ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

maandag 6 november 2017

JOURNAL: Jus Gentium: Journal of International Legal History II (2017), Nr. 2

(image source: Blogger)

Jus Gentium: Journal of International Legal History published the second issue of its second volume, on the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

Table of contents:
  • G.S. Starodubtsev, The 1917 October Russian Revolution and International Law
  • V.G. Butkevych, The International-Legal Ideology of Pre-Slavic Chiefdoms of the Ukrainian Ethnos (Part Three)
  • O.O. Merezhko, On the Origins of the Ukrainian Science of International Law
  • Olga Butkevych, The Nezabytovskyĭ Concept of the Law of International Community
  • A. N. Vylegzhanin, Legal Status of the Bering Strait: Historical and Legal Context
  • W.E. Butler & V.S. Ivanenko, On the History of Teaching International Law at St. Petersburg University
  • Eglė Bendikaitė, Interwar Lithuania as a Laboratory of International Law
Notes and Comments
  • W.E. Butler, Vladimir Grabar, Peter Lombard, John Mair, and the History of International Law
  • W.E. Butler, The Charles Cramer Archive: A Russian Consul in America and Europe
International Legal Doctrine
  • W.E. Butler, Biographical Note: On the Life and Work of Tikhon Fedorovich Stepanov
  • T.F. Stepanov, All-People’s Law in Aggregate with Diplomacy  

(source: International Law Reporter)

dinsdag 24 oktober 2017

BOOK: Danny PRAET (ed.), Philosophy of War and Peace (Brussels: VUBPress, 2017), 220 p. ISBN 9789057185854, €24,95

(image source: VUBPress)

Book abstract:
The topic of war and peace is as relevant today as it was several millennia ago. Though views on and motives for warfare have changed over the centuries, Philosophy of War and Peace proves that many past ideas still merit consideration today.
This exhaustive collection of essays addresses the historical, cultural and political background of various views on war and peace worldwide. It gives modern readings of ancient philosophers, such as Heraclitus, Renaissance writers, such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Michel de Montaigne, as well as more contemporary thinkers, such as Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche. Its cultural analysis spans from ancient China to the middle ages to the present day, encompassing many different religions. By demonstrating that some of our interpretations of famous texts are inherently flawed and unearthing the philosophical ideas about life, death and the structure of the world that underlie them, this work challenges the roots of some of our most fundamental ideas about conflict and justice today.
In addition to the cultural and religious beliefs that underlie a call to arms, these essays consider our contemporary political context of the way we look at war and peace. The way we view our past is shaped by our present beliefs, and the foregrounding or trivialization of certain historical events is often a political act. Philosophy of War and Peace examines different methods we use today for dealing with the trauma of war at peace time and unravels the complexity of philosophical issues caused by the presence and absence of war in our world.
Free table of contents here.

vrijdag 20 oktober 2017

BOOK: Martti KOSKENNIEMI, Mónica GARCÍA-SALMONES ROVIRA & Paolo Amorosa, International Law and Religion. Historical and Comparative Perspectives [The Theory and History of International Law, eds. Nehal BHUTA, Anthony PAGDEN & Benjamin STRAUMANN] (Oxford: OUP, 2017), 480 p. ISBN 9780198805878, £ 80

(Image source: OUP)

This book maps out the territory of international law and religion challenging received traditions in fundamental aspects. On the one hand, the connection of international law and religion has been little explored. On the other, most of current research on international legal thought presents international law as the very victory of secularization. By questioning that narrative of secularization this book approaches these traditions from a new perspective. From the Middle Ages' early conceptualizations of rights and law to contemporary political theory, the chapters bring to life debates concerning the interaction of the meaning of the legal and the sacred. The contributors approach their chapters from an array of different backgrounds and perspectives but with the common objective of investigating the mutually shaping relationship of religion and law. The collaborative endeavour that this volume offers makes available substantial knowledge on the question of international law and religion.
Table of contents:
Martti Koskenniemi, “International Law and Religion: no Stable Ground”

