ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

donderdag 22 september 2022

WORKSHOP: New Directions in the Theory & History of International Law - Workshop II: "Beauty and Power: Aesthetics, History, & International Law", Graduate Institute (Geneva, October 19-20 October 2023, DEADLINE: 25 November 2022)


The field of international legal history finds itself at a crossroads. After some decades, the tone of the literature on the “turn to history” has turned from celebration to self-critique. Indeed, the last couple of years has witnessed increased calls to pursue new directions in international legal history, departing from the “well-worn paths” initially explored. In this vein, some urge for a localized approach to the study of “legal politics,” while others push for a “history of international law in the vernacular,” a “grassroots analysis,” or a “radical historical critique.” In my own work, I have argued for a (new) materialist approach,  which resonates with other broader drives for the retrieval of Marxist perspectives in international legal history. Moreover, the “marked absences” of class, gender, and race from the traditional canon of the discipline seem like an increasingly inexcusable exclusion.  In sum, the stage is set for a profound reconsideration of the aims, methodologies, and archives of contemporary international legal history.

With this in mind, the interdisciplinary workshop series “New Directions in the Theory & History of International Law” aims to create a space where emerging and senior scholars of different traditions can meet and rethink on the past, present, and future of the theory and history of the discipline. For this purpose, the Geneva Graduate Institute will host a series of two-day academic workshops to promote productive conversations between different disciplinary sensibilities and perspectives along three core issues over the next three years.

These three cross-cutting themes are:

Political Economy, History, and International Law - held on June 2-3, 2022

with Professor Susan Marks, London School of Economics

Beauty and Power: Aesthetics, History, and International Law - October 19-20, 2023

with Professor Kate Miles, University of Cambridge

Space and Scale in International Legal History - Spring 2024 (tentative date TBD)

with Professor Luis Eslava, University of Kent

Scholars who would like to present a paper at the second workshop on “Beauty and Power: Aesthetics, History, & International Law” are invited to submit a title and abstract (250─500 words) to before November 25, 2022 (23:59 Geneva Time - CEST). A decision on acceptance of the abstract will be communicated by late October. We expect to host these workshops in person, but hybrid participation might be considered depending on the overall sanitary situation and the guidelines issued by the Geneva Graduate Institute. We are keen on exploring options for a collective publication effort after the workshop. As such, we encourage potential participants to bear this in mind as they prepare their abstracts.

Source: Graduate Institute

woensdag 21 september 2022

LECTURE SERIES: CoCoLaw Series on Colonial Legal History 2022/2, University of Helsinki (Zoom, 15 September - 11 October - 8 November - 13 December 2022)


Image source: ESCLH blog


Dear colleagues,
We are pleased to announce and invite you the Autumn Program for the CoCoLaw Series on Colonial Legal History 2022/2. There will be four lectures, one each month from September to December, to discuss the latest investigations about the law enacted on colonial spaces during the early modern period.
For this semester, we will have the following speakers:

15.09 – Brazilian Colonial Law: Theoretical Framework and Contributions - Gustavo Cabral, Universidade Federal do Ceará

11.10 – Latin American Colonial Household as a Normative Sphere - Romina Zamora, Universidad de Tucumán

8.11 – Lawyering in France’s Early Modern Empire - Laurie Wood, Florida State University

13.12 – The Law of the Dutch East Indies. From Ruling a Trading Post to Ruling Territories - Boudewijn Sirks, University of Oxford

All lectures will take place online via Zoom and everyone are welcome to join (Meeting ID 405 3342976, Password 229973).

Kind regards,

CoCoLaw Project - Comparing Early Modern Colonial Laws
University of Helsinki

Source: ESCLH blog

dinsdag 20 september 2022

BOOK LAUNCH EVENT: Université Libre de Bruxelles, "De Salamanque à Guantanamo – Une histoire du droit international" (Brussels, 5 October 2022, DEADLINE: 30 September 2022)

Image source: ULB

The Centre de droit international at the Université Libre de Bruxelles is organising a book launch for a new comic strip on the history of international law on October 5.

Parler du droit international en bandes dessinées. C’est le défi qu’ont relevé Olivier Corten et Pierre Klein en scénarisant, sur des dessins de Gérard Bedoret, De Salamanque à Guantanamo – Une histoire du droit international.

