ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

vrijdag 28 april 2017

BOOK: Juan Pablo SCARFI, The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas: Empire and Legal Networks (Oxford: OUP, 2017, ISBN 9780190622343, 280 p., 55 GBP)

(image source: OUP)

Juan Pablo Scarfi (University San Martín) is due to publish The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas: Empire and Legal Networks with OUP.

Book description:
International law has played a crucial role in the construction of imperial projects. Yet within the growing field of studies about the history of international law and empire, scholars have seldom considered this complicit relationship in the Americas. The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas offers the first exploration of the deployment of international law for the legitimization of U.S. ascendancy as an informal empire in Latin America. This book explores the intellectual history of a distinctive idea of American international law in the Americas, focusing principally on the evolution of the American Institute of International Law (AIIL). This organization was created by U.S. and Chilean jurists James Brown Scott and Alejandro Alvarez in Washington D.C. for the construction, development, and codification of international law across the Americas. Juan Pablo Scarfi examines the debates sparked by the AIIL over American international law, intervention and non-intervention, Pan-Americanism, the codification of public and private international law and the nature and scope of the Monroe Doctrine, as well as the international legal thought of Scott, Alvarez, and a number of jurists, diplomats, politicians, and intellectuals from the Americas. Professor Scarfi argues that American international law, as advanced primarily by the AIIL, was driven by a U.S.-led imperial aspiration of civilizing Latin America through the promotion of the international rule of law. By providing a convincing critical account of the legal and historical foundations of the Inter-American System, this book will stimulate debate among international lawyers, IR scholars, political scientists, and intellectual historians.
Table of contents:
 Introduction: Hemispheric Legal Networks and Languages in the Americas
Chapter 1: Towards a Pan-American Legal Order: The Rise of US Hemispheric Hegemony and Elihu Root's Visit to South America
Chapter 2: Forging and Consolidating a Hemispheric Legal Network: The Creation of the American Institute of International Law and the Encounter between Scott and Alvarez
Chapter 3: The Pan-American Redefinition of the Monroe Doctrine and the Emerging Language of American International Law
Chapter 4: International Organisation and Hegemony: The Codification of American International Law and the Tensions between Scott and Alvarez
Chapter 5: The Debate over Intervention at Havana and the Crisis of the American Institute of International Law: Scott´s Displacement of Alvarez
Chapter 6: From Pan-Americanism to Multilateral Inter-Americanism: The Impact of the Anti-War Treaty, the Principle of Non-intervention and Sovereign Equality at Montevideo and the Dissolution of the American Institute of International Law
Conclusion: From US Hemispheric to Global Hegemony: Assessing the Legacy of American International Law and the American Institute of International Law in the Americas
Appendix A: Constitution of the American Institute of International Law (1913)
Appendix B: American Institute of International Law, "Declaration of Rights and Duties of Nations" (1915)
Appendix C: Platt Amendment (1901)
Bibliography Index
On the author:
Juan Pablo Scarfi is a Research Associate at the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), and teaches international relations and international law at the School of Politics and Government at the National University of San Martín, Argentina. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2014. He was a Visiting Scholar at University College London (Institute of the Americas) and Columbia University, as well as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Intellectual History in the National University of Quilmes. He is the author of El imperio de la ley: James Brown Scott y la construcción de un orden jurídico interamericano (2014) and co-editor of Cooperation and Hegemony in US-Latin American Relations: Revisiting the Western Hemisphere Idea (2016).

Source: International Law Reporter. More information with OUP.

BOOK: Colleen MURPHY, The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (Cambridge: CUP, 2017, ISBN 9781107085473, 228 p., 75 GBP)

(image source: CUP)

Colleen Murphy (University Colleg of Illinois) published The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice with Cambridge University Press.

Book description:
Many countries have attempted to transition to democracy following conflict or repression, but the basic meaning of transitional justice remains hotly contested. In this book, Colleen Murphy analyses transitional justice - showing how it is distinguished from retributive, corrective, and distributive justice - and outlines the ethical standards which societies attempting to democratize should follow. She argues that transitional justice involves the just pursuit of societal transformation. Such transformation requires political reconciliation, which in turn has a complex set of institutional and interpersonal requirements including the rule of law. She shows how societal transformation is also influenced by the moral claims of victims and the demands of perpetrators, and how justice processes can fail to be just by failing to foster this transformation or by not treating victims and perpetrators fairly. Her book will be accessible and enlightening for philosophers, political and social scientists, policy analysts, and legal and human rights scholars and activists.
On the author:
Colleen Murphy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Source: International Law Reporter. More information with CUP (inter alia free excerpt).