Part I: Natural Law and Ius Gentium
Sarah Mortimer, “Law, Justice and Charity in a Divided Christendom: 1500-1625”
Pia Valenzuela, “Between Scylla and Charybdis: Aquinas’ Political Thought and his Notion of Natural Law and Ius Gentium”  Mary M. Keys, “Religion, Empire and Law Among Nations in the City of God. From the Salamanca School to Augustine, and Back Again”
Janne Nijman, “Grotius’ Imago Dei Anthropology. Grounding Ius Naturae et Gentium
Ofir Haivri, “John Selden and the Jewish Religious Fountainhead of the International Law of the Sea”

Part II: Human Rights, Between History, The International and Religion
John Haskell, “The Religious/Secular Debate in Human Rights Literature. Constitutive Tensions between Christian, Islamic, and Secular Perspectives”
Monica García-Salmones, “Natural Rights in Albert the Great. Beyond Objective and Subjective Divides”
Pasquale Annicchino, “The Past is Never Dead. Christian Anti-internationalism and Human Rights”
Pamela Slotte, “Whose Justice? What Political Theology? On Christian and Theological Approaches to Human Rights in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries”

Part III: International Law, Religion, and Territory in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean
Moussa Abou Ramadan, “Muslim Jurists’ Criteria for the Divisionist of the World intro Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Islam”
Nahed Samour, “From Imperial to Dissident. Approaches to Territory in Islamic International Law”
Reut Yael Paz, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem. Religion, International Law and Jerusalem”

Part IV: Political Theology and International Legal Theory
Ileana M. Porras, "The Doctrine of the Providential Function of Commerce in International Law. Idealizing Trade"
Immi Tallgren, "The Faith in Humanity and International Criminal Law"
Michele Nicoletti, "Religion and Empire. Carl Schmitt's Katechon between International Relations and the Philosophy of History"
Elena Paris, "International Law-making and Metaphysical Foundations of Universality. Retrieving an Alternative Metaphysics"
Paul W. Kahn, "The Law of Nations and the Origin of American Law"
Paolo Amorosa, "Messianic Visions of the United States. International Law, Religion and the Cuban Intervention, 1898-1917"

On the editors:
Edited by Martti Koskenniemi, Academy Professor, University of Helsinki, Mónica García-Salmones Rovira, Post-doc Fellow, University of Helsinki, and Paolo Amorosa, Doctoral Candidate, University of Helsinki
Martti Koskenniemi is Academy Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights. He was a member of the Finnish diplomatic service in 1978-1994 and of the International Law Commission (UN) in 2002-2006. He has held visiting professorships in, among other places, New York University, Columbia University, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, and Universities of Brussels, Melbourne, Paris, Sao Paulo and Utrecht. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and has a doctorate h.c. from the Universities of Uppsala, Frankfurt and McGill.
Mónica García-Salmones is adjunct Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and a Post-doctoral Fellow at the research project History of International Law: between Religion and Empire. She has published a monograph on the history of international legal positivism. More recently her research has focused in the early history of international law, with a focus in the study of the conceptual, philosophical and historical continuities between the moderns and previous theological theories
Paolo Amorosa is a doctoral candidate and a member of the research project 'Intellectual History of International Law: Religion and Empire' at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki. Prior to that, he has been teaching international law and human rights at Tallinn Law School, Tallinn University of Technology. He received his LLM degree in Public International Law from Leiden University and worked as a research assistant at the Grotius Center for International Legal Studies and at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See. His recent work has focused on international legal thought in the United States in the early 20th century.
More information with Oxford University Press.

dinsdag 17 oktober 2017

BOOK: Eric SCHNAKENBOURG (ed.), Neutres et neutralité dans l'espace atlantique durant le long XVIIIe siècle (1700-1820)/Neutrals and Neutrality in the Atlantic World during the Long Eighteenth Century (1700-1820). Une approche totale/A Global Approach (Bécherel: les Perséides, 2015), 491 p. ISBN 9782371250147, € 29,9

