ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

maandag 19 augustus 2019

BOOK: Koen STAPELBROEK & Antonio TRAMPUS (eds.), The Legacy of Vattel's Droit des gens (London: Palgrave, 2019), IX + 296 p. ISBN 978-3-030-23838-4, € 44,02

(image source: Palgrave)

Book abstract:
This edited collection offers a reassessment of the complicated legacy of Emer de Vattel’s Droit des gens, first published in 1758. One of the most influential books in the history of international law and a major reference point in the fields of international relations theory and political thought, this book played a role in the transformation of diplomatic practice in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. But how did Vattel’s legacy take shape? The volume argues that the enduring relevance of Vattel’s Droit des gens cannot be explained in terms of doctrines and academic disciplines that formed in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Instead, the chapters show how the complex reception of this book took shape historically and why it had such a wide geographical and disciplinary appeal until well into the twentieth century. The volume charts its reception through translations, intellectual, ideological and political appropriations as well as new practical usages, and explores Vattel’s discursive and conceptual innovations. Drawing on a wide range of sources, such as archive memoranda and diplomatic correspondences, this volume offers new perspectives on the book’s historical contexts and cultures of reception, moving past the usual approach of focusing primarily on the text. In doing so, this edited collection forms a major contribution to this new direction of study in intellectual history in general and Vattel’s Droit des gens in particular.
About the editors:
Koen Stapelbroek is Associate Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His research focuses on intellectual history and political thought. Antonio Trampus is Professor of Modern History at Ca’ Foscari University Venice, Italy. His research focuses on cultural history and constitutionalism. 
Table of contents:
The Legacy of Vattel’s Droit des gens: Contexts, Concepts, Reception, Translation and Diffusion (Koen Stapelbroek & Antonio Trampus)

Vattel as an Intermediary Between the Economic Society of Berne and Poland
(Radoslaw Szymanski)

“A Poor Imitation of Grotius and Pufendorf?” Biographical Uncertainties and the Laborious Genesis of Vattel’s Droit des gens
(Frédéric Ieva)

The Citizen’s Right to Leave His Country: The Concept of Exile in Vattel’s Droit des gens
(Alberto Carrera)

The Foundations of Vattel’s “System” of Politics and the Context of the Seven Years’ War: Moral Philosophy, Luxury and the Constitutional Commercial State
(Koen Stapelbroek)

The French Reception of Vattel’s Droit des gens: Politics and Publishing Strategies
(Antonella Alimento)

‘Good Government’ and the Tradition of Small States: The Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Reception of the Droit des gens
(Antonio Trampus)

Vattel in the Republic of Genoa: Between Theory and Practice
(Danilo Pedemonte)

Vattel in the Papal States: The Law of Nations and Anti-Prussian Propaganda in Italy at the Time of the Seven Years’ War
(Alberto Clerici)

Vattel’s System for Subjects in International Law, and the Establishment of Norway as a Nation in 1814
(Gert-Fredrik Malt)

The Legacy of Vattel’s Droit des gens in the Long Nineteenth Century
(Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina)

More on Palgrave's website.

maandag 29 juli 2019

SUMMER BREAK: No new posts 29 JUL-16 AUG

(image source: biblioweb.hypotheses)


This blog will stop adding new posts for the summer, from 29 July to 16 August.

Enjoy the holidays !

The ESILHIL Steering Committee.

vrijdag 26 juli 2019

VIDEO: Robert FRANCK on French diplomatic sources and the Treaty of Versailles (Nantes, 22 MAR 2019)

The Centre d'histoire internationale et atlantique of the Universities of Nantes and La Rochelle published a lecture by prof. Robert Franck (Paris I), treating the French diplomatic archives and the Peace of Versailles.

