Professor Maartje Abbenhuis

BA(Hons), PhD (Canterbury)

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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

  • European 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 2021:

HISTORY 217/317 Nazi Germany and its Legacies

Semester 1 and 2 2021:

HISTORY 715/716 Topics in the History of War and Peace: A World of War 1815-191

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, 'British ideas of security, 1850-1870' PhD (primary supervisor).

Conor Burns, 'The HMS New Zealand and HMS Philomel and the origins of the New Zealand Navy' MA.

Brooke Cambie, 'Princess Charlotte's death in London's newspapers, 1817-1821'

Jin Koo Niersbach, 'People-proof fence: Barbed wire and the German imagination after 1949' MA.

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).

Emma Wordsworth, 'The Women's Second International of 1907' BA(Hons) disseration.

Past Supervisions:

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

Anthony Artus, ‘Britishness and the Risorgimento 1859 - 1860’ MA, 2017.

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

Christopher Barber, 'An international history of arbitration 1815 - 1914' PhD, 2017.

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.

Harry Bloomfield, 'British neutrality at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War' BA(Hons), 2017.

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.

Gordon Elder, ‘Britain and neutral Scandinavia 1939 - 1940’ MA, 2017.

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.

Grace Jensen, 'The Congo atrocities and the media 1904-1914' BA(Hons), 2017.

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.

Thomas Munro, 'The Hague's war, 1914 - 1918' PhD, 2019.

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.

Steven Sheldon, 'The attack of Port Arthur in the Anglo-American press, 1904' BA(Hons), 2017.

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

Laura Staveley, 'Dum-dum bullets in British media perception 1897 - 1918' BA(Hons), 2017.

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, ‘Assessing the life of Samuel Hoare’ MA, 2017.

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.

Harry Vossen, 'Ivan Bloch's Is War Now Impossible in British understanding 1899 - 1914' BA(Hons), 2017.

Harry Vossen, 'Ottomanism, Arabism, Islamism and the Arab Revolt in the British Press, 1914-1923' MA, 2019.

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

  • 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

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-

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.


Contact details

Office hours

Semester 1, 2020: Tuesdays 11-1pm, Rm 703 in Arts 1 (206-703)

Outside this time, by appointment only.

Primary office location

Level 7, Room 703
New Zealand

Social links

Web links