From November 30th to December 2nd, international scholars convened at Goethe-University Frankfurt for the International Conference on “The Monroe Doctrine: History Interpretations, Legacy” thus marking the Bicentenary of James Monroe’s pronouncement in 1823, which outlined U.S. expansionist designs, spheres of influence and the principle of non-intervention. On six panels, scholars explored the historical roots, interpretations as well as transformations and contemporary impacts of the doctrine.
The conference commenced on Thursday evening with a keynote address by Liliana Obregón (Universidad de Los Andes) titled “The Monroe Doctrine’s First Centennial (1823-1923) in the Americas”. The first full conference day continued this historical discussion with the opening panel tracing the origins of the Monroe Doctrine. Here, Prof. Horst Carl contributed with a presentation on the "The Monroe Doctrine and the problem of national debts in the 1820s".
Continuing this historical discussion with a panel on the Americas and the principle of Non-Intervention, the focus shifted in the afternoon towards interpretations of the Doctrine at the Turn of the Century and explored its content between Liberalism and Realism. The day concluded with a second keynote address by Andrei Mamolea (Boston University) titled “The Latin American Challenge to the Monroe Doctrine: New Insights from the Archives”. During the last day of the conference, the panels focused on contemporary legacies of the Monroe Doctrine. As such, the fifth panel, chaired by Prof. Hanna Pfeifer, featured contributions on the Transformation of Political Violence. TraCe scholars Prof. Christopher Daase, Dr Hendrik Simon and Prof. Thilo Marauhn shared insights into their research. The last panel then addressed the developments from the Roosevelt Corollary to the Mid Century. The conference came to an end with the concluding keynote by Juan Pablo Scarfi (Universidad Católica de Chile) titled “The Monroe Doctrine: Towards A New Historiography”.
The conference was jointly organized by Justus Liebig University Giessen, the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, the Asser Institute as well as TraCe. Particularly Trace members Raphaël Cahen and Hendrik Simon as well as former Visiting Fellow León Castellanos-Jankiewicz played instrumental roles in organizing the conference and discussions.
More information on the full program can be found here.
As a follow-up to the conference, an open-ended symposium was launched on Völkerrechts-Blog with the title ‘ReflectiÖns on 200 Years of the Monroe Doctrine’. As kick-off, a shortened version of Juan Pablo Scarfi's keynote speech is available as a video recording. The symposium serves as an exchange format for the international research community, enabling reflections on the Monroe Doctrine beyond the conference.