(source: CRHIA)

donderdag 25 juli 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS: Waging war and making peace European ways of inciting and containing armed conflict, 1648-2020 (Venice, 24-26 JUN 2020); DEADLINE 2 DEC 2019

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The history of Europe is as much about violence and divisions – including religious wars, national clashes and ideological conflicts – as it is about shared cultural, social and economic accomplishments. If war has been such a constant presence in the history unfolding on the continent, the incessant efforts to limit its destructiveness are also an undeniable fact. It was such efforts that eventually led to the birth of Jus ad bellum and, ultimately, laid down the foundations of modern international law. From such a viewpoint, one might even find another definition of what European history might be. Some scholars have suggested that if war has structured a common European space, the containment of violence and the art of peacemaking have constituted ‘Europe’ in thought and practice.
The history of Europe is as much about violence and divisions – including religious wars, national clashes and ideological conflicts – as it is about shared cultural, social and economic accomplishments. If war has been such a constant presence in the history unfolding on the continent, the incessant efforts to limit its destructiveness are also an undeniable fact. It was such efforts that eventually led to the birth of Jus ad bellum and, ultimately, laid down the foundations of modern international law. From such a viewpoint, one might even find another definition of what European history might be. Some scholars have suggested that if war has structured a common European space, the containment of violence and the art of peacemaking have constituted ‘Europe’ in thought and practice. In the second half of the eighteenth century, however, Voltaire asserted that the propensity to war and destruction had taken much less possession of the minds of the people of India and China, than of the minds of Europeans, arguing that war has also constituted ‘Europe’ in thought and practice. All this raises the question what, if anything, may be regarded as ‘typically European’ in ideas of war and peace that referred to, or originated within, Europe and its space. Scholars interested in participating in the eleventh annual conference of the Research Network on the History of the Idea of Europe are invited to consider their research with regards to the meaning and function that concepts such as ‘Europe’, ‘European’, ‘European civilization’ etc. have within the treatises, treaty texts, minutes, speeches, propaganda material, and so on. In our conference discussion, we will try to find out whether there are long-term patterns of ‘Europe’-related discourses concerning peace and war, and if so, what they consist of. These aspects may be considered in relation to a number of narrower questions, including, but not limited to: How do Jus ad bellum and the various peace treaties, from Westphalia 1648 to Paris 1947, and the international conflict-reducing arrangements, like Minsk 2015, conceive of the nature of war in relation to ideas of Europe? What were and are the ideas of legitimate, just, and unlawful war? Who were or are seen as legitimate and illegitimate actors in wartime? What is the role of terrorism in European perceptions of threat after the 2004–2005 al-Qaeda attacks and the 2015–2017 Islamic State attacks on European soil? How have the differences between war crimes and the crime of war been defined? What are, historically, the legal and philosophical bases of peace treaties? In the European mind, has peace been considered a state of exception, the prevalent and desirable normality, or a utopian ideal that humanity should strive for under European leadership? What have been the conceptual differences between wars amongst Europeans and wars against extra-European populations? Is there a European long-term pattern of war propaganda and enemy depiction? How are peace and war related to moral claims within discourses about Europe? How are efforts to bridge the divide between ‘us’ and the ‘other’ been related to Europe? How are initiatives of reconciliation and understanding construed in connection to ideas of Europe? 
Submission guidelines:
The themes listed above are examples and by no means limited to the exclusion of others. Scholars of history, international law, legal history, philosophy, political science, literature and any other discipline related to the topic are invited to send their proposals (max. 300 words, with a title and a short biography) to and  Before 02 December 2019 Please note that the working language will be English. There will be no fees for participating.
Fondazione Venezia per la Ricerca sulla Pace; Regional Council of Veneto; Venice City Council; Ca’ Foscari University of Venice; Institute for the Study of Ideas of Europe (University of East Anglia) 
Scientific commitee:
Matthew D’Auria (University of East Anglia); Fernanda Gallo (University of Cambridge); Florian Greiner (University of Augsburg); Rolf Petri (Ca' Foscari University of Venice); Laura Picchio Forlati (University of Padua); Peter Pichler (Karl-Franzens-University Graz); Jan Vermeiren (University of East Anglia); Anita Ziegerhofer (Karl-Franzens-University Graz) 
Organising committee:
Matthew D’Auria (University of East Anglia); Rolf Petri (Ca' Foscari University of Venice); Jan Vermeiren (University of East Anglia) 

(source: calenda)

woensdag 24 juli 2019

JOURNAL: Jus Gentium. Journal of International Legal History IV (2019), No. 1

(image source: Lawbook Exchange)

Vol. 4, No. 1

January 2019

Archives on Historical Titles to South China Sea Islands: The Spratlys
A. Carty

Ignatii Ivanovskii: First Head of the Chair of International Law at St. Petersburg University
V. I. Ivanenko

Island of Hope in the Vortex of Revolution: The Georgian Consul General in Odessa, 1918-1919
T. Korotkyi
A. Khevtsurian

