Constantin Ardeleanu
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1 An ‘Experiment in International Administration’

By the early twentieth century Edward Benjamin Krehbiel was one of America’s most prominent peace activists. Krehbiel had completed a PhD in medieval European history, but shortly after his appointment at Stanford University in 1908 he directed his research towards contemporary history, political science and international relations. Although his initial interest in peace came from his German Mennonite background, Krehbiel abandoned a religious approach and looked for pragmatic and ‘scientific’ solutions to peacemaking and peacekeeping. With imperial powers scrambling for territories and waterways around the globe, he strongly believed that international commissions endowed with large executive attributions could limit national jealousies and create a more secure world.1

Krehbiel taught a pioneering course in international conciliation, and in 1916 authored a handbook entitled Nationalism, War, and Society. A Study of Nationalism and its Concomitant, War, in Their Relation to Civilization; and of the Fundamentals and the Progress of the Opposition to War. Nations, he thought, were gradually becoming anachronical, so their ‘beneficial successor’ was internationalism, based on the rule of international law and order. Krehbiel lobbied to keep the US out of the First World War, but he eventually supported President Woodrow Wilson’s decision to take part in the conflict and attempt to impose his idealistic worldview.2

In 1917, Krehbiel became involved with the Inquiry, a body of experts who assisted the American administration in preparing the future peace negotiations. In his academic and political pieces, he often alluded to the ‘exceptional’ case of the European Commission of the Danube (‘the Commission’), an organisation that embodied his views on transnational cooperation. In a paper presented at a meeting of the West Coast Branch of the American Historical Association in Berkeley (California) on 30 November 1917 and published in 1918, Krehbiel detailed the history of the Commission, which he penned to be ‘the most ambitious and the most successful experiment in international administration’.3

Krehbiel was not the first scholar to write extensively about the organisation’s history; he, however, was one of the early supporters of its being used as a model for post-war international organisations (IOs)4 around the globe. There was indeed an increasing variety of supranational entities, spanning from the Universal Postal Union and the Red Cross to International Sanitary Councils and the International Sugar Union, but Krehbiel believed that the Commission was, in many ways, special. It was the harbinger of a new age, one in which narrow national partisanships were to make room for expert cooperation with greater supranational benefits.

The Commission had been created in 1856 through a decision inscribed in the Paris Peace Treaty. Although meant to be a provisional institution with limited technical scope (removing the obstacles that hindered navigation along the Maritime Danube – see Fig. 15), it had managed to survive and gradually extended its reach. By the early twentieth century it had acquired many of the attributes usually associated with an independent state: a ‘territory’ over which it exercised its ‘sovereignty’ based on a ‘constitution’ backed by Europe’s Great Powers, a self-governing bureaucracy and complete financial independence.

To Krehbiel, the Commission’s success came from the organisation focusing its resources on ‘a single problem’ – Danube navigation – which it managed to resolve efficiently. Its reach however was much greater: international administrative agents, a category for which the Commission was a functional prototype, contributed to the peaceful resolution of larger transnational problems in southeastern Europe and beyond. IOs needed to be allowed to evolve naturally from the simple to the more complex, and ‘each will develop a body of custom that will harden into law’. In time, they would develop ‘a whole body of rules which will in effect be the foundation of the super-state itself’.6

Krehbiel’s lecture in institutional Darwinism and his warm support for worldwide organisational reproduction were fuelled by the Commission’s noteworthy history. As the offspring of Europe’s Concert of Powers, it had long challenged the very meaning of ‘territorial sovereignty’, one of the cornerstones of the world order. To fulfil the complex tasks the Commission had received at a critical juncture in 1856, experts had pushed the boundaries of what an early IO could be, could have and could do. Imperial rivals agreed to closer cooperation,7 and their representatives in the Commission claimed attributions that turned the IO into a ‘quasi-state’. The 1878 Berlin Treaty consecrated this status and decided that it was to function in complete independence of Romania’s territorial authority.

As it happened, Krehbiel’s scholarly piece, published at another critical juncture in 1918, proved equally influential in illuminating the Commission’s past and shaping its future. An American historian writing about a techno-political organisation in Eastern Europe to influence decision-making at the end of a devastating global war was, after all, a feature of the new world order.

Beyond his laudatory, though rather static review of the organisation’s ‘powers and international character’, Krehbiel captured some of the essential features which turned the Commission – then and now – into a remarkable object of academic research: the ‘wonder’ that the IO acquired ‘such great powers as it did’ – given the many national jealousies it encountered and local governments’ natural reluctance to ‘surrender of national sovereignty’ – and its fruitful working as a forum of transnational cooperation, where ‘nations can approach one another on the basis of common or united action, instead of as rivals’.8

Starting from Krehbiel’s text – echoed in the title of this volume – and trying to contextualise his views, we aim to follow the Commission’s institutional genesis and progress and assess its pioneering character and outcomes by answering questions such as: What were the forces, actors and junctures at play that allowed the Commission to evolve from a ‘hand-to-mouth existence’ to an ‘exceptional’ and ‘experimental’ organisation? Was it predominantly a top-down teleological construct coming from wise political masterminds or did it emerge via bottom-up professional expertise acting beyond imperial ambitions? Were there any voices silenced in the process? Was it as innovative and successful as Krehbiel and other authors claimed? What benchmarks and perspectives should one use to assess the degree of successfulness and experimentalism of such an early IO? Did it influence theoretical conceptualisations, such as those of British diplomat James Arthur Salter, who became a pioneer of IR functionalist theory9 (rendered more famous through David Mitrany’s works) following his involvement with another ‘experiment in international administration’, the Allied Maritime Transport Council of 1917–1919?10 The focus will fall, in the chapters below, on the Commission’s history from its onset in 1856 to the First World War, while the last chapter will look at its institutional metamorphoses during the interwar and early post-war years, as it gradually lost its ‘experimental’ character and eventually fell, in 1948, under Soviet control.

2 Expert Mobilisation and the Study of International Rivers

Krehbiel was not the only academic who, a century ago, was interested in replicating the Commission and populating the world with similar entities. By 1917, as governments prepared for the coming peace congress, scholars in the humanities came to the fore in contributing to the discussion of their countries’ interests.11 Philosophers insisted that it was vital to set out the moral principles for a new and just world order; historians and linguists, geographers and jurists engaged to produce accounts that could help settle the myriad of open disputes between belligerents. After all, with nationalism as a driving force of war, knowledge about the history, literature, beliefs or political aspirations of nations around the world was essential in galvanising their support both during the conflict and at its end.

In France, Great Britain and the United States, academic centres for producing expert knowledge needed for the coming peace congress were fully functional by 1917. Eminent professors brainstormed on pressing global issues; they collected, organised and synthesised critical information into handbooks for the confidential use of their diplomats. Each of these scholarly groups relied on vast networks of experts and had access to some of the best research resources available in those times. The American team, for example, worked in the reading rooms of the New York Public Library under the academic supervision of philosopher Sidney Mezes. They later moved to the offices of the American Geographical Society and assembled under the guidance of geographer Isaiah Bowman.12 The Inquiry, as it came to be known, divided its activity into five fields of analysis, representative of its internationalist approach to the new world order: the powers (friends, enemies, neutrals); debatable areas and unfortunate peoples (from Alsace-Lorraine to the Jews and the nationalities of Eastern Europe); international business; international law; and international cooperation.13

Expert committees paid special attention to international rivers and the commissions for regulating navigation along Europe’s largest transboundary waterways. The Rhine and the Danube had been bones of contention between states during the previous centuries, but disputes had been largely solved by transnational cooperation. Their ‘lessons’ deserved wider attention.

