ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

maandag 1 juni 2020

ADVANCE ARTICLE: Steven M. HARRIS, 'Manufacturing International Law: Pre-printed Treaties in the ‘Scramble for Africa’', Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d'histoire du droit international

(image source: Brill)

Manufacturing International Law: Pre-printed Treaties in the ‘Scramble for Africa’ (Steven M. Harris)
Abstract:
The 1880s saw a unique confluence of means, motives, and opportunities which led the British and their agents on African frontiers to enter into hundreds of pre-printed form treaties with local groups. By treating indigenous groups as interchangeable counterparties to their agreements, the new tools carried by these diplomats in canoes carried both the benefits of expediency and the problems of alienation. The mass production of international law – made by relatively unskilled labour, in bulk, with limited variation – had arrived. This practice connects the emerging modernity of the cultures of international law, diplomacy, printing technology, and domestic law.
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