Ce document graphique explique l’évolution du droit international au fil des siècles. Des premières doctrines de la guerre juste, formulées par l’école de Salamanque au XVe siècle, jusqu’à la prison de Guantánamo ou à la guerre en Ukraine, il montre comment les États ont créé un nombre toujours croissant de règles et d’institutions pour régir leurs interactions.

Il propose une lecture critique du droit international, tiraillé à toutes les époques entre une dimension éthique (le droit comme vecteur de progrès et de civilisation) et une dimension politique (le droit comme instrument du pouvoir entre les États).

L’ouvrage, publié chez Futuropolis (Gallimard), sortira le 5 octobre 2022.

À l’occasion de sa parution, le Centre de droit international de l’Université libre de Bruxelles et les éditions Futuropolis organisent une table-ronde animée par Anne Lagerwall (directrice du Centre de droit international) sur le thème « Du droit international par la bande (dessinée) » avec

Gérard Bedoret (dessinateur)

Olivier Corten et Pierre Klein (scénaristes)

Philippe Sands (University College London, auteur de la préface)

Anne-Charlotte Martineau (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris)

Sébastien Gnaedig (éditions Futuropolis)

Mercredi 5 octobre 2022 à 17h30, à la salle Dupréel (Institut de Sociologie de l’ULB, Avenue Jeanne 44, 1050 Bruxelles).

La table-ronde sera suivie d’une réception.

Inscription requise avant le 30 septembre 2022: 

More info can be found on the ULB website.

Source: ESCLH blog

maandag 19 september 2022

BOOK: Rahul SAGAR (ed.), To Raise a Fallen People: The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Indian Views on International Politics (Columbia University Press, 2022)


To Raise a Fallen People brings to light pioneering writing on international politics from nineteenth-century India. Drawing on extensive archival research, it unearths essays, speeches, and pamphlets that address fundamental questions about India’s place in the world. In these texts, prominent public figures urge their compatriots to learn English and travel abroad to study, debate whether to boycott foreign goods, differ over British imperialism in Afghanistan and China, demand that foreign policy toward the Middle East and South Africa account for religious and ethnic bonds, and query whether to adopt Western values or champion their own civilizational ethos.

Rahul Sagar’s detailed introduction contextualizes these documents and shows how they fostered competing visions of the role that India ought to play on the world stage. This landmark book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the sources of Indian conduct in international politics.

Table of Contents:

Editorial Note
Part I: Regaining Greatness
1. English Education
2. Sea Voyages
Part II: Critiques
3. The Great Game
4. The Eastern Question
5. Free Trade
6. Racism
7. The Opium Trade
Part III: The Great Debate
8. To Learn from the West
9. To Teach the West
Further Reading

vrijdag 16 september 2022

JOURNAL: Diplomatica: a Journal of Diplomacy and Society, Volume 4, Issue 2 (September 2022)

Image source: Brill


Latest issue: Vol. 4, No. 2 (September 2022)


Forum: Diplomacy and the Natural Environment

Shaine Scarminach

Klaudia Kuchno

Jenniver Sehring, Susanne Schmeier, Rozemarijn ter Horst, Alyssa Offutt, and Bota Sharipova

Mariia Koskina

Niedja de Andrade e Silva Forte dos Santos and Sandra Maria Rodrigues Balão

Tatiana Bakhmetyeva

Book Reviews

Emil Eiby Seidenfaden

Quincy Cloet

Cathleen Sarti

Karl W. Schweizer

Selim Deringil

Jordan Tama

Read more with the publisher.

donderdag 15 september 2022

LECTURE: Miroslav ŠEDIVY, "The geopolitical background of the debates on international law in the mid-19th century", Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels/MSTeams, 18 October 2022)

Image source: VUB CORE

The geopolitical background of the debates on international law in the mid-19th century
In the 1840s, Europeans often expressed a deep mistrust of the international order that had been created in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. This feeling resulted from the assertive and often illegal policies of the great powers which made a considerable number of people believe that the world was dominated by the strength of material power instead of written law. With this conviction, the questions of security, justice and international law became more and more debated in Europe. Some contemporaries desired to change the post- Napoleonic order by replacing it with a new one based on the principle of nationhood ensuring greater justice and a more stable peace among free European nations. During the same decade a similar debate on the political-legal coexistence with European countries spread in the United States. The goal of the paper is to reveal this important, but in historical and legal scholarship still neglected, phenomenon that existed in the mid-19th century on both sides of the Atlantic and contributed to the globalisation of international order.