(image source: AHMUF)

Book abstract:
L’étude de la neutralité révèle les tensions entre les logiques de guerre et les logiques négociantes qui manifestent, autant l’une que l’autre, l’intensité des relations au sein du monde atlantique. C’est pourquoi la neutralité doit être étudiée comme une réalité transversale inscrite dans un espace marqué par la fluidité des circulations. Elle impose de dépasser les cadres nationaux pour promouvoir une approche ouverte des interconnections afin d’envisager à nouveaux frais les questions relatives à la neutralité et au rôle des neutres au cours du long XVIIIe siècle. Cette approche, qui participe du décloisonnement spatial et thématique de l’histoire atlantique, permet d’embrasser dans une même perspective aussi bien « les » Amériques, septentrionale, intertropicale et méridionale, que l’Europe. La neutralité atlantique est une arène au sein de laquelle se nouent des relations entre Européens, entre Américains, et entre Européens et Américains. Elle peut être envisagée comme une entrée dans la réflexion sur la formation d’un espace euroaméricain économique,juridique et diplomatique.

Table of contents:
Introduction :
Neutralité atlantique et atlantique de la neutralité
Atlantic neutrality and the neutrality of the Atlantic
Partie 1 : Les circulations et réseaux du commerce neutre / circulation and networks of neutral commerce
Ana Crespo Solana, Madrid, Cooperation or Neutrality? How the war affects business strategies: The case of Cadiz (1700-1740)
Holger Weiss, Turku, Trade and neutrality during times of war: An analysis of the Danish-European and Danish-African relationships on the Gold Coast during the second half of the eighteenth century
Eric Schnakenbourg, Nantes, Substitution aux échanges des temps de paix ou modalité de l’interlope ? Le commerce neutre et les colonies françaises des Antilles pendant la guerre de Sept Ans
Boris Deschanel, Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Les neutres dans les stratégies négociantes : l’exemple des sociétés Chauvet à Marseille (1785-1802)
Silvia Marzagalli, Nice, La navigation américaine pendant les French Wars (1793-1815) : une simple reconfiguration des circuits commerciaux par neutres interposés ?

Partie 2 : Les acteurs de la neutralité atlantique / The actors of Atlantic neutrality
Barry Stiefel, Charleston, Jews as Neutral Middlemen in the Long XVIIIth century Atlantic World
Manuel Covo, Warwick, Droit de la neutralité, pratiques de mobilité marchande et catégorisation politique à l’ère des révolutions : entre Antilles et États-Unis (années 1790)
Dominique Goncalvès, Toulouse, Le commerce de Cuba avec les neutres à travers les Actes de sessions du Consulat royal, 1797-1807.
Clément Thibaud, Nantes, América libre : les Neutres et la naissance du premier républicanisme hispano-américain (1793-1820)

Partie 3 : Les poles du commerce neutre / the centers of neutral commerce
Victor Enthoven, Amsterdam, ‘‘The unlimited cupidity of the Dutch merchants’’: St. Eustatius and Anglo-Dutch controversy over neutral rights, 1680-1780
François Antoine, Bruxelles, La guerre d’Indépendance américaine et la tentative de relance du commerce international des Pays-Bas méridionaux
Miguel Dantas da Cruz, Lisbonne, The Lisbon international trade and the ambiguities of the Portuguese Neutrality (1795-1807)
Ale Pålsson, Stockholm, Common Ground: Swedish neutrality and transit trade in S:t Barthélemy 1800-1820

Partie 4 : La neutralité dans les rivalités entre états / Neutrality in the interstate rivalry
François Ternat, Rouen, La neutralisation de la frontière. Un essai de solution diplomatique en Amérique du Nord à la veille de la guerre de Sept Ans
Marc Belissa, Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Faire la guerre pour avoir le droit d’être neutre ? Les enjeux politiques de la neutralité américaine (1776-1812)
Nicolas Terrien, Nantes, Les neutres, la course maritime et l’effondrement de l’empire atlantique de la monarchie espagnole (1810-1824)

More information here (publisher's website).

maandag 16 oktober 2017

BOOK: Rosalyn HIGGINS, Dapo AKANDE, Sandesh SIVAKUMARAN & James SLOAN, Oppenheim’s International Law. United Nations (Oxford: OUP, 2017)

Dame Rosalyn Higgins QC presents the two volumes of Oppenheim’s International Law: United Nations over at the EJIL:Talk!-blog.

