Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts New Thinking on the Origins of World War I

New Thinking on the Origins of World War I

  • April 29, 2014
Mackubin Thomas Owens



Senior Fellow - National Security Program

Professor of National Security Affairs, US Naval War College

Michael Neiberg

Professor of History, US Army War College

John Schindler

Professor of National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College

Senior Fellow, International History Institute at Boston University

Kate Epstein

Assistant Professor of History, Rutgers University-Camden

Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on National Security and the Reserve Officers Association

This summer marks the centennial of the outbreak of World War I, perhaps the most transformative war in history. While the wars of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars harnessed national populations to the war effort in a way not previously seen since the emergence of the modern states system, WWI combined the mobilization of both populations and industrial power, enhanced by technology, to produce a most lethal form of warfare. WWI also redrew the map of Europe and created the modern Middle East, as it led to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, thereby unleashing nationalism the disruptive characteristics of which still plague us today. It also paved the way for the great ideological conflicts of the 20th century by unleashing the forces of state-based communism and fascism. To commemorate the outbreak of The Great War, FPRI and ROA will present a workshop offering presentations by three eminent scholars of the war. Michael Neiberg of the US Army War College will discuss the factors that led to the outbreak of the war. John Schindler of the US Naval War College will discuss the often overlooked role of Austria-Hungary in the war and the Eastern and Italian fronts. Kate Epstein of Rutgers University-Camden will discuss the role of pre-war British defense policy in the outbreak of the conflict. Mac Owens, editor of Orbis and professor at the Naval War College, will moderate the panel.

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