Petrażycki’s Psychological Theory of Private International Law
O. O. Merezhko

F. F. Martens: Russian Scholar, Diplomat, and Arbitrator
W. E. Butler
V. I. Ivanenko

Imperial Russian Marine Legislation: 1803/1817
W. E. Butler

Vsevolod Pievich Danevskii: A Life Well-Lived
G. S. Starodubtsev

Latin American Treaty Collections and International Law Textbooks: From Independence to World War One
P. Macalister-Smith
J. Schwietzke


(more information on the journal's website)

dinsdag 23 juli 2019

JOURNAL: Journal of the History of International Law XXI (2019), No. 2 [Special Issue: Revisiting State Socialist Approaches to International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, ed. by Raluca GROSESCU & Ned RICHARDSON-LITTLE]

(image source: Brill)

Revisiting State Socialist Approaches to International Criminal and Humanitarian Law: An Introduction (Raluca Grosescu & Ned Richardson-Little)
This introductory essay provides an overview of the scholarship on state socialist engagements with international criminal and humanitarian law, arguing for a closer scrutiny of the socialist world’s role in shaping these fields of law. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the historiography on post-1945 international law-making has been generally dominated by a post-1989 sense of Western triumphalism over socialism, where the Soviet Union and its allies have been presented as obstructionists of liberal progress. A wave of neo-Marxist scholarship has more recently sought to recover socialist legal contributions to international law, without however fully addressing them in the context of Cold War political conflict and of gross human rights violations committed within the Socialist Bloc. In contrast, this collection provides a balanced understanding of the socialist engagements with international criminal and humanitarian law, looking at the realpolitik agendas of state socialist countries while acknowledging their progressive contributions to the post-war international legal order.

The Protagonism of the USSR and Socialist States in the Revision of International Humanitarian Law (Giovanni Mantilla)
The USSR and Socialist states played a crucial and still largely underappreciated role in the re-negotiation of international humanitarian law (IHL) in 1949 and 1977. Drawing on new multi-archival research, I demonstrate that the support of the Soviet Union and Socialist Bloc states was essential to the negotiation of key legal achievements with regard to non-traditional conflict forms and actors, including rules on internal conflicts, national liberation war, and irregular fighters. They exerted influence chiefly through concerted action to create or side with majority coalitions alongside neutral Western or Third World countries, forcing their principal Western foes to accept rules they found undesirable. Yet Soviet-Western interactions in the re-making of IHL were not simply confrontational. In the 1970s, as Cold War hostilities cooled, East and West engaged in partial backdoor cooperativeness, leading to critical features of the Additional Protocols I and II, including rules for the protection of civilians and IHL oversight.

Socialist Internationalism and Decolonizing Moralities in the UN Anti-Trafficking Regime, 1947–1954 (Sonja Dolinsek & Philippa Hetherington)
In the late 1940s, state socialist governments proclaimed that commercial sex did not exist under socialism. At the same time, they were enthusiastic participants in the drafting of a new UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. This article explores state socialist involvement in the global moral reform drive accompanying the 1949 Convention. It traces the ideological coherence between Socialist Bloc and ‘Western’ delegations on the desirability of prostitution’s abolition. Conversely, it highlights splits on issues of jurisdiction, manifesting in the Soviet call for the eradication of the draft Convention’s ‘colonial clause’, which allowed states to adhere to or withdraw from international instruments on behalf of ‘non-self-governing territories’. We argue that critiques of the colonial clause discursively stitched together global moral reform and opposition to imperialism, according socialist and newly decolonized delegations an ideological win in the early Cold War.