Thus, in Paris, London and New York, scholars wrote handbooks on the history and legal status of the Rhine and the Danube. Like Krehbiel, they advertised river commissions as efficient organisations to be multiplied around the globe’s transboundary waterways. Joseph Perkins Chamberlain, a legal expert working for Columbia University, was the author of such a handbook on the Danube Question for the use of the US Department of State. Chamberlain employed a topical structure in his monograph, with references to Danube’s geography, its diplomatic history, pending international issues and the hydrotechnical projects along its watercourse, all with policy suggestions to be followed at the upcoming peace negotiations.14 Chamberlain would defend his PhD at Columbia in the early interwar years with a comparative study of the regime of the Rhine and the Danube, derived from his policy-oriented work. In his dissertation he focused on changes in international law and river organisations from a juridical perspective and reckoned that the main issue in the practical resolution of disputes was to reconcile the general common interest (i.e. free navigation for all flags) with each state’s sovereign rights.15 By 1918, similar liberal ideas were entertained by the French historian Émile Bourgeois16 and the Belgian jurist Georges Kaeckenbeeck,17 scholars tasked in France and Britain respectively to deal with the study of international rivers.

The Commission’s commendation among early IOs is remarkable and deserves more scholarly attention. For the proponents of internationalism writing in that period, such as political scientist Leonard Woolf, river commissions provided the first example of ‘deliberate international legislation’ which led to the ‘creation of the first international executive in the Danube Commission’. ‘Administrative nationalism’, Woolf further stated, had gradually given way to an international administration, which, ‘by reason of its superior efficiency, superseded the national’.18

In one of his confidential reports, William S. Monroe, another of the American experts tasked to advise on the political organisation of the Balkans at the forthcoming peace congress, insisted on several of the Commission’s multilateral accomplishments. Those of a commercial nature were particularly impressive: following the organisation’s hydraulic and administrative works, ‘annual exportation of wheat from the Danube basin’ and the total tonnage of ships frequenting the river increased five-fold, while the ‘mean size of individual ships’ calling at Danubian ports increased ten-fold. Monroe’s own recommendations on the Commission (which he considered, in the line of Krehbiel’s piece, as ‘a signal success as an experiment in international administration’) were to have its membership enlarged and ‘its powers broadened’.19

The Commission was a handy example for such internationalist and institutionalist optimism at a time when ‘experiments in international administration’ were in great demand among the theorists of the new world order. As a long-lasting embodiment of Europe’s Concert of Powers, the Commission was used to showcase that cooperation in pursuit of limited goals was possible and beneficial. As an organ endowed with ‘substantial governing power’ and which was ‘met with generally acknowledged success’, it was advertised, especially in the imperial western world, as a functionalist prototype for internationalising and securing some of the globe’s most pressing issues.20

In 1917, for instance, British legal scholar Coleman Phillipson and liberal politician Noel Buxton, an expert in Balkan affairs, considered that the Commission could serve as a model for a future International Commission of the Straits. They had in mind the Danube Commission’s unprecedented legal status, which explained the efficiency and success of ‘a remarkable precursor in the art of international government’.21 A British Foreign Office memorandum of November 1918, while discussing solutions for the organisation of the Caucasus region, concluded that Baku and its accompanying oil wells could fall directly under international control, ‘on the model, perhaps, of the Danube Commission’.22

David Hunter Miller, a member of the Inquiry and one of the American delegates in the Commission on Ports, Waterways and Railways assembled in Paris in 1919, repeatedly referred to ‘the well-known precedent of the European Commission of the Danube’ which was employed in setting up the legal basis of interwar international river commissions.23 Numerous other scholars insisted in their works on the same leitmotifs: the Commission had proved to be a very efficient permanent international body and was a noteworthy example of a ‘successful international administration’24 at a time when world leaders were looking for prototypical organisation for the new global order. The case of the Commission was well known to Romanian-born David Mitrany, who would later use this example in his functionalist approach to international relations, contaminated with some less experimental interwar political context.25

3 The Commission and Europe’s Nascent Security Cooperation

Inspired by recent scholarship in transnational history, international relations and security studies, this volume aims to detail the creation and evolution of the Commission as an IO that crafted a ‘security regime’, based on rules and enforcing institutions (see below), along the maritime section of the Danube. To do so, it brings together three fields in which security is a key concept: 1) European diplomacy and international relations, 2) institutional history, and 3) river histories. On all these analytical layers, security26 is understood as a) an objective, an ideal state of being free from risk, threat, or danger; and b) the proactive actions taken by actors to secure this ideal state by removing the sources of insecurity and uncertainty. In historicising security, in line with similar endeavours by colleagues from Utrecht University, this narrative goes beyond the realist, state-centred perspective in historical security studies and regards the Commission as one of the world’s earliest IOs with a coherent security-oriented programme. Moreover, by its multi-layered and increasingly complex activity, the Commission contributed towards the creation of a ‘European security culture’, defined as ‘a collective defence against and concomitant discourse regarding transnational threats’.27

The first – outer – layer of analysis is the political and diplomatic environment, part of the so-called Danube Question, in relation to which the Commission was established and in the framework of which it acted. The Lower Danubian area was caught in the vortex of inter-imperial politics, as it was placed at the forefront of Russia’s march against the Ottoman Empire. Since the 1830s, inland Danubian ports increasingly became busy hubs for capitalist grain traders. To them, political instability in the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia (hereafter ‘the Principalities’), in the backdrop of the Eastern Question, was translated into economic unpredictability. This impacted not only their own profits, but the replenishment of Western Europe’s grain storehouses and thus the continent’s food security. The construction of political and economic threats and interests at the Lower Danube comes within the classical narrative of a backward periphery integrated into the world market, with all the structural changes and disruptions that such a process entails for the regional economy.28

Inter-imperial political competition will be analysed within Europe’s new ideological framework – the gradual emergence of internationalism after the 1815 Vienna Congress, with an increasing number of conferences to settle interstate disputes and the making of a European system of law.29 International rivers are especially relevant for such approaches, and much scholarship has already been devoted to the emerging field of hydropolitics, defined as ‘the systematic study of conflict and cooperation between states over water resources that transcend international borders’.30

On this layer of high international politics or historical hydropolitics, this approach aims to explain how shipping insecurity and commercial unpredictability were translated into inter-imperial political disputes, but also how they contributed to increasing cooperation between relevant state actors. Complex dynamics at the 1856 Paris Congress, another critical juncture in the making of the internationalist order, allowed Europe’s decision-makers31 to reinterpret the principle of free navigation on transboundary rivers and to reinforce it with more political and juridical authority. It marked the beginnings of an interesting episode in, to paraphrase a seminal article in economic history,32 the collective imperialism of free trade, which led to the creation of an informal collective colony in the Danube Delta.

The Danube made its way into European law and remained there for the next century, together with the IO that incarnated the victors’ liberal principle of free navigation on international waterways: the European Commission of the Danube. In its turn it was not only an object of imperial politics, but also a subject of regional security-making as a fully independent international organ and a source of stability in an insecure inter-imperial borderland.

The second – middle – layer of analysis is the institutionalist one, centring on the Commission’s metamorphosis into a functional IO. New institutionalist theories (rational choice, sociological, and historical) provide an excellent insight into how transnational cooperation is advanced via such IOs.33 Historical institutionalism is the most relevant one, and the evolution of the Commission will follow, on the lines of Orfeo Fioretos’ approach, the story of the Commission with details of the ‘legacies of founding moments in shaping long-term power relations and whether new ideas become consequential, the ubiquity of unintended consequences, and especially the prevalence of incremental reform over stasis and fundamental transformations’.34 Lately, historians have joined in such attempts to historicise international relations in the nineteenth century, in the vein of Glenda Sluga’s or Beatrice de Graaf’s interest in, for example, transnational institutions that increased cooperation between state actors.35

In order to determine the effectiveness of the Commission it is necessary to consider its general organisational characteristics (institutional scope, membership structure, degree of institutionalisation) and the governance solutions commissioners designed for the international river (decision-making mechanisms, dispute resolution procedures, funding).36 Comparisons with other early IOs – such as the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine37 – will help crystallise the distinctive features of the Commission in a busier constellation of transnational non-state agents.

