mohamed, 'British concepts of the 'balance of power' after 1815' (primary supervisor)


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

  • 2017-2018: Residential Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Amsterdam
  • 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).


Director of the Europe Institute at the University of Auckland

Areas of expertise

International history 1815-1918; European history, 1815 - 1918; history of the Netherlands, especially in the First World War; history of neutrality, diplomacy and international law; 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.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

(Elected) Member of the Academic Programmes Committee, 2019-2023

Senate Aegrotate Assessor, 2016-2021

Co-coordinator of the 'War in Context' research hub, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland, 2019-

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Abbenhuis, M. M. (2019). Neutrality, restoration and restraint: The Congress system at work after 1815. In M. Broers, A. A. Caiani (Eds.) A History of the European Restorations: Governments, States and Monarchy. London, UK: Bloomsbury. Related URL.
  • Abbenhuis, M., & Morrell, G. (2019). The first age of industrial globalization: An international history, 1815-1918. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. Pages: 288.
  • Abbenhuis, M. (2018). The Hague Conferences and International Politics, 1898-1915. Bloomsbury Academic. Pages: 304.
  • Abbenhuis, M., Atkinson, N., Baird, K., & Romano, G. (2018). The myriad legacies of 1917: A year of war and revolution. 10.1007/978-3-319-73685-3
  • Abbenhuis, M. (2018). On the edge of the storm? Situating Switzerland's neutrality in the context of the First World War. In M. M. Olsansky (Ed.) Am Rande des Sturms: Das Schweizer Militär im Ersten Weltkrieg / Face à la tempète: L'armée suisse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale (pp. 24-36). Baden: Hier und Jetzt.
  • 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.
  • Buttsworth, S., & Abbenhuis, M (Eds.) (2017). War, myths, and fairy tales. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1007/978-981-10-2684-3
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sara Buttsworth
  • 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.