State Socialist Endeavours for the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to International Crimes: Historical Roots and Current Implications (Raluca Grosescu)
This article analyses the role of Eastern European socialist governments and legal experts in encoding the non-applicability of statutory limitations to international crimes. It argues that socialist elites put this topic on the agenda of the international community in the 1960s through two interrelated processes. On the one hand, legal scholars cooperated with Western European lawyers in order to enforce the idea that the international crimes codified by the Nuremberg Charter should not be subject to prescription. On the other hand, Eastern European governments proposed and enabled – through their cooperation with African and Asian states – the adoption of the 1968 UN Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, this instrument became an important tool for advancing prosecutions of international crimes committed under dictatorships and violent conflicts, particularly in Central Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The Drug War in a Land Without Drugs: East Germany and the Socialist Embrace of International Narcotics Law (Ned Richardson-Little)
This article examines how the German Democratic Republic (GDR) engaged with the problem of international anti-narcotics law and how it came to embrace the global drug war. The international anti-narcotics system provided a means of signalling the GDR’s normalcy to the international community and allowed East Germany to highlight its absence of drug abuse at home as a demonstration of socialism’s superiority in comparison with the narcotics abuse crisis of the capitalist world. By the 1980s, however, the GDR’s support for the international prohibition of drug trafficking shifted from one of competition with the West to that of collaboration. Through cooperation between international experts from both East and West, GDR elites abandoned earlier concerns about state sovereignty to endorse the global harmonization of drug laws as part of the 1988 Vienna Narcotics Convention.

Crimes against the People – a Sui Generis Socialist International Crime? (Tamal Hoffmann)
Crimes against humanity is one of the core crimes in international criminal law, whose existence is treated as a natural reaction to mass atrocities. This idea of linear progress is challenged by this article, which demonstrates that in post-Second World War Hungary an alternative approach was developed to prosecute human rights violation committed against civilian populations. Even though this concept was eventually used as a political weapon by the Communist Party, it had long-lasting effects on the prosecution of international crimes in Hungary.

Book reviews:

  • System, Order, and International Law: The Early History of International Legal Thought from Machiavelli to Hegel, edited by Kadelbach, Stefan, Thomas Kleinlein, and David Roth-Isigkeit (Claire Vergerio)
  • Restricted Access Opfer – Die Wahrnehmung von Krieg und Gewalt in der Moderne, written by Svenja Goltermann (Milos Vec)

(source: Brill)

maandag 22 juli 2019

BOOK: Miroslav ŠEDÍVY, The Decline of the Congress System: Metternich, Italy and European Diplomacy (London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 2018), X + 351 p. ISBN 9781784538521

(image source: Bloomsbury)

Book abstract:
Following the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the 'Congress System' became the primary instrument of diplomacy in Europe. So central was the Austrian Chancellor Metternich to the political-legal Congress System that the period has often been referred to as the 'Age of Metternich'. In this book, Mirolsav Šedivý analyses Metternich's policy towards the pre-united Italian states from 1830 to 1848. With an emphasis on geopolitics and international law and drawing attention to the unsettled role of the Italian states within European diplomacy in the period, this book explains why the Italian peninsula never developed into the stable region that Metternich hoped to establish at the heart of the Congress System. Owing to the self-interested policies of some European Powers as well as the larger of the Italian states Metternich proved unable to bring about 'the transformation of European politics' in Italy. Using a thorough analysis of the role that Italy played in the Congress System and based on extensive research in eighteen European archives, this book explains why it was in Italy that the first war broke out after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, an event representing the first brutal blow to the Congress System.
Table of contents:
List of Illustrations;List of Abbreviations;Introduction;Part I: 1815–30;1. The Heritage of the Congress of Vienna;Part II: 1830–3;2. The Impact of the July Revolution;3. The Occupation of Ancona;4. The Non-Intervention Principle and Honour;Part III: 1840;5. The Sulphur War;6. The Rhine Crisis;7. The Weak Hegemony;Part IV: 1846–8;8. The Salt-Wine Affair;9. The Ferrara Affair;10. The War;Conclusion;Notes;Bibliography;Index 
“This book is a readable, traditional diplomatic history in which scholars will learn something new about events both well and less known. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” –  G.R. Sharfman, Oglethorpe University, CHOICE;“'Miroslav Šedivý has convincingly demonstrated that he is an expert on European diplomacy and has skilfully and persuasively demonstrated his revisionist case that Metternich's Congress System was in decline as a result of self-seeking policies of Britain, France and the Italian city-states. I can hardly say enough in praise of the author's extensive multi-lingual research.'
” –  Robert D. Billinger, Jr, Emeritus Professor of History, Wingate University;“'A masterpiece on the subject of the search for greater security in a precarious world. Anyone interested in international politics in the period between the Congress of Vienna and World War I must read this critical revision of the mainstream view of history.'” –  Wolfram Siemann, Emeritus Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich;“This tour-de-force will become required reading for all students of nineteenth-century Europe.” –  Mark Jarrett, author of The Congress of Vienna and its Legacy;
(source: Bloomsbury)