Looking at the role of human resources at play in the Commission, two aspects are worth being investigated with their specialised conceptual instruments: IOs as bureaucracies and the making of ‘communities of experts’ within such organisations. It may be safely claimed that the Commission’s success in establishing a security regime at the Lower Danube came with its gradual transformation into a bureaucratic institution. The Commission was not born as such, but it evolved organically into a complex bureaucracy and technocracy. The theoretical contributions of Michael N. Barnett and Martha Finnemore on the relationships between bureaucracy and rulemaking illuminate important aspects for the Commission’s corporate identity.38 Created to solve a technical mission, the Commission gradually turned into a community of experts39 in transboundary rivers, a specialisation that combined knowledge in seamanship, international law, public administration and engineering. Since the nineteenth century such epistemic communities thrived, and specialised knowledge started to be produced and disseminated across national and disciplinary boundaries. Scholarship on epistemic communities and their transnational networks is as useful for showing how specialised knowledge translated security practices into actual regulations.40

In terms of actual results of cooperation, the Commission contributed towards the establishment of navigational rules, norms and procedures for the Danube. For Stephen D. Krasner, regimes are ‘principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures’, and a security regime came into being with the creation of a coherent corpus of rules and its application.41 James C. Scott’s view on the modern bureaucratic state’s objective of imposing legibility and simplification is also relevant here,42 especially in proving that the Commission acted as a ‘state’ whose drive for standardisation was part of its logics of stability and security over its ‘liquid’ jurisdiction. As it did so, its state building measures were those of modern states, the Leviathan 2.0 based on new methods of governmentality,43 with a view to ‘order’ an area that needed not only technological improvement, but also law, taxation procedures and communication systems. As in the case of the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine, the Commission contributed towards ‘European economic security’44 and European integration, as well as through the supranational character of its decisions, voted for by a majority, but binding for all member states in relation to Danubian navigation.45

The creation and development of the Commission was a lengthy political and institutional process, but also an intellectual and cultural one. The Commission evolved with the establishment of corporate symbols and rituals, and eventually bred a culture that was inherited within the organisation and spread beyond it. According to French anthropologist Marc Abélès, the production of an institutional culture takes place on two levels – an individual and an institutional one – when ‘the norms, practices and models that the institution creates are diffused beyond that institutional framework’.46 Institutional anthropology and sociological analysis47 on the Commission’s bureaucracy are relevant for understanding the spread of this organisational culture beyond the Maritime Danube towards, for example, the Rhine or the Suez. This culture had security as its core value. Created to deal with threats to the security of Danubian navigation and to the economic and political interests associated with free shipping, the Commission gradually turned into a ‘security community’ which designed efficient policies and control mechanisms to protect those interests.

The third – or inner – layer of analysis is the international river, the object of the Commission’s transformative programme. Turning the Danube into the commercial highway of southeastern Europe was a complex process, which started with removing physical insecurity from its lower section, the most sensitive portion of its course. This exercise in river history involved actors within and outside the Commission – diplomats and engineers, cartographers and bureaucrats, merchants and ship-owners – who joined forces to ‘correct’ the river and provide it with the proper legislation needed to make it a predictable and safe transportation artery.

Rationalising nature, governing and managing it for maximising economic benefits proved more complicated than originally believed when the Commission was established in 1856, and it was hardened into an efficient organisation by the very complexity of the Danube Delta. Understanding the river with its seasonal floods, predominant currents and winds was part of a transnational process of knowledge production and a prerequisite for the Commission’s subsequent engineering programme. Hydrologic knowledge played a vital part in building dykes at Sulina which ‘tamed’ the Danube and turned it into a predictable and secure waterway.48

The Commission’s vast technical projects came with a price for both the environment and the riverain human communities, and this clash is relevant for understanding the dynamics of an early IO’s encounter with ‘human insecurity’, regarded through an emerging paradigm that privileges the human rather than the national or state level as the proper referent for security-making.49 As Richard White has put it, both river systems and human societies are dynamic forces rather than static entities clashing with one another; rivers are human creations (or organic machines) just as much as they preserve a sort of private, natural existence, beyond human control.50 In other words, this third layer aims to touch upon issues related to river management, technology transfer and environmental history, relevant in securing for navigation one of Europe’s largest international rivers. In all these fields, the Commission was one of the main transformative agents of nature on the western coast of the Black Sea, and it needed to adjust its policies and actions in connection to those of other local, regional, national or transnational actors. As the historical setting for one of Europe’s earliest ‘experimental’ organisations, the peripheral riverscape of the Danube Delta area invites further comparison between the Danube and other rivers, in mainland Europe and in colonial areas, which were reshaped through human agency in the modern age.51

Security lies at the core of this three-dimensional approach. In the framework of Europe’s Concert, the Great Powers followed diplomatic procedures designed to maintain peace and order on the continent.52 Beyond their diverging interests, they cooperated well and managed to preserve stability at the Lower Danube and in the international system. They followed explicit rules of behaviour during their conference diplomacy and agreed on multilateral actions meant to contain the hydro-hegemonic claims of the eastern empires, which were members of the IO. As the Concert’s institutional offspring, the Commission acted to remove insecurity from the Maritime Danube, but it greatly expanded and deepened the meaning of its security-driven programme. The Maritime Danube posed, through its peripheral position and the hydrographical features of its Delta, additional challenges to the Commission’s modernising efforts, making the results even more commendable for the Commission’s leadership and its supporters. Security might seem an elusive concept to cover such broad objects and actions, but it serves as a dynamic and flexible linchpin to connect the three analytical levels and to allow for studying not only the actors, but also the various threats and the referent objects identified, as well as the context, circumstances and instruments used when making decisions.53

4 On Institutional Visibility, Corporate Branding and Expert Exposure

Branding itself as a model of fruitful transnational cooperation was one of the Commission’s greatest accomplishments. Its visibility among diplomats, legal scholars and river experts was fostered by this need to be considered a successful organisation. It enjoyed large administrative privileges and had an autonomous (and later independent) status in relation to the territorial state which controlled the Danube Delta (i.e. the Ottoman Empire and, since 1878, Romania), so the Commission spread the word far and wide about its corporate efficiency.

The organisation published its main ‘constitutional’ charter in French and in other international languages,54 and distributed it amongst the diplomatic and economic circles interested in Danubian navigation; it published several collections of official diplomatic documents and institutional procedures;55 its regulations and tariffs were included in some of the leading commercial journals of Europe and were printed as separate brochures.56 If the latter publications had to do with the need to keep the Commission’s clients (ship-owners, seafarers, merchants) informed on its navigational taxes and practices, the other texts were meant to convey an additional message about its organisational brand. Through communication facilitators in its Secretariat, the Commission invested in creating and maintaining a successful corporate identity: it was a pillar of security, stability and professionalism at the Lower Danube. As the IO’s term had to be renewed periodically, this positive image was crucial for regime survival at critical junctures, when the Commission’s activity was reviewed by Europe’s top statesmen. One of the lessons that commissioners and bureaucrats in the organisation quickly learned was that communicating the Commission’s achievements was as important as those accomplishments themselves. Consequently, the organisation insisted on the correlation between its extraordinary status and its out-of-the-ordinary results, both visible consequences of transnational cooperation.

The technical component of the Commission’s works was popularised in equally well-disseminated volumes that included the reports of its lead engineers, accompanied by numerous tables, charts and maps.57 The engineers made a habit of presenting their works at meetings of prestigious professional bodies, such as the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.58 Thanks to narratives of hydraulic success and the rich and colourful imagery of their publications, the Danube Delta and the port of Sulina became some of the world’s best-documented cases where the long-term effects of the river-sea interactions could be followed. Influential engineers such as Frenchman François Philippe Voisin (Voisin Bey), one of the artisans of the Suez Canal as Ferdinand de Lesseps’ right hand, wrote extensively about the Commission’s technical accomplishments: they ‘offered precious information for the art of engineering and also provided a very interesting example of a great work of public utility’, which was executed and maintained through the imposition of moderate dues ‘in exchange for multiple and serious advantages’.59

Not least of all, the Commission published several eulogistic reports on its overall activity. They depicted the insecurity of the Lower Danube before its creation and its steps in gradually removing the artificial and natural hindrances that had endangered free and safe navigation.60 Such volumes, accompanied by works published by several commissioners and bureaucrats, portrayed an effective IO which ‘tamed’ one of the ‘wildest’ channels of commerce in Europe. The memory of former insecure times was kept alive in official publications, which referred extensively to the sense of order and standard of civilisation61 it imposed over its jurisdiction.

