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Beatrice de Graaf, Second-tier Diplomacy (Journal of Modern European History)

This article supplements Anglo- or Prussian dominated readings of the Vienna Conference by focusing more on its beginnings, on alternative scenarios of a Dutch-German union and on the process of diplomatic bargaining by secondary agents. Based on new archival material, German-Dutch cooperation in Vienna is traced and placed in a wider context. Vienna did not restore the conservative order but negotiated a new outlook on peace and security rooted in the notion of political equilibrium and an incipient sense of a Pax Europeana. While the great powers deliberated, two secondary agents in the field of transnational diplomacy and security, the free-lancing nobleman Hans von Gagern and the hereditary Prince of Orange, William Frederick, pursued their own alternative version for Europe, both geographically and politically. By analysing their efforts, which in the end proved only partly successful, this paper adds more insight to the dynamic and contested process of creating a new European order and an accompanying security culture.


Beatrice de Graaf, ‘Second-tier Diplomacy. Hans von Gagern and William I in their Quest for an Alternative European Order, 1813-1818’, Journal of Modern European History, 12:4 (2014), pp. 546-566.

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