First paragraphs:
October 2017 marks the publication of a new two-volume work under the prestigious ‘Oppenheim’ banner, Oppenheim’s International Law: United Nations. It traces the evolution of the United Nations and the legal issues it daily faces. It is also an essential tool for practitioners as they address the legal problems of today at the United Nations.Image result for oppenheims international law united nations In 1992, Sir Robert Jennings and Sir Arthur Watts, to great acclaim, had published the 9thedition of Oppenheim’s International Law, Volume I: Peace. It had taken them long years to prepare. The eighth edition, prepared by Sir Hersch Lauterpacht, had been published in 1955. In 1994, I received an unexpected letter from Sir Robert Jennings and Sir Arthur Watts. In it they informed me that in the Preface to the 8thedition of Oppenheim, it had been envisaged that one day a volume of that great work would need to address the new phenomenon of international organizations. A new volume would be required for this work, which they invited me to undertake.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Latin America and International Law (8-9 Feb 2018, University of Hamburg/University of the Andes); DEADLINE 8 DEC 2017

(Image source:

From February 8 to 9, 2018, the Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy  
Graduate School of Law (University of Hamburg) in conjunction with  
Professor José Manuel Barreto Soler (Universidad de los Andes,  
Universidad Externado) organizes a conference on the history of  
international law in Latin American.


The conference title is roughly borrowed from Alejandro Álvarez' very  
influential (but also controversially discussed) article "Latin  
America and Inernational Law" from 1909. Insprired by his work, we aim  
at exploring the complex relationship between Latin America and  
international law in the past centuries.

In the last few years, questions concerning Latin America's historic  
relationship to international law have moved to the focus of academic  
attention. Several outstanding treatises have been published on and  
conferences have dealt with this topic. But its study is still a  
comparably recent academic field (especially in Europe). The  
conference shall contribute to its further sharpening and to the  
creation of new perspectives on the study of the history of  
international law in Latin America.

Call for Papers:

We would like to invite everybody interested in the study of the  
history of international law in Latin America (doctoral students,  
early scholars, professors, practitioners, etc.) to participate in our  
call and to submit proposals for contributions on any of the listed  
subtopics (see below).

Please send your application in one single PDF file including

· your proposal of around 300 - 500 words and

· a brief CV (indicating also your institutional affiliation)

until December 3, 2017, to

The selection of speakers will be based on the quality of their  
abstracts and the abstract's suitability to the overall topic of the  
conference. Selected candidates will be informed by December 8, 2017.

List of Subtopics:

    International Law in the Americas before Independence

    International Law and the Independence in the Americas

    International Law, United States' Imperialism and Latin America

    The Particularity of Latin American International Law

    International Law, Globalization, and Latin America

    New Latin American Approaches to International Law?

    Germany and the History of International Law in the Americas

Further information and a more detailed call for papers are available  

dinsdag 10 oktober 2017

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Historians Without Borders: Writing the Histories of International Organizations (Leiden: Leiden University, 22-23 Mar 2018); DEADLINE 13 Nov 2017

(image source: Leiden University)