But its visibility among scholars of peace studies, such as Krehbiel, is probably linked to the Commission’s extraordinary status as an IO that functioned independently of the authority of its host state. It remained, even during the interwar period, ‘a unique international organization’ as it was ‘a distinct international entity possessing sovereignty over the broad waters of the Danube’.62

In the early 1880s, a political conflict between Romania and Austria-Hungary in relation to a new river organisation (which was to copy many of the Commission’s vast attributions) generated a scholarly dispute between legal experts throughout the western world. Discussions about the international status of the Maritime Danube divided jurists into two main groups: the defendants of the smaller states’ sovereign rights and the advocates of trans-imperial cooperation along international waterways crossing ‘weak’ states or ‘uncivilised’ territories. Several position papers on the topic were published in the influential Revue de droit international et de législation comparée, the bulletin of the Institut de Droit International which promoted the progress of international law and the peaceful resolution of disputes among states. These expert pieces further increased the fame of the Commission amongst legal scholars, and the Danube Question was later analysed by several jurists who authored monographs detailing the extraordinary legal regime of the Lower Danube, the large powers of the Commission and the economic prosperity brought to the area by its technical and normative activity.63 The number of publications increased during the First World War, as the Commission continued its activity in 1914–1916, despite the degree of belligerence that existed between the states of many of its employees.

The knowledge early twentieth-century globalists like Krehbiel, Woolf, Francis Bowes Sayre or Miller had about the Commission and its accomplishments came from such generally positive exposure in the professional circles of legal experts, engineers, businessmen and statesmen. If the Commission was indeed a viable example to showcase the beneficial outcomes of transnational cooperation, its own employees deserve much credit for this successful institutional branding. As for the organisation’s detractors, several of them Romanians, they were easily dismissed for their nationalistic and anachronistic views.

5 A Brief Historiographical Survey of the Commission

This part aims to review the rich historiography on the Commission published after the conclusion of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–1920. The peace treaties that brought the First World War to an end and a series of multilateral conventions concluded in the early 1920s regulated the status of Europe’s largest international rivers. Negotiations ended with the extension of the 1815 and 1856 liberal principles, though several decisions managed to alienate not only the defeated Central Powers, but also some of the young nation-states in central and southeastern Europe. Romania was one of them. Romania more than doubled its surface area and population after several provinces in the Russian and Austrian-Hungarian empires united with the ‘Motherland’ in 1918. At the Paris Peace Conference, Romanian diplomacy aimed to alter the Danube regime and establish its full territorial sovereignty over the Maritime Danube (more in Chapter 10). The best solution, according to the Romanians, was to abolish the Commission and unify the entire river regime under the jurisdiction of a single IO, on the model of the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine.64 Eventually, due to political and economic reasons, the river course was divided between two river commissions: the Commission was preserved, with a membership that gave the upper hand to European victors, while the rest of the river was to be regulated by an International Commission of the Danube, comprised of delegates from riparian states and the three major European victors. During the interwar period, Romanian authorities struggled to diminish the powers of the Commission, which came to be regarded as an ‘anachronical organ’ that hurt Greater Romania’s sovereignty. In the context of the Second World War, the Commission was caught in further revisionist disputes, with Nazi Germany and the USSR seeking membership to protect their own regional interests. In post-war years ‘the Danube for Danubian states’ policy promoted by the Soviet Union resulted in the removal of non-riparian powers from the Commission and the establishment of the currently existing Danube Commission (based in Budapest), which was initially used as an instrument of promotion for Soviet interests during the Cold War.

The Commission attracted academic interest from several authors in the past century, but it was only since the 1980s that scholarship started to be freed from political bias. The IO has been usually analysed in relation to the so-called Danube Question (the rivalry for imperial hegemony over the Lower Danube), which was most often than not regarded with ideological goggles. A brief excursion through the historiography of the Commission and of the larger Danube Question is useful before referring to the objectives and structure of this volume.

Academic literature on the Commission can roughly be divided into three chronological phases, each with its own incentives to study the Commission and its role in southeastern Europe, and each with its form of political bias: the nationalist squabble of the interwar years, when Romania and its scholars fought to limit or even abolish the attributions of what they started to consider an ‘anachronical’ institution; the Second World War and the Cold War divide, when the Commission was caught in a larger ideological conflict between the different belligerent camps, and scholars targeted the IO as part of this dispute; and the integrative age of post-communist years, when the Commission has served to illustrate the beneficial or pernicious effects of European cooperation. As interest by Romanian scholars has remained high in the organisation during the past century, a further distinction will be made between Romanian and foreign authors studying the Commission.

During the interwar years, Romania and the other member states were engaged in political and legal discussions about the Commission’s status. This resulted in the publication of numerous papers by experts engaged with the issue or independent of it. Romanian authors were at the heart of the production and circulation of a highly partisan narrative on the Danube Question, with the Commission portrayed as an ‘anachronical’ and ‘parasitical’ organisation, an imposition that survived from former colonial times. For authors such as Grigore Antipa65 (natural scientist and influential public intellectual), Eugeniu P. Botez66 (navigation expert and fashionable novelist), Vintilă Brătianu67 (leading liberal politician), Nicolae Dașcovici68 and Henri Georges Meitani69 (diplomats, policy advisors and professors of international law) or Gheorghe Popescu70 (hydraulic engineer), the Commission was a gauge against which Romania’s great leap forward had to be measured. The IO had been a useful European bulwark when the Romanian state was too young and too weak to defend the freedom of navigation along the Maritime Danube. But things had changed, and Greater Romania was fully capable of protecting its own and larger European interests. The leitmotif of Romanian literature was that in the new historical context the Commission had been violating Romania’s sovereignty and dignity.71 As George Sofronie put it in one of his volumes on Romania’s relations with the Commission, Romanians were convinced that

justice was on Romania’s side. It emerges from the injured sovereignty of a territorial state, within which a veritable fluvial state exists; beyond all debates on the legal status of the European Commission of the Danube one cannot deny that, in the light of certain [diplomatic] texts that extend its territorial and judicial powers, it can be considered as an international syndicate, endowed with a veritable [legal] personality, forming some sort of small state in itself. [emphasis in the original text]72

Non-Romanian authors were more ambivalent in their opinions, and they tended to contextualise the political character of the Commission. It was a techno-political organisation that remained rather singular in the interwar period, an age when the world was populated by an increasing number of IOs. But the Commission had always had a special character, and Romania’s arguments resembled those entertained by the Ottoman government in the 1860s and the 1870s. During the 1920s two extremely valuable histories of the Lower Danube were authored by Henrik (Henry) Hajnal, a Hungarian expert in international law. Following a volume on the political and economic history of the Danube, Hajnal published a monograph on the juridical implications of a dispute around the Commission that the Permanent Court of International Justice had to advise upon.73 Jurisconsults from around the world wrote dissertations about the uncommon case and its legal significance: Emilio Morpurgo,74 a graduate of the University of Bologna; Alfred Lederle,75 a German judge; and James Vallotton,76 a Swiss lawyer. In an article that reviewed juridical debates on the Commission, jurist Voyslav M. Radovanovitch concluded that Romania was entitled to attempt removing foreign jurisdiction from its national territory, but added that ‘the principle of the freedom of inland navigation should not be regarded as a kind of imposition by non-riparian states […] or as a positive international servitude, but rather as a conventional obligation, voluntarily granted by the territorially interested riparian states’.77