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Production of Imperial Space. Empire and Circulations (18th-20th Centuries). Paris: Sciences Po Paris/CIERA, 23-24 Nov 2017 (DEADLINE 1 JUN 2017)

(image source: Sciences Po)

Camille Buat (CHSP/Sciences Po Paris-Göttingen), Aude-Cécile Monnot (CHSP/Sciences Po) and Alexander van Wickeren (CHSP/Sciences Po, Cologne) organize a conference on the Production of Imperial Space.

Conference description:

Empires are often presented as State structures with specific relations to space, as they tend to expand through progressive accretion of territory. Imperial spaces are supposed to be strongly hierarchical, divided between centres and peripheries, with highly militarized border areas and buffer zones. In this framework, empires are primarily defined by their ability to establish their sovereignty over a specific space, which entails control over territories and the populations that inhabit them, as well as over the flows of goods and people that develop in this space.
While it is important to take into account the role of the State in structuring imperial space, the workshop proposes to study the multiplicity of processes and actors involved in the production of such a space. Henri Lefebvre’s conception of social space has been especially significant in drawing attention to the different mechanisms involved in the production of space, which he identified as spatial practices (of each member of a society), representation of space (the “conceptual space” of scientists and planners) and representational space (the space of the “inhabitants”, lived through images and symbols). Lefebvre also contended that the constitution of new spaces did not lead to the disappearance of pre-existing ones. Such insights into the complexity and multilayeredness of social space provide the basis for an inquiry into the specificity of imperial space, and of the processes contributing to its constitution.
The workshop intends to focus on circulation as an entry point to study the imbrication of spaces, of space-producing activities, and of actors, in an imperial context. A “spatial practice” par excellence, circulation produces spaces of its own, both at its most local and at its most global scale. The imperial space is itself constituted through a multiplicity of circulations: flows of legal and regulatory practices as well as of imperial personnel constitute the administrative and political space of the empire; circulations of goods and of labor shape its economic space. In addition, circulation of explorers and surveyors, and the various survey reports, travelogues and cartographic representations they produced underlie its cognitive space. The workshop adopts a broad definition of circulation, looking at the movement of peoples and goods, of information, knowledge, techniques, cultural productions and practices which constitute the circulatory regime of a given society, a regime that is constantly reconstituted in response to wider economic, social and political processes.
The workshop especially proposes two lines of enquiry
1- Imperial spaces are neither singular, nor coherent, but are constituted of many nested spaces, produced through the interaction of various actors. The imperial State is only one among several actors who take part into the production of this imperial space. Through processes of imperial expansion and consolidation, the imperial State does usher in the spatial reorganisation of the territories that come under its ambit to serve its own economic, administrative and political interests. However, the Empire’s power over space is shaped by constant negotiations with local intermediaries and further contends with diverse practices of appropriation and subversion of space.
2- Imperial space is only one among many spaces that exist within and beyond. These different spaces coexist and overlap, compete or become intertwined. Circulatory practice – regional, cross-border, and transimperial – lead to the constitution of parallel spaces. Be it the circulation of experts or indentured workers, of technical or administrative knowledge, transimperial circulations contrive to link distant territories, each under distinct sovereignties. Similarly, any given space is set within multiple temporalities, as past circulatory practices continue to interact with new imperial circulatory regimes.
The workshop aims to develop a comparative approach to foster exchange between PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and researchers working on imperial structures that traditional taxonomies have tended to segregate; i.e. continental, colonial and maritime empires. A rather broad chronological focus, spanning the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century will allow us to capture different imperial formations at different stage of their evolution. By this mean we may explore the relationship between empire and circulation, and its reconfiguration, through different contexts and at different historical moments.
The workshop will especially welcome contributions that explore the intertwinement of spaces and actors. Papers could also go beyond a strictly imperial temporal framework, looking at circulations antedating the development of the empire, as well as studying the posterity of imperial circulatory regimes. With a view to explore the plurality of imperial spaces, different scales of analysis need to be deployed, relying on manifold sources both in terms of their nature, and of the scale of activity, as well as the actors involved. Administrative sources could thus be paired with literary ones, travelogues and maps, pictorial representations as well as folklore and, for the more recent periods, oral history.

