Anniversary Conference -

20 September 2014
10.00 – 17.00
National Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam

War and Peace

Why war? How could it be that millions of people renounce their human emotions and common sense, lapsing into atrocious crimes such as murder, plunder, treachery and arson at the behest of a single person? Why do the masses answer to the ruling power? What kind of force brings people into motion? A baffled Tolstoy attempts to find an answer to these tantalising questions in War and Peace, his epic story of Russia during Napoleon’s campaign in 1811-1812.

After two world wars, Auschwitz, the Gulag and Hiroshima, Europe agreed on one thing: no more war. Democracy, economic growth, equal rights, freedom of expression, education, health care and social justice were embraced as the core values to be cherished, in order – first of all in Europe – to pave the way for peace in the hope that no war would occur ever again. Lev Tolstoy passed away in 1910 and never experienced how Western Europe embarked on its journey of nearly seven decades of peace between its nations. Which forces (whether violent or not) govern our times? Do the values and vision of humanity we now cherish suffice to preserve us from another war? How do we preserve our humanity? What are the safeguards of peace nowadays? The Nexus Institute has invited thirteen of the foremost politicians, diplomats, historians, philosophers and critical thinkers to discuss these stimulating and important questions – and many more.

Download brochure

‘We would do better to deal with the dangers in the world than to run away from them.’
Watch the video highlights of this conference on YouTube or watch the full videos as a member below.
Become a member

Full video’s

Published in

Journal Nexus

Nexus 68

Oorlog en vrede

Oorlog en vrede

Dutch publication with contributions of the speakers at the Nexus Conference 2014 on the Ukraine, Islamic State, Poetin and Pushkin and the ethics of war and peace. Why do we still wage war? Is a durable peace possible?


United States, 1943

Paul Wolfowitz

diplomat and intellectual

France, 1976

Lila Azam Zanganeh

author A Tale for Lovers and Other Madmen
Robert Cooper

United Kingdom, 1947

Robert Cooper

EU diplomat and publicist

Germany, 1946

Dan Diner

historian of the twentieth century
Foto William Fallon

United States, 1944

William Fallon

American four-star admiral
Foto Jean-Marie Guehenno

France, 1949

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

diplomat and former UN Under-Secretary-General


Tamar Halperin

pianist and harpsichordist

Canada, 1947

Michael Ignatieff

politician, intellectual and moral philosopher

Japan, 1957

Masafumi Ishii

ambassador to Japan at NATO and policy advisor in foreign affairs

Israel, 1939

Avishai Margalit

Israeli philosopher and author The Ethics of Memory

Lebanon, 1961

Hassan Mneimneh

public intellectual and Middle East specialist

Romania, 1957

Horia-Roman Patapievici

European humanist and cultural activist

United States, 1960

James Rubin

journalist and foreign affairs specialist

Ukraine, 1949

Lilia Shevtsova

political analyst and Russia specialist

During the Nexus Conference ‘War and Peace’, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, William Fallon, Lilia Shevtsova, Paul Wolfowitz, Masafumi Ishii, James Rubin and Dan Diner discuss the topic ‘war’.

Robert Cooper: ‘The natural state of man is to fight. War is therefore the natural condition. Peace requires continuous work and is an enormous victory.’


©Jelmer de Haas – All Rights Reserved ©Jelmer de Haas – All Rights Reserved ©Jelmer de Haas – All Rights Reserved ©Jelmer de Haas – All Rights Reserved ©Jelmer de Haas – All Rights Reserved ©Jelmer de Haas – All Rights Reserved ©Jelmer de Haas – All Rights Reserved ©Jelmer de Haas – All Rights Reserved ©Jelmer de Haas – All Rights Reserved