In 1931, at the 75-year celebration since its creation, the Commission published a synthesis of its activity, edited by Carlo Rossetti, the Italian commissioner, and Francis Rey, the organisation’s French secretary general. The chapters were authored by the different chiefs of services in the IO’s complex bureaucracy, and the volume remains to this day, beyond its self-eulogising tone, the most comprehensive account of the Commission’s inner structure and works.78 Rossetti also published a different volume on the exceptional statute of the Danube in which he defended full internationality for transboundary rivers around the world.79

From the late 1930s, the Lower Danube was caught in political turmoil, and literature on the Commission was even more politicised and partisan. Ideological options and, later, the Cold War divide are clearly visible in how scholars positioned themselves on the issue of international cooperation along the Danube. Before the coming of communism, Romanian authors such as legal experts Grigore Cotlaru,80 Nicolae Dașcovici81 and George Sofronie82 were critical of the Commission, but still found its existence useful for the security of Danubian navigation. Since the late 1940s, Romanian legal scholars and historians switched to a Soviet-inspired narrative. In their view, the Commission was an imperialist organisation, proof of how the putrid Romanian bourgeoisie had sold the nation’s independence to agents of capitalist empires.83

Several non-Romanian authors wrote about the Commission during the late 1930s and 1940s. French historian and legal scholar Jean Duvernoy84 published a ‘classical’ account of the Commission in its structure and arguments, but since the late 1940s most of the western literature on the Lower Danube looked at the post-war transformation of the Commission into a Soviet political instrument. Stephen Gorove, a Hungarian-born jurist, started his career in international law with a PhD at Yale and a monograph on the hydropolitics of the Danube during the early communist times. To him, the Lower Danube remained part of a political power play between imperial hegemons.85 As for the official Soviet narrative, it insisted on the predatory policies of ‘foreign conquerors, under whose yoke the Danubian peoples had languished for centuries’. Ottoman rule was largely removed in the nineteenth century, when the ‘age of capitalism’ had come with ‘new masters – the bourgeoisie of developed western countries’. The international regime of the Danube was a weapon of capitalist empires ‘aiming at seizing the economy and the political subordination of Danubian states’, which the Soviet Union was to liberate.86

During the 1970s and 1980s, more balanced monographs were published both in Romania and abroad. In Romania, historians of international relations wrote a couple of general accounts of the Danube Question, insisting on Romania’s struggle for full territorial sovereignty. The IO was regarded as useful during the period of nation and state-building, as a sort of European protectorate-ship until modern Romania could take over the mission of safeguarding the mouths of the Danube.87 At the same time, several historians wrote more professional and unbiased narratives on specific episodes of political and economic relations. Although Marxist overtones were present in their volumes, these contributions are solid, factual analyses of the Commission and of the political and economic environment in which it acted.88

Several monographs published by non-Romanian scholars have been instrumental to a more balanced academic approach on the Commission’s activity. Three authors are worth mention here. Richard Frucht, an American historian, published a dissertation on the clash between Romania and the western powers on the Commission’s status in the early twentieth century and on how Romania’s national pride dictated its foreign policy when discussing the future of the Lower Danube during and in the aftermath of the Paris Peace Congress.89 Another major contribution comes from a Greek-Romanian scholar, Spiridon G. Focas, who wrote an authoritative account of the diplomatic and juridical dimensions of the Danube Question. Over about 700 pages, Focas tried ‘to emphasize the struggle for ascendancy among the European Great Powers for a free navigation at the Mouth of the Danube, and the antagonism within the riparians of the Lower Danube River’.90 Another vital dimension in the organisation’s activity was minutely covered in the work of agronomist Charles William Steward Hartley, a descendant of Charles Augustus Hartley, the celebrated engineer-in-chief of the Commission. In a dense biographical study, the author touched upon the main phases of his ancestor’s hydraulic activity and his gradual ‘taming’ of the Lower Danube.91

In the past three decades interest in the Commission has greatly increased in Romania, especially in relation to the first manifestations of the country’s sovereign rights92 and its European aspirations.93 Its activity has been ‘sold’ as proof of the long-standing interest of ‘Europe’ in the Lower Danube, and comprehensive monographs of the organisation have been published by historians Ștefan Stanciu94 and Alexandru Ioan Suciu.95 Both are based on official sources from Romanian central and regional archives, and both follow a political-juridical narrative with Romania’s ‘moral’ and ‘just’ position placed at the core of their discourse. Other dissertations look at the Commission from the perspective of the economic or political interests of various member states, such as Great Britain or France.96

More recently the topic has been revisited by various scholars, who have employed modern approaches and contextualised the Commission’s activity amongst similar examples of inter-imperial cooperation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.97 Historian Luminița Gătejel has looked at various instances of cooperation within the Commission (presented as a ‘collective actor’), mainly in relation to the hydraulic works for ‘civilising’ a backward river on Europe’s periphery.98 Geographers have insisted on the production of knowledge by an early IO, and the environmental results of the Commission’s works in the Danube Delta, today an internationally protected ecosystem.99 Anthropologists have scrutinised the memory of the Commission, an organisation associated in the town of Sulina with the local community’s golden age.100 Legal experts have placed the Commission among similar IOs involved in shaping international fluvial and maritime law.101 Political scientist Yuan (Joanne) Yao has examined the construction of the meaning of several international rivers, including the Danube, at the three critical junctures in European politics during the nineteenth century: the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the 1856 Peace of Paris and the 1885 Berlin Colonial Conference.102

The conclusion of this brief historiographical review is that while there has been a continuous interest in the Commission, for most of the past century scholarship on this IO has been highly ideologised and partisan. Academic works have generally followed a political-institutional narrative, wherein the multilateral activity of this institution has been rather thinly and narrowly depicted. Things have changed in the last quarter-century, and a growing number of scholars from around the world and from various academic disciplines have focussed on the Commission’s multifaceted history. This book aims to make good use of this literature and, through further recourse to recent scholarship in transnational history, international relations and security studies, to produce an account of the creation and evolution of the Commission as an IO that crafted a functional security regime at the Maritime Danube. So rather than being a simple monograph of the Commission, this approach aims to illuminate its contribution to removing the sources of uncertainty that had turned navigation along the Maritime Danube into an unsafe and costly venture. The nexus between technology, commercial exchanges and the political sphere allows for a multi-semantic understanding of security as both an objective state and the proactive actions taken to enforce that ideal state. The institutional history of the Commission will be supplemented with a biographical approach, by integrating stories of key influential individuals who contributed to its making.

6 Outline of the Book

This monograph is divided into ten chapters, nine of which analyse different aspects of the Commission’s history from its origins until the First World War, when the organisation entered a long transformative phase that would gradually alter its membership structure, powers, and ability to regulate and control navigation along the Maritime Danube. Rather than following a strict chronological order, these chapters are organised around topics, approaches and analytical layers relevant to the making of a security regime in the Danube Delta area.

In a brief outline, and having the Commission personified as the main protagonist, the volume will introduce the circumstances in which the organisation was born, the founding principles that fleshed it out, its maturation into a solid juridical person, the works done for ‘taming’ its physical environment, its sources of income, its gradual professionalisation and independence, and the modernisation of its habitation.

The first chapter details the forms of navigational insecurity and commercial uncertainty that ruled in the Russian Danube Delta in the context of emerging Russophobia on the continent. Russia’s tight control of navigation in its territorial waters collided with the economic interests of western entrepreneurs, involved in trading Danubian grain on the world markets. The chapter looks at the creation of shipping insecurity, epitomised by the little town of Sulina, the hometown of a troublesome ‘piratical republic’.

Staying on this first diplomatic layer, the analysis of the international political context in which Europe’s Great Powers found a solution to the Danube Question during and in the aftermath of the Crimean War follows in Chapter 2. The internationalisation and institutionalisation of Danube navigation created exceptional juridical instruments that added to previous interpretations of the 1815 Vienna Treaty. Such instruments contributed to broadening the institutional legacy of the Commission, taken as an example for further cooperation along international waterways.

