ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

dinsdag 22 juni 2021

ONLINE COLLOQUIUM: Regard critique sur les souverainetés (Afrique, Amériques, Asie, Europe) Moyen Âge – xxie siècle) (Paris: Université de Paris/University of Chicago in Paris/CRHIA Nantes/FMSH/CRHEU/EILA), 23-24 JUN 2021)


(image source: Université de Paris)

The University of Paris (and a number of co-organising entities) hosts a two-day online colloquium on sovereignties, from the Middle Ages to the 21st centuries on 23 and 24 June.


This interdisciplinary conference, bringing together historians, legal experts, and political scientists, will focus on the heuristic contribution of the concept of sovereignty, adopting a critical approach of the notion, in examining for instance sovereignties “without State” or “against the State”. Critical theory will help formulate political hermeneutics to better comprehend the concepts of State and power in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. The theory developed by Jean Bodin in his Six Books on the Commonwealth, and how it has been received from the end of the xvith to the xxist century, is here examined under a new light, not only deconstructing the usual approach on sovereignty, but also addressing the reasons why in Europe it became a fundamental concept for political science, modern theories of the State, and philosophy. Beyond the traditional distinction between “internal” and “external” sovereignty, one of the questions raised is whether Bodin’s assertion that “it is the essence of sovereign power to be unlimited: it is all powerful, or it is nothing” leaves room for debate and consideration on the nature of power in different types of communities: States, or groups of people defined by chosen or inflicted characteristics (ethnic origin, geography, common political preferences, etc.).

Click here for the full program.

(source: ESCLH Blog)