Writing Histories of International Organizations
Leiden University – 22-23 March 2018
This workshop is organized by the ERC project ‘Rethinking Disability’. It is intended to bring together early-career researchers from different fields working on international organizations, to discuss methodological challenges together with peers and established scholars. A combination of a master class, keynote lectures, and roundtable discussions aims at providing an informal and interactive setting for the exchange of ideas and perspectives. Confirmed speakers include:
  • Davide Rodogno (The Graduate Institute, Geneva)
  • Corinne Pernet (University of Geneva)
  • Kiran Patel (Maastricht University)
Call for abstracts
Ever since the paradigm of ‘globalization’ has found its way into the field of history, ways of writing histories beyond borders have proliferated. Today, historians no longer need to justify enlarging their geographical scope beyond the national, but it can nonetheless be a daunting task to decide on how to do this. While we are going beyond borders, the choice for a translocal, transnational, transregional or global history still reveals our preference for a certain scale. Methodologically, our toolbox now offers us concepts such as comparisons, transfers, connections, entanglements and circulations. As different approaches focus on different concepts, choosing one approach often entails a rejection of other possible approaches. Transnational historians will distance themselves from comparative history; global history, as any global historian will tell you, is not the same as world history. The further we seem to get in advancing the call for breaking with our ‘methodological nationalism’, the more we seem to split up into different subfields, where fruitful dialogue becomes increasingly difficult. The purpose of this workshop is to open up this dialogue, to see what specific advantages different approaches can offer and how they can be best put to use.
In order to do this, the workshop will focus on the history of international organizations (IOs), as they are “extremely stimulating heuristic objects for historians of globalism in that they represent a true laboratory of the accords and tensions at work between the international, national, and local scenes and frames of reference” (Kott, 2011, p. 449). Therefore, writing their history automatically compels us to think about methodologies of doing ‘history beyond borders’. Although they automatically force historians to think about international connections, it is equally important to consider the continuing role of local or national scales within international organizations. Research objects in this regard can encompass both the main intergovernmental organizations (IOs) – such as the League of Nations, the UN or the NATO – and the vast field of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), spanning a diverse range of causes from the environment (Greenpeace), over human rights (Amnesty International), to humanitarianism (Médecins sans frontières).
For this workshop, we are looking for original contributions on the history of IOs and INGOs, based on empirical research, but with explicit methodological reflections on transnational, global, comparative, etc. approaches. Questions raised can include (but are not limited to):
  • What specific advantages do different approaches bring to the history of international organizations?
  • Are these approaches mutually exclusive, or do we need to combine different perspectives and concepts?
  • What are some of the methodological challenges in writing the history of international organizations, in terms of analyzing connections, entanglements, comparisons, etc.?
  • What are some of the practical challenges in writing the history of international organizations, in terms of mobility, language barriers, cultural sensitivity, etc.?
  • How can we deal with the fact that levels can be used both as analytical concepts (used by the historian) and as historical concepts (used by the historical actors)?
  • How can we deal with different uses of terms like international, national, local, e.g. as level, geographical or spatial unit or loyalty of a historical actor?
  • How can we deal with the (hidden) hierarchy of terms or levels like global, national, etc.?
The workshop will offer a combination of a master class, keynote lectures, and roundtable discussions. It will start on 22 March in the afternoon, with a master class by Davide Rodogno (The Graduate Institute, Geneva), followed by a keynote lecture by Corinne Pernet (University of Geneva). The second day (23 March) will consist of roundtable sessions, where participants present their research and enter into discussion. Senior researchers will chair these sessions and Kiran Patel (Maastricht University) will deliver a closing keynote.
Submission of abstracts
Please send an abstract of max. 500 words and a short CV to the following email address: by 13 November 2017. Questions to the organizers can be sent using the same address. Authors will be notified regarding the acceptance of their contribution by 20 November. Invited participants will be expected to submit a short draft version of a more substantial paper two weeks prior to the event, which will be circulated among all other participants. Participants who are accepted to present their paper are also automatically accepted to participate in the master class. If you are unable or do not wish to attend the master class, kindly indicate this in your application.
The workshop is initiated and hosted by the research team of the ERC project ‘Rethinking Disability: the Global Impact of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) in Historical Perspective’, based in the Institute for History at Leiden University. It is supported by the Huizinga Institute, the national Dutch research network for Cultural History.
Contact Email: 

(source: HNet)