The third chapter looks at the early history of the Commission and focuses on its relations with its host states, its inner structure, decision-making mechanisms, and its gradual transformation into an autonomous organ. Its authority increased over time with attributes acquired from below and relevant episodes are presented on the Commission’s agency in bringing stability to the Danube Delta.

Chapter 4 looks at the organisation’s technical programme of removing the physical obstacles along the Maritime Danube. Charles Augustus Hartley is the hero of this part: as the organisation’s engineer-in-chief he coordinated the transnational efforts that ‘civilised’ the Danube and turned the Commission into a successful techno-political organisation. The clash between man and nature will thus move the reader between the second and the third layers of analysis.

Chapter 5 examines the Commission’s funding and its struggle to become a financially independent organisation. To achieve this, it required a great European cooperative effort, but it also pushed the organisation onto a path of standardisation and simplification in its taxation practices.

Chapter 6 evaluates the many challenges that threatened the survival of the Commission in one of the most critical periods of its existence. Starting with rival economic ventures (from the construction of a railway and Romania’s plan to have its own independent seaport all the way to the hegemonic aspirations of Europe’s imperial powers), the Commission was threatened by external forces in its local and larger European political and economic environments. The presentation follows the efforts of John Stokes, Britain’s commissioner, to safeguard the Commission against such systemic threats and allow it time to harden into a solid organ.

Chapter 7 details the inner structure of the Commission, one of the early examples of transnational bureaucracy. It further analyses the context in which the international civil service was created, and its work in regulating shipping along the Danube through a comprehensive set of internationally accepted rules and procedures.

Chapter 8 discusses Romania’s diplomatic struggles to impose its jurisdiction over its section of the Danube, threatened by its larger imperial neighbours, Russia and Austria-Hungary. Romania turned the Lower Danube into the core of its national programme, while the Commission assumed a new role, as a political actor in the international system.

Chapter 9 zooms in on the town of Sulina, the operational hometown of the Commission, and the place where the organisation played a major contribution in transforming the urban and security landscape of a cosmopolitan community. It analyses the instruments used by the Commission to impose law and order and how the organisation became a major provider in relation to other types of security that threatened both the local community and river navigation.

Lastly, Chapter 10 follows the history of the Commission throughout the twentieth century, allowing readers some general information about its institutional metamorphosis during the interwar period and in post-war times, when under Soviet leadership the ‘Danube was returned to the Danubian states’. The Danube Commission,103 now based in Budapest, is the Commission’s legal offspring, though the Commission is perhaps the only example of an IO that functioned in exile in the heyday of the Cold War. The Commission is the main ‘actor’ of this volume, which follows its multifaceted history, little known among scholars looking at the origins of international cooperation.


Gerlof Homan, ‘Edward Benjamin Krehbiel: Progressive Peace Advocate and “Professor of Eternal Peace,”’ Mennonite Quarterly Review 76.2 (2002): 189–214.




Edward Benjamin Krehbiel, ‘The European Commission of the Danube: An Experiment in International Administration,’ Political Science Quarterly 33.1 (1918): 38–55.


For simplicity, ‘international organisation’ (IO) will be used throughout this volume, though in a modern taxonomy the European Commission of the Danube would fit into the category of ‘intergovernmental organisations.’


The ‘Maritime Danube’ is the 170-kilometre long section of the river accessible to seagoing vessels. It stretches from the inland port of Brăila downstream to the Black Sea. References to the ‘Lower Danube’ relate to the entire river section stretching for about 900 kilometres from the Iron Gates gorge to the Black Sea. The ‘Fluvial Danube’ covers the rest of the ‘Lower Danube’ section, between the Iron Gates and Brăila.


Krehbiel, ‘The European Commission’: 55.


See the recent analysis of Volker Barth and Roland Cvetkovski (eds.), Imperial Co-operation and Transfer, 1870–1930: Empires and Encounters (London and New York 2015).


Krehbiel, ‘The European Commission’: 49.


Leonie Holthaus and Jens Steffek, ‘Experiments in International Administration: The Forgotten Functionalism of James Arthur Salter,’ Review of International Studies 42.1 (2016): 114–135.


James Arthur Salter, Allied Shipping Control: An Experiment in International Administration (Oxford 1921); also Egon Ferdinand Ranshofen-Wertheimer, The International Secretariat: A Great Experiment in International Administration (Washington DC 1945) and for a similarly ‘experimental’ IO George Arthur Codding, The International Telecommunication Union: An Experiment in International Cooperation (Leiden 1952).


George T. Blakey, Historians on the Homefront: American Propagandists for the Great War (Lexington 1970), 16–33.


Neil Smith, American Empire: Roosevelt’s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London 2003), 113–138.


Lawrence Emerson Gelfand, The Inquiry: American Preparations for Peace, 1917–1919 (New Haven 1963), 347. A recent view on its contribution to international relations scholarship in David M. McCourt, ‘The Inquiry and the Birth of International Relations, 1917–19,’ Australian Journal of Politics & History 63.3 (2017): 394–405.


Joseph P. Chamberlain, The Danube. In Five Parts, November 1, 1918 (Washington 1918).


Chamberlain, The Regime of the International Rivers: Danube and Rhine (New York 1923), 5–6.


Émile Bourgeois, Liberté et neutralité de navigation du Danube, in: Travaux du Comité d’études, Questions européennes, vol. II (Paris 1919), 663–682; the context in Olivier Lowczyk, La fabrique de la paix: du Comité d’études à la Conférence de la Paix, l’élaboration par la France des traités de la Première Guerre Mondiale (Paris 2010), 425.


Georges Kaeckenbeeck, International Rivers: A Monograph Based on Diplomatic Documents (London 1918), V–IX; the context in Erik Goldstein, ‘Historians Outside the Academy: G.W. Prothero and the Experience of the Foreign Office Historical Section, 1917–20,’ Historical Research 63.151 (1990): 195–211.


Leonard Woolf, International Government (Westminster 1916), 26, 220; idem, The Future of Constantinople (London 1917), 37. More on his views in Peter Wilson, The International Theory of Leonard Woolf: A Study in Twentieth-Century Idealism (New York 2005), 42, 102.


W.S. Monroe, Balkan Peninsula; The Danube and Its Internationalization (10 April 1918), V & 12–13, in: The Inquiry Papers (MS 10). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, No. 138.


Francis Bowes Sayre, Experiments in International Administration (New York 1919), XIXII, 38–47.


Coleman Phillipson and Noel Buxton, The Question of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles (London 1917), 241.


Alex Marshall, The Caucasus under Soviet Rule (London and New York 2010), 105.


David Hunter Miller, ‘The International Regime of Ports, Waterways and Railways,’ American Journal of International Law 13.4 (1919): 678.


Cecil Delisle Burns, International Politics (London 1920), 150.


David Mitrany, A Working Peace System. An Argument for the Functional Development of International Organization (London 1943), 30; more context in Jan Klabbers, ‘The Emergence of Functionalism in International Institutional Law: Colonial Inspirations,’ European Journal of International Law 25.3 (2014): 645–675.


Also in relation to the sectorial analysis as proposed in Barry Buzan, Ole Waever and Jaap de Wilde, Security. A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder CO 2013).


Beatrice de Graaf, Ido de Haan and Brian Vick, ‘Vienna 1815: Introducing a European Security Culture,’ in: de Graaf, de Haan and Vick (eds.), Securing Europe after Napoleon. 1815 and the New European Security Culture (Cambridge 2019), 1–18. See other recent theoretical contributions in Matthias Schulz, ‘Cultures of Peace and Security from the Vienna Congress to the Twenty-First Century: 1815 and the New European Security Culture,’ ibid., 21–39 and Eckart Conze, ‘Historicising a Security Culture: Peace, Security and the Vienna System in History and Politics,’ ibid., 40–55.


Giovanni Federico and Karl Gunnar Persson, ‘Market Integration and Convergence in the World Wheat Market, 1800–2000,’ in: Timothy J. Hatton, Kevin H. O’Rourke and Alan M. Taylor (eds.), The New Comparative Economic History: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey G. Williamson (Cambridge MA and London 2007), 87–113.