Biographical note
Miroslav Šedivý (born in 1980, Prague) is a professor in general history at the University of Pardubice in the Czech Republic. He deals with the history of Europe and the Mediterranean spanning the period from the late 18th to the early 20th century. He has already published a trilogy on the functioning of the post-Napoleonic states system in the Near East (Metternich, the Great Powers and the Eastern Question, Pilsen 2013), Central Europe (Crisis among the Great Powers: The Concert of Europe and the Eastern Question, London– New York 2017) and Italy (The Decline of the Congress System: Metternich, Italy and European Diplomacy, London–New York 2018). His most recent book is on Si vis pacem, para bellum: The Italian Response to International Insecurity 1830–1848 (Vienna 2021). At this moment he is writing The Victory of Realism: The German Quest for International Security 1839–1853 (Paderborn 2023).

Practical information
Tuesday 18 October 2022 17:00-19:00 CET 
Vrije Universiteit Brussel Room: C409 
Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus
Free entrance. Register with @ vub. be for the Microsoft Teams link if not attending in person.
Source: VUB Core

CALL FOR PAPERS: "Law and Economics of Indigenous and Ethnic Minorities", European Journal of Law and Economics (DEADLINE: 1 February 2023)

Source: EJLE

The European Journal of Law and Economics has a call for papers which might be of interest to scholars working on the history of indigenous and ethnic minorities under international law.


Law and Economics of Indigenous and Ethnic Minorities

The European Journal of Law and Economics is calling for papers for a special issue on the Law and Economics of Indigenous and Ethnic Minorities, to be published from late 2023. The special issue will be edited by Mikayla Novak (Australian National University).

Scholars of law and economics have increasingly recognized the impact of legal issues upon economic outcomes experienced by indigenous peoples and members of ethnic minorities globally. The implications of property rights for the attainment of economic development opportunities and, relatedly, the maintenance of traditional customs, knowledge, and practices by indigenous and ethnic groups has been the subject of academic attention. Legal reform agendas, including at the constitutional level, have been advanced as part of efforts to redress the historical economic burdens arising from discrimination and exclusion as experienced by indigenous groups and peoples of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Despite progress in advancing ethnic and racial equality and progress, numerous legal, regulatory, and other policy barriers remain in force in many countries today. The effects of such barriers in limiting the extent of economic participation by indigenous and ethnic minorities is an ongoing subject of inquiry.

Law and economics are regarded as providing significant insights concerning the economic determinants and implications of legal rules, as well as impacts of broader legal and institutional systems, for indigenous and ethnic groups. The purpose of this special issue is to present conceptual and empirical research contributions addressing the legal circumstances of indigenous peoples, and people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, using economic approaches and tools. How legal arrangements, including the operation of the judiciary and regulatory agencies, influence the capacity of markets to promote the prosperity of marginalized peoples is of particular interest. Another lucrative line of inquiry is to investigate how indigenous and ethnic minorities participate in legal systems in their efforts to attain greater economic self-determination and recognition.

Submissions that consider the law and economics of indigenous groups and ethnic minorities from a range of economic and political economy sub-disciplines, such as public choice, constitutional political economy, Austrian economics, evolutionary economics, and entangled political economy, are welcome. We also welcome submissions from researchers from a variety of social sciences (economics, law, political science, anthropology, sociology, history) investigating the law and economics of indigenous and ethnic minorities.

Interested authors are welcome to discuss their research ideas with Mikayla Novak ( Submissions will be received until 1 February 2023.

All papers will be reviewed in accordance with journal policy. Manuscripts should be submitted in accordance with the submission guidelines. In accordance with submission guidelines, manuscripts should be submitted online. In Editorial Manager, manuscripts must be identified as submissions for the special issue.

Source: EALE announcements