“Why Do We Still Think about the First World War?”, a Conversation with Prof. Margaret MacMillan

  • DATE / TIME:
    2015•04•13    18:30 - 19:30

    On 13 April 2015 UNU will host “Why Do We Still Think about the First World War?”, a conversation with Professor Margaret MacMillan, Warden of St. Antony’s College, Oxford. This event will start at 6:30 PM at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.

    The First World War was a catastrophic conflict that killed millions, toppled empires, ravaged economies and crippled Europe’s world dominance, yet there is still no agreement on how or why the war started. Many believe it was a war that could have been avoided up until the last moment, so why couldn’t it be prevented?

    Professor Margaret MacMillan will join UNU Rector David M. Malone for a conversation exploring the reasons behind the First World War and why the debate of its causes still captivates the world 100 years later. From the perspective of Professor MacMillan’s recent acclaimed book, The War That Ended Peace, the conversation will explore prevailing views on why the war started, ranging from national rivalries and arms races, to political alliances and the responsibility of particular powers or individuals. The discussion will consider why the forces tending towards war were stronger than those for peace, whether the war could have been avoided, and also assess the long-term consequences of the war for the societies that fought in it and for the world.

    The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy the food and drinks that will be served while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.

    Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 12 April) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the registration page.

    About the Speaker

    Margaret MacMillan is the Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Professor of International History at the University of Oxford. Her books include Women of the Raj (1988, 2007); Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (2001); Nixon in China: Six Days that Changed the World (2007); and The Uses and Abuses of History.  Her most recent book is The War That Ended Peace, published in October 2013.

    She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto, Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Toronto and of St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford. She sits on the boards of the Mosaic Institute and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and the editorial boards of International History and First World War Studies. She is also a member of the Advisory Board Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation and is a Trustee of the Rhodes Trust.

    Professor MacMillan has honorary degrees from the University of King’s College, the Royal Military College, Ryerson University, Toronto, the University of Western Ontario and Huron University College of the University of Western Ontario. In 2006 Professor MacMillan was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada.


    2F Reception Hall
    United Nations University
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925