Mark Mazower, Governing the World: The History of an Idea, 1815 to the Present (London 2012); Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World. A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (Princeton 2015).


Arun P. Elhance, Hydropolitics in the Third World: Conflict and Cooperation in International River Basins (Washington DC 1999), 3; Susanne Schmeier, Governing International Watercourses: River Basin Organizations and the Sustainable Governance of Internationally Shared Rivers and Lakes (London 2015). Other major contributions to hydropolitics are: David LeMarquand, International Rivers: The Politics of Cooperation (Vancouver 1977); John Waterbury, Hydropolitics of the Nile Valley (Syracuse NY 1979); Shlomi Dinar, International Water Treaties. Negotiation and Cooperation along Transboundary Rivers (London and New York 2008).


‘Europe’ will define, in many circumstances related to international politics, the seven Great Powers signatories of the peace treaties and the multilateral conventions relevant for the Eastern Question.


John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson, ‘The Imperialism of Free Trade,’ Economic History Review 6.1 (1953): 1–15.


Peter A. Hall and Rosemary C.R. Taylor, ‘Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms,’ Political Studies 44.5 (1996): 936–957.


Orfeo Fioretos, ‘Historical Institutionalism in International Relations,’ International Organization 65.2 (2011): 369.


Glenda Sluga, ‘Editorial – the Transnational History of International Institutions,’ Journal of Global History 6.2 (2011): 219–222; de Graaf, ‘Bringing Sense and Sensibility to the Continent: Vienna 1815 Revisited,’ Journal of Modern European History 13.4 (2015): 447–457.


Schmeier, Governing International Watercourses, 59–60.


See the recent pieces by Hein A.M. Klemann, ‘The Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine, 1815–1914. Nineteenth Century European Integration,’ in: Ralf Banken and Ben Wubs (eds.), The Rhine: A Transnational Economic History (Baden-Baden 2017), 31–68 and Joep Schenk, ‘The Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine: A First Step towards European Economic Security?,’ in: de Graaf, de Haan and Vick (eds.), Securing Europe, 75–94.


Michael N. Barnett and Martha Finnemore, ‘The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations,’ International Organization 53.4 (1999): 699–732; eidem, Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics (Ithaca 2004).


Timothy Mitchell, Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London 2002); Martin Kohlrausch and Helmuth Trischler, Building Europe on Expertise. Innovators, Organizers, Networkers (Basingstoke 2014); Wolfram Kaiser and Johan W. Schot, Writing the Rules for Europe: Experts, Cartels and International Organizations (Basingstoke 2014).


Peter M. Haas, ‘Introduction: Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination,’ International Organization 46.1 (1992): 1–35; Mai’a K. Davis Cross, ‘Rethinking Epistemic Communities Twenty Years Later,’ Review of International Studies 39.1 (2013): 137–160.


Stephen D. Krasner, ‘Structural Causes and Regime Consequences: Regimes as Intervening Variables,’ in: idem (ed.), International Regimes (Ithaca and London 1983), 2.


James C. Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven and London 1998).


Charles S. Maier, ‘Leviathan 2.0: Inventing Modern Statehood,’ in: Emily R. Rosenberg (ed.), A World Connecting. 1870–1945 (Cambridge MA and London 2012), 29–282.


Schenk, ‘The Central Commission’ cit.


Guido Thiemeyer and Isabel Tölle, ‘Supranationalität im 19. Jahrhundert? Die Beispiele der Zentralkommission für die Rheinschifffahrt und des Octroivertrages 1804–1851,’ Journal of European Integration History 17.2 (2011): 177–196.


Marc Abélès and Henri-Pierre Jeudy (eds.), Anthropologie du politique (Paris 1997), 154–155.


Maria-Mădălina Toader, De la jauge au stylo: Stratégies des commissaires européens du Danube entre 1856 et 1878. Essai d’anthropologie institutionnelle, MA dissertation, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris 2014).


Christof Mauch and Thomas Zeller, ‘Rivers in History and Historiography: An Introduction,’ in: eidem (eds.), Rivers in History: Perspectives on Waterways in Europe and North America (Pittsburgh 2008), 1–10.


Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh and Anuradha Chenoy, Human Security: Concepts and Implications (London 2007).


Richard White, The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River (New York 1996).


Mark Cioc, The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815–2000 (Seattle and London 2002); David Blackbourn, The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany (New York 2007); Sara B. Pritchard, Confluence: The Nature of Technology and the Remaking of the Rhône (Cambridge MA and London 2011); Peter Coates, A Story of Six Rivers: History, Culture and Ecology (London 2013).


Robert Jervis, ‘From Balance to Concert: A Study of International Security Cooperation,’ World Politics 38.1 (1985): 58–79 and Matthias Schulz, ‘The Concert of Europe and International Security Governance: How Did It Operate, What Did It Accomplish, What Were Its Shortcomings, What Can We Learn?,’ in: Harald Müller and Carsten Rauch (eds.), Great Power Multilateralism and the Prevention of War. Debating a 21st-Century Concert of Powers (London 2018), 26–45.


Buzan, Wæver and de Wilde, Security, 32.


Acte public relatif à la navigation des embouchures du Danube signé à Galatz, le 2 novembre 1865 (Galați 1866); Public Act Relating to the Navigation of the Mouths of the Danube (London 1871); Acte public relatif à la navigation des embouchures du Danube. Guide pour la navigation du fleuve (Galați 1876), etc.


Actes relatifs au Danube. Traités, conventions, protocoles et règlements (Bucharest 1882); Documents officiels relatifs à la Commission européenne du Danube. Traités, Acte public, Acte additionnel, Règlement intérieur (Galați 1890), etc.


Règlement de navigation et de police applicable au bas Danube. Tarif des droits de navigation. Guide du navigateur, en français, italien, allemand, anglais, roumain, russe, grec et turc (Galați 1884); Instructions au Capitaine du port de Soulina et à l’Inspecteur de la navigation du bas Danube, en français et en italien (Galați 1884), etc.


Mémoire sur les travaux d’amélioration exécutés aux embouchures du Danube par la Commission Européenne instituée en vertu de l’article 16 du Traité de Paris du 30 mars 1856, accompagné d’un atlas de 40 planches (Galați 1867); Mémoire sur l’achèvement des travaux d’amélioration exécutés aux embouchures du Danube par la Commission Européenne instituée en vertu de l’article 16 du Traité de Paris du 30 mars 1856, avec 3 cartes jointes au texte et un atlas de 59 planches (Leipzig 1873), etc.


Charles Hartley, ‘Description of the Delta of the Danube and of Works Recently Executed at the Sulina Mouth,’ Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 21 (1862): 277–308; idem, ‘On the Changes that Have Recently Taken Place along the Sea Coast of the Delta of the Danube and on the Consolidation of the Provisional Works at the Sulina Mouth,’ ibid., 36 (1873): 201–253; Charles Henry Leopold Kühl, ‘Dredging on the Lower Danube,’ ibid., 65 (1881): 266–270; idem, ‘The Sulina Mouth of the Danube,’ ibid., 91 (1888): 329–333, etc.


François Philippe Voisin [Bey], ‘Notice sur les travaux d’amélioration de l’embouchure du Danube et du bras de Soulina 1857–1891,’ Annales des ponts et chaussées. Mémoires et documents 5 (1893): 6.


Mémoire sur le régime administratif établi aux embouchures du Danube par la Commission européenne du Danube chargée d’en améliorer la navigabilité en exécution de l’article 16 du Traité de Paris du 30 mars 1856 (Galați 1867); Des effets produits par l’amélioration de l’embouchure de Soulina sur le commerce d’exportation maritime (Galați 1869).


Yuan (Joanne) Yao, ‘ “Conquest from Barbarism”: The Danube Commission, International Order and the Control of Nature as a Standard of Civilization,’ European Journal of International Relations 25.2 (2019): 335–359.


