A Last-Minute Private Peace Initiative: Albert Ballin’s Mediation Efforts between Germany and Britain, 1908-1914

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Author: Lior Lehrs1
View More View Less
  • 1 Taub Center for Israel Studies, New York University, New York, NY 10003, United States
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



As relations between Germany and Britain were deteriorating during the years 1908-1914, Albert Ballin, a German businessman, became concerned and decided to promote Anglo–German talks on naval arms limitations in order to halt the naval arms race and improve relations between the two states. This article analyses Albert Ballin’s — and his British friend Ernest Cassel’s — private peace initiatives during the years 1908-1914 as a historical example of ‘unofficial diplomacy’ long before this term was discussed in International Relations literature. It examines the tools and conditions that created the basis for Ballin’s initiatives and explores his role in the diplomatic processes between Germany and Britain before the First World War. Ballin’s and Cassel’s unofficial, persistent peace efforts had some effect on the official diplomatic sphere and led to official negotiations, but they ultimately failed in their attempt to promote an agreement or to prevent the war.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 327 104 6
Full Text Views 128 9 0
PDF Views & Downloads 60 21 0