Permanent Neutrality Conference  (PAST CONFERENCE)

A Model for Peace, Security and Justice

Hart Senate Office Building, Constitution Ave and 2nd St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002, Capitol Hill - Room 902


Date:                  March 25th, 2019

Institution:       The Catholic University of America

Sponsors           Democratic Pacific Union

Doors Open      8:00 a.m.

8:00 am – 8:45 am| Registration, Coffee & Pastry

8:45 am – 8:50 am | Welcome Remarks

Professors Herbert Reginbogin, Marshall Breger, Pascal Lottaz

Invited: U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia


8:50 am – 8:55 am | Greetings from CUA

Andrew V. Abela, Ph.D., Provost, The Catholic University of America

8:55 am – 9:00 am | Invocation

Fr. Eugene Hemrick, Fellow IPR & founding Director of the National Institute

for the Renewal of the Priesthood 

9:00 am – 9:50 am | Panel 1: Neutrality? What Neutrality?

For millennia, neutral strategies have been part of international life. While some fought, others did not. For the young United States, neutrality used to be a key pillar of its Foreign Policy for 150 years from Washington’s proclamation of neutrality to the four neutrality laws that Congress passed in the 1930s under Roosevelt. Where did that go? Was the entire approach no more than a welcome excuse to practice isolationism while the young nation built itself? Was it perhaps a well-intended experiment with pacifism? Most relevant today, is neutrality morally justifiable in the face of pure evil like a terrorist threat and power-hungry dictatorships?


Shawn Turner (Moderator)                Director of Communication, Center for a New American Security

Pascal Lottaz                                         Assistant Professor (appointed), Waseda University, Japan

Heinz Gaertner                                     Professor, University of Vienna

Gunther Hauser                                    National Defense Academy / Austrian Ministry of Defense

Herbert Reginbogin                             Fellow, Institute of Policy Research, The Catholic University of America; Visiting Professor,

                                                                  Kehl University, Germany

9:50 am – 10.00 am | Short Break

10:00 am – 11:00 am | Panel 2: Neutrality & International Law

During the long nineteenth century, neutrality became an integral part of International Law. This panel will explore the progress of neutrality as a practical policy and analyze the changing nature of the rights and duties of neutrals on land and on the sea. What are the implications for the Post-WWII American-led liberal world order? How did the concept move from the realm of strategy to that of law and was it successful? Can modern neutrals still build upon the provisions of old or are those days gone?


Marshall Breger (Moderator)            Professor Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America

Ruth Wedgewood                                 Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International                                                                                 Studies

Terrence Hopmann                              Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Stephen Neff                                         Professor of War and Peace, University of Edinburgh

Herbert Reginbogin                             Fellow, Institute of Policy Research, The Catholic University of America Visiting Professor

                                                                  Kehl University, Germany

11:00 am – 11:30 am | Break: Coffee and Sandwiches

11:30 am – 12:40 pm | Panel 3: Neutral solutions to current affairs?

The Cold War is dead. Long live the Cold War. As tensions in East and West are rising, new hot-spots of Great Power rivalry are forming. The looming confrontation between NATO and Russia have produced a frozen conflict in Ukraine and Georgia, with more violence to come, unless a permanent solution can pacify the region. In Asia, the situation in the Pacific is also increasingly volatile with China’s new-found self-confidence in its economic power and the seemingly unstoppable militarization of the South China Sea. Taiwan will take center stage in the coming years as mainland China claims its territory, while a staunchly democratic local population fights for its right to self-determination at a geostrategic cross-road. Could neutrality hold the key to peaceful solutions in both cases? What role could permanent neutrality play in a reunified Korea? The potential of permanent neutrality as a way to deliver security guarantees and socio-economic benefits to all players in the grand-game of Power Politics will be the focus of this panel.

Heinz Gaertner (Moderator)             Professor, University of Vienna

Hsiu-lien (Annette) Lu                         Former V.P. of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

Pascal Lottaz                                          Assistant Professor (appointed), Waseda University, Japan

Michael O’Hanlon                                 Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

Glenn Diesen                                         Professor, Higher School of Economics, Moscow University

12:40 pm – 12:50 pm | Short Break

12:50 pm – 1:50 pm | Panel 4: Neutral Security Architecture(s)

To offer new perspectives, this session will look ahead and discuss how neutral solutions could benefit the global security environment and national economies. With the end of the Pax-Americana and the re-emergence of a multi-polar world, what would a global security architecture look like that was built on pillars of neutral conduct? Furthermore, what could be the new roles of permanently neutral members of the international community? What are the economic implications and what would it mean for humanitarianism if permanent neutrality became a major paradigm again in the twenty-first century?

Michael O’Hanlon (Moderator)         Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

Herbert Reginbogin                             Fellow, Institute of Policy Research, Catholic University of America;

                                                                   Visiting Professor Kehl University, Germany                  

Gunther Hauser                                    National Defense Academy / Austrian Ministry of Defense

Oliver Bange                                          Lecturer, University of Mannheim

Michael Tsai                                           Former Minister of Defense of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

1:50 pm – 2:00 pm | Final Remarks

Next Conference (September 2019) about Governance, Humanitarianism, and the Role of Permanent Neutrality in Religion, War, and Ethics.

Please Note:  Publisher Rowman & Littlefield will be on site with copies of this book available (for review only):  Notions of Neutralities, edited by Pascal Lottaz and Herbert R. Reginbogin

This conference will be recorded for educational purposes only.

For disability accommodations or further information, please contact

Conference Organizers

Professor Herbert R. Reginbogin's expertise is in International Relations, Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy.  His most recent book, on which he was both a co-editor and contributor, is Notions of Neutralities

Professor Marshall J. Breger is a Law Professor at the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of American,  an expert in Foreign Relations Law, and the Middle East Peace Process. 

Dr. Pascal Lottaz, Assistant Professor, (Appointed), Waseda University, Japan Home
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