Glen A. Blackburn, ‘International Control of the River Danube,’ Current History and Forum 32.6 (1930): 1154.


André de Saint-Clair, Le Danube. Étude de droit international (Paris 1899); Gh. P. Cantili, Le Danube sous le régime des traités (Bucharest 1901); Jean-Constantin Maican, La question du Danube. Étude de droit international. Thèse (Paris 1904); Dimitrie A. Sturdza, Recueil de documents relatifs à la liberté de la navigation du Danube (Berlin 1904); Gustave Demorgny, La question du Danube: Histoire politique du Bassin du Danube, Étude des divers régimes applicables à la navigation du Danube (Paris 1911); Alexandre Georges Pitisteano, La question du Danube (Paris 1914), etc.


Nicolae Dașcovici, Regimul Dunării și al strâmtorilor în ultimele două decenii (cu o anexă documentară) (Iași 1943), 15–16.


Grigore Antipa, Dunărea și problemele ei științifice, economice și politice (Bucharest 1921).


Eugeniu P. Botez [Jean Bart], Cum se desleagă chestiunea Dunării. Conferință (Chișinău 1919); idem, La question du Danube et sa solution (Galați 1920).


Vintilă Brătianu, Chestia Dunării (Expunere făcută în ședința Adunării Deputaților, 5 martie 1920) (Bucharest 1920).


Dașcovici, Dunărea noastră. O scurtă expunere până la zi a problemei dunărene, însoțită de textul Statutului de la Paris din anul 1921 (Bucharest 1927).


George Meitani, Dunărea. Studiu de drept internațional (Bucharest 1924).


Georges Popesco, L’internationalisation des fleuves navigables: le Danube et la Roumanie (Paris 1919); idem, La liberté de communication sur les voies navigables et le régime du Danube (Paris 1921).


Richard Frucht, Dunărea Noastră. România, the Great Powers, and the Danube Question, 1914–1921 (Boulder and New York 1982), 117.


George Sofronie, Contribuțiuni la cunoașterea relațiilor dintre România și Comisiunea Europeană a Dunării (Cluj 1939), 7.


Henry Hajnal, The Danube. Its Historical, Political and Economic Importance (The Hague 1920); idem, ‘Le conflit diplomatique entre le Gouvernement de Roumanie et la Commission européenne du Danube,’ Zeitschrift für Völkerrecht 13.2 (1926): 398–415; idem, Le droit du Danube international (The Hague 1928).


Emilio Morpurgo, Danubio. Saggio critico della questione danubiana (Bologna 1923).


Alfred Lederle, Die Donau und das internationale Schifffahrtsrecht (Berlin 1928).


James Vallotton, Le régime juridique du Danube maritime devant la Cour permanente de Justice internationale (Lausanne 1928); idem, Régime de la Navigation fluviale en Droit international, présenté à la Session de New York de l’Institut de Droit International (Brussels 1929).


Voyslav M. Radovanovitch, ‘Le Danube Maritime et le règlement du différend relatif aux compétences de la Commission Européenne sur le secteur Galatzi-Brăila,’ Revue de droit international et de législation comparée s. III, 13.3 (1932): 564–631; idem, Le Danube et l’application du principe de la liberté de la navigation fluviale (Geneva 1925).


La Commission Européenne du Danube et son œuvre de 1856 à 1931 (Paris 1931).


Carlo Rossetti, Il Danubio fiume internazionale (Milan 1937).


Grigore Mich. Cotlaru, C.E.D. și navigația pe Dunărea maritimă (Galați 1936).


Dașcovici, Regimul Dunării cit.


Sofronie, Contribuțiuni cit.


Lucia Bădulescu, Gheorghe Canja and Edwin Glaser, Contribuții la studiul istoriei regimului internațional al navigației pe Dunăre. Regimul de drept internațional al navigației pe Dunăre până la Convenția Dunării din 18 august 1948 (Bucharest 1957).


Jean Duvernoy, Le régime international du Danube (Paris 1941).


Stephen Gorove, Law and Politics of the Danube: An Interdisciplinary Study (The Hague 1964), 155–156. Juridical interpretations from that period are also included in Giorgio Conetti, Il regime internazionale della navigazione danubiana (Milan 1970).


P.G. Fandikov, Mezhdunarodno-pravovoĭ rezhim Dunai͡a: istoricheskiĭ ocherk (Moscow 1955), 6–9.


Paul Gogeanu, Dunărea în relațiile internaționale (Bucharest 1970); Iulian Cârțână and Ilie Seftiuc, Dunărea în istoria poporului român (Bucharest 1972).


Șerban Rădulescu-Zoner, Dunărea, Marea Neagră și Puterile Centrale, 1878–1898 (Cluj-Napoca 1982).


Frucht, Dunărea Noastră cit.


Spiridon G. Focas, The Lower Danube River: In the Southeastern European Political and Economic Complex from Antiquity to 1948 (Boulder and New York 1987), IV.


C.W.S. Hartley, A Biography of Sir Charles Hartley. Civil Engineer (1825–1915). The Father of the Danube, two volumes (Lampeter 1989); another valuable paper on Hartley is David Turnock, ‘Sir Charles Hartley and the Development of Romania’s Lower Danube – Black Sea Commerce in the Late Nineteenth Century,’ in: Anglo-Romanian Relations after 1821 (Iași 1983), 75–95.


Daniela Bușă, ‘Internaționalizarea Dunării, rolul CED și drepturile riveranilor (1856–1914),’ Revista Istorică n.s. 16.5–6 (2005): 11–24.


Alexandru Ghișa, ‘Stages in the Institutional Establishment of Danube Cooperation From the European Commission of the Danube to the Danube Commission,’ Transylvanian Review 19.4 (2010): 130–140; idem, ‘ “L’affaire du Danube” et l’européanité de la Roumanie,’ Danubius 32 (2014): 223–248.


Ștefan Stanciu, România și Comisia Europeană a Dunării. Diplomație. Suveranitate. Cooperare internațională (Galați 2002).


Alexandru Ioan Suciu, România și Comisia Europeană a Dunării (1856–1948) (Constanța 2005).


Constantin Ardeleanu, Evoluția intereselor economice și politice britanice la gurile Dunării (1829–1914) (Brăila 2008); Mihaela Munteanu, România, Marile Puteri și Problema Dunării. Premisele unei opțiuni diplomatice (1878–1883), PhD dissertation, ‘Nicolae Iorga’ Institute of History (Bucharest 2016).


Thiemeyer, ‘Die Integration der Donau-Schifffahrt als Problem der europäischen Zeitgeschichte,’ Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 49 (2009): 303–318.


Luminița Gătejel, ‘Verkehr, Warenfluss und Wissenstransfer. Überlegung zu einer internationalen Geschichte der Unteren Donau (1829–1918),’ Südost-Forschungen 73.1 (2014): 414–428; eadem, ‘Imperial Cooperation at the Margins of Europe: the European Commission of the Danube, 1856–65,’ European Review of History/Revue européenne d’histoire 24.5 (2017): 781–800; eadem, ‘Building a Better Passage to the Sea: Engineering and River Management at the Mouth of the Danube, 1829–61,’ Technology and Culture 59.4 (2018): 925–953.


Ștefan Constantinescu, Liviu Giosan and Alfred Vespremeanu-Stroe, ‘A Cartographical Perspective to the Engineering Works at the Sulina Mouth, the Danube Delta,’ Acta Geodaetica et Geophysica Hungarica 45.1 (2010): 71–79.


K.V. Assche, Petruța Teampău, P. Devlieger and C. Suciu, ‘Liquid Boundaries in Marginal Marshes: Reconstructions of Identity in the Romanian Danube Delta,’ Studia Sociologia 53.1 (2008): 115–133.


Marc de Decker, Europees Internationaal Rivierenrecht (Antwerp 2015), 191–207.


Yao, Constructing the Ideal River: the 19th Century Origins of the First International Organizations, PhD dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science (London 2016); eadem, ‘Conquest from Barbarism’ cit.


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