The following themes could, among others, be explored by the different contributions
- Imperial circulatory regimes (economic, political, administrative, cognitive...) and the processes of structuration of the imperial space (shifts and changes in spatial hierarchies, at different levels of the empire)
- Development of communication infrastructures, as both tools to control territories and objects of negotiations and contestations
- Discrimination between circulatory practices: fostering some (indenture and labor migration, opening the “interiors” and development of trade) and preventing others (sedentarisation of populations, criminalisation of peripatetic modes of life...)
- Imperial frontier, buffer zones and circulation across borders
- Trans-imperial circulations: development of regional linkages between empires, involving a multiplicity of actors (labor migrants and imperial experts, techniques and scientific knowledge, administrative practices...)
- Circulation and crisis: intensification of circulatory practices or breaches in circulatory regimes (crisis in the imperial system, but also sanitary, political, social, environmental crisis...)
Application process :
Paper abstract of 500 words max. and Curriculum Vitae should be sent to by June, the 1st 2017.
Every applicant will be informed by early August of the results of the selection process. Travel and housing expenses of the selected participants will be covered.

Source: HSozKult.
More information here.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Conflict Management in Modern Diplomacy (1500-1914) (University of Vienna, 8-10 Feb 2018) (DEADLINE 15 JUN 2017)

(image source:

The University of Vienna organizes a three-day conference in February 2018 on Conflict Management in Modern Diplomacy (1500-1914).

Conference information:
Conflict management was a genuine task of modern diplomacy, from its very beginnings in the 16th century onwards. In spite of the fact that diplomatic history has undergone an important renewal in the past decades, evolving from a history of institutions towards actor-based and intercultural history, conflicts – if addressed at all – are still regarded as the dysfunctional side of diplomacy. The conference, which is organised by the research group “Diplomacy in Conflict”, focuses on conflict management as the constant processes of mediation and negotiation, which included efforts but also resistance, success but also failure. Diplomatic contacts were not only destined to resolve political or military conflicts, but could also be highly conflictual themselves, due to cultural differences, such as incompatible codes or stereotypes. Diplomatic strategies comprised the avoidance and resolution of conflicts as well as their deliberate escalation or provocation. Furthermore, since the end of the 18th century, cultural conflicts became increasingly charged with national connotations. The conference is aimed to discuss the changing strategies and modes of conflict management within modern diplomacy in order to provide a deeper understanding of diplomatic processes. 
We welcome papers addressing private as well as public spheres, official as well as unofficial participants, and European as well as Non-European players. Prospective speakers are invited to submit abstracts of approximately 300 words. Submissions should include name, affiliation and contact details. The deadline for submissions is 15 June 2017. For more information about the conference, or to submit an abstract, please email the organisers at or We intend to publish the conference papers. For further information regarding our research group please visit our website "Diplomacy in Conflict - Conflict Management in Early Modern Diplomacy":
Julia Gebke Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1, A-1010 Wien
+43 1 4277 40859
Source: HSozKult.

woensdag 12 april 2017

BOOK: Stefan KADELBACH, Thomas KLEINLEIN and David ROTH-ISIGKEIT (eds.), System, Order, and International Law. The Early History of International Legal Thought from Machiavelli to Hegel. Oxford: OUP, ISBN 9780198768586. £ 80

(image source: OUP)

Oxford University Press announced the forthcoming publication of System, Order, and International Law. The Early History of International Legal Thought from Machiavelli to Hegel, edited by Stefan Kadelbach (Frankfurt), Thomas Kleinlein (Frankfurt) and David Roth-Isigkeit (Frankfurt).

