Committee Information

Committee Name: Peace of Westphalia, 1648
Organ: Economic and Social Councils (ECOSOCs)
Undersecretary-General: Connie Chen
Deputy Undersecretary-General: Chase Wagers
Co-Chairs: Dane Alivarius and Jackson Dalman
Topic A: Religious Toleration and Political Secularization
Topic B: The Future of the Holy Roman Empire

Access the Topic Abstract for this committee here.

The Background Guide for this committee can be accessed here.

A Letter from the Chairs

Greetings delegates!

Welcome to the Peace of Westphalia, 1648. With the conclusion of the 30 years’ war in the Holy Roman Empire and the 80 years’ war between the Dutch republic and Spanish empire, a time of self-reflection and political progress is before us. Recognizing the devastating effects years of war have had on the continent, Europe is at a critical turning point that holds the potential for rocking the very foundations of international relations. The choice is ours whether we will redefine the international order, paving a way forward to enhanced peace and prosperity, or if we will instead dissolve into the same constant fighting and bloodshed that is indicative of the last century.

While preparing for this committee may appear daunting at first, you have experienced the effects of the Peace of Westphalia in your daily life more than you probably realize. We, in the United States, have grown up enjoying the constitutional right of freedom of religion. One of the first provisions of the Peace of Westphalia was a guarantee of freedom of religion for states. In addition, the Peace of Westphalia was the original European congress that served as an example for our modern United Nations. So you’re all pretty much seasoned veterans of the Peace of Westphalia! Admittedly, you all will have to know more than those two facts in order to have a successful committee. This background guide will be a valuable resource to you in understanding the character and characters of the time period.

Major focuses of the committee will include forging new conceptualizations on the role of the state, self-determination, and balance of power dynamics. Crucial to the exercise of these goals will be finding compromise in regard to sovereignty and territory. This will not be an easy task. Almost perennial warfare and a culture of intolerance coupled with winner take all politics threatens the endeavors of peace. With steadfast perseverance, a spirit of collaboration, and novel ideas, we might yet draw to an end the 30 years’ and 80 years’ wars that have crippled our peoples.

Both of us have put in a lot of effort to create the best committee possible. If we all work hard, we will be sure to have a really fun and rewarding committee. We are excited to resolving these issues with you and look forward to having an awesome weekend!

Hoya Saxa,

Dane Alivarius and Jackson Dalman

Co-Chairs, Peace of Westphalia

[email protected]

[email protected]

About the Co-Chairs

Dane Alivarius is a junior at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service studying International Politics with a concentration in foreign policy and policy processes. On campus, Dane is a member of Georgetown’s International Relations Club as well as the Academic Coordinator for the Walsh Exchange undergraduate research conference and Policy chair of the defense and diplomacy branch of the Roosevelt Institute think tank. Dane is studying Turkish in school, having studied with the Critical Language Institute last summer. Born in Fairfax, VA, Dane lives in Mesa, AZ. He has interned for an international law firm, the Senate, and the McCain Institute, hoping to work in government upon graduation. Dane loves good food, playing tennis, and going to the theater.

Jackson Dalman is a junior in the College, majoring in Government and minoring in Chinese. He is lucky to have had expansive experience in Georgetown’s International Relations club (IRC), including teaching Model UN in China for the IRC two summers ago, but is excited to chair his first committee at NAIMUN. On campus, he is also mainly involved with the Philodemic debating society and his foreign service fraternity. He is from Portola Valley, California, and when not studying parliamentary procedure for MUN, he enjoys reading, tennis, and learning amazing recipes from his Chinese grandmother.

Learning Goals

NAIMUN strives to provide the most well-rounded educational and enjoyable experience to delegates. The learning goals for the Peace of Westphalia are as follows. Delegates will gain: 

  • A better understanding of the historical and political precedents for states sovereignty and diplomacy, including how the idea of the modern nation-state came to be, and how the map of Europe was reorganized.
  • Knowledge about how Europe developed a balance of power, and how this initial balance has served as a launch pad for diplomatic relations between modern states in Europe.
  • Background on how the right to self-determination became institutionalized during Westphalian treaties, and how this extended to the tolerance of religious minorities.