Book abstract:
For many centuries, thinkers have tried to understand and to conceptualize political and legal order beyond the boundaries of sovereign territories. Their concepts, deeply entangled with ideas of theology, state formation, and human nature, form the bedrock of todays theoretical discourses on international law. This volume engages with models of early international legal thought from Machiavelli to Hegel before international law in the modern sense became an academic discipline of its own. The interplay of system and order serves as a leitmotiv throughout the book, helping to link historical models to contemporary discourse. Part I of the book covers a diverse collection of thinkers in order to scrutinize and contextualize their respective models of the international realm in light of general legal and political philosophy. Part II maps the historical development of international legal thought more generally by distilling common themes and ideas, such as the relationship between universality and particularity, the role of the state, the influence of power and economic interests on the law, and the contingencies of time, space and technical opportunities. In the current political climate, where it appears that the reinvigorated concept of the nation state as an ordering force competes with internationalist thinking, the problems at issue in the classic theories point to contemporary questions: is an international system without central power possible? How can a normative order come about if there is no central force to order relations between states? These essays show that uncovering the history of international law can offer ways in which to envisage its future.
Table of contents:
Introduction, Stefan Kadelbach, Thomas Kleinlein and David Roth-Isigkeit
Part I Authors
1: Niccolò Machiavelli's International Legal Thought: Culture, Contingency, and Construction, David Roth-Isigkeit
2: Francisco de Vitoria: A Redesign of Global Order on the Threshold of the Middle Ages to Modern Times, Kirstin Bunge
3: Francisco Suárez S. J. on the End of Peaceful Order among States and Systematic Doctrinal Scholarship, Tobias Schaffner
4: Jean Bodin on International Law, Merio Scattola
5: Alberico Gentili: Sovereignty, Natural Law, and the System of Roman Civil Law, Andreas Wagner
6: Althusius: Back to the Future, Thomas Hüglin
7: Hugo Grotius on the Conquest of Utopia by Systematic Reasoning, Stefan Kadelbach
8: Orders in disorder: The Question of a Sovereign State of Nature in Hobbes and Rousseau, Jonas Heller
9: The International Legal Argument in Spinoza, Tilman Altwicker
10: States as Ethico-Political Subjects of International Law: The Relationship between Theory and Practice in the International Politics of Samuel Pufendorf, Vanda Fiorillo
11: Christian Wolff: System as an Episode?, Thomas Kleinlein
12: The Law of the Nations as the Civil Law of the World: On Montesquieu's Political Cosmopolitanism, Christian Volk
13: Emer de Vattel on the Society of Nations and the Political System of Europe, Simone Zurbuchen
14: Towards a System of Sympathetic Law: Envisioning Adam Smith's Theory of Jurisprudence, Bastian Ronge
15: Systematicity to Excess Kant's Conception of the International Legal Order, Benedict Vischer
16: Fichte and the Echo of his Internationalist Thinking in Romanticism, Carla De Pascale
17: The Plurality of States and the World Order of Reason: On Hegel's Understanding of International Law and Relations, Sergio Dellavalle
Part II Perspectives on the Philosophy of International Law
18: What should the History of the Law of Nations Become?, Martti Koskenniemi
19: State Theory, State Order, State System: Ius Gentium and the constitution of Public Power, Nehal Bhuta
20: Spatial Perceptions, Juridical Practices, and Early International Legal Thought around 1500: From Tordesillas to Saragossa, Thomas Duve
21: The Disorder of Economy? The first Relectio de Indis in a Theological Perspective, Mónica García-Salmones
22: Power and Law as Ordering Devices in the System of International Relations, Gunther Hellmann
23: Universalism and Particularism: A Dichotomy to Read Theories on International Order, Armin von Bogdandy and Sergio Dellavalle
Some Brief ConclusionsPierre-Marie Dupuy
 On the editors:
Stefan Kadelbach, Cluster of Excellence at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Thomas Kleinlein, Principal Investigator of the 'Federalism of Rights' research project (DFG, German Research Foundation) and Associate Member of 'Normative Orders', Cluster of Excellence at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, and David Roth-Isigkeit, Cluster of Excellence at Goethe University Frankfurt/MainStefan Kadelbach is Professor of Public International Law and European Constitutional Law at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main and a Member of ' Normative Orders', Cluster of Excellence, a group of researchers from various disciplines funded by the German Research Foundation. His teaching and research covers general international law, the theory of international law, human rights, and European and German constitutional law.Thomas Kleinlein is Privatdozent at the Institute for Public Law and Associate Member of 'Normative Orders', Cluster of Excellence, at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main. He is the principal investigator of a research project funded by a grant from the German Research Foundation entitled Federalism of Rights: Perspectives of Dialogue and Pluralism in Multilevel Fundamental Rights Adjudication in Germany, the United States Compared. In the winter semester 2016/17, he is a visiting professor at Humboldt University Berlin.David Roth-Isigkeit is a Research Fellow at 'Normative Orders', Cluster of Excellence at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main.
More information on OUP's website.