ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

Tuesday 24 October 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.

Friday 20 October 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.

Tuesday 17 October 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).

Monday 16 October 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  

Tuesday 10 October 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)

Saturday 7 October 2017

ARTICLE: Oona A. HATHAWAY, William HOLSTE, Scott J. SHAPIRO, Jacqueline VAN DE VELDE & Lisa LACHOWICZ, War Manifestos (U Chicago Law Review)

International Law Reporter references the following article:

This Article is the first to examine “war manifestos,” documents that set out the legal reasons sovereigns provided for going to war from the late-fifteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. We have assembled the world’s largest collection of war manifestos — over 350 — in languages as diverse as Classical Chinese, German, French, Latin, Serbo-Croatian and Dutch. Prior Anglophone scholarship has almost entirely missed war manifestos. This gap in the literature has produced a correspondingly large gap in our understanding of the role of war during the period in which manifestos were commonly used. Examining these previously ignored manifestos reveals that states exercised the right to wage war in ways that would be inconceivable today. In short, the right to intervene militarily could be asserted in any situation where a legal right had been violated and all peaceful channels had been explored and exhausted. The Article begins by describing war manifestos. It then explores their history and evolution over the course of five centuries, explains the purposes they served for sovereigns, shows the many “just causes” they cited for war, and, finally, considers the lessons they hold for modern legal dilemmas. The discovery of war manifestos as a set of legal documents offers lawyers and legal scholars something rare: a new window into the international legal universe of the past. That is not only valuable in itself, but it also casts entirely new light on several long-standing legal debates.

More information on SSRN.

DISCOUNT: 25% off Hague Academy publications at Brill

Brill offers a reduction of up to 25% on several titles in the publications of the Hague Academy of International Law Series. The rebate expires on 15 December 2017.

More information with the publisher here.

Tuesday 3 October 2017

E-LECTURE SERIES and Bibliography: I-HILT (Tilburg University)

(image source:

Dra. Ana Delic spread the following message from the Institute for the History of International Law at Tilburg University:

The Institute for the History of International Law@Tilburg (I-HILT)  is organizing a series of lectures on international legal history and you are cordially invited! We kick off the program with Prof. Randall Lesaffer presenting 'Aggression before Versailles' on 25 October 3-4 pm (M 020). See the exciting list of speakers in the 2017-2018 program attached.  Are you unable to attend? The lectures will subsequently be available for streaming on the I-HILT webpage under the E-LECTURES tab: Also, I-HILT's bibliography of crucial primary and secondary sources of international legal history has just been updated. The bibliography is available in pdf and endnote (with a useful search option):

The attachment in question can be consulted here.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Hegemony in the International Order (Rome, 11-12 Jun 2018); DEADLINE 31 Mar 2018

“Hegemony in the International Order”
June 11-12, 2018
University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome
Co-Sponsored by the Transnational Theory Network (TLPT-Network), the Italian Society of Political Philosophy (SIFP) and the European Society of International Law (ESIL)
(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Post WWII international law and politics has promised a more just and free world. Liberal values of equality, human rights and freedom have shaped international relations, infusing also the ‘ethical turn’ of international law with the human rights revolution and the formalization of jus cogens peremptory norms. Regional orders like the EU have grown both in terms of centralized competences and in the possibility of allowing higher circulation of goods and people. The international political system as a whole has seen one of its greatest times of rights consolidation and economic fluxes which have certainly favored wide cultural contaminations.

Yet, more recent developments of international politics show some of the drawbacks of such epochal shift, raising demands of democratic governance, individual interests representation etc. Lack of political participation at the transnational level, the North-South and the East-West divides, migratory flows altogether signal a disconnection and a persistent friction between economic, legal and political sectors. What takes the appearance of a wide share of goods and benefits brought about by globalization turns into unequal forms of redistributory patterns, unmasking the reality of power-control and dominance of single actors, either in the form of a super-state or a multinational corporation.

Hegemonic entities seems therefore to have taken advantage of those spaces of economic and legal freedom that progressive liberalism has opened up and used them to the advantage of limited beneficiaries, exploiting the opportunities created therewith.

The workshop wants to investigate the contemporary significance of hegemony in the international realm. More specifically its aim is to assess whether and to what extent neo-Gramscian, neo-hegemonic or, alternatively, post-hegemonic forms of power help understanding law and politics in regional and global contexts.

Since hegemony requires support and complicity also by subordinated groups, how does this concept differ from the notion of imperialism and that of unilateralism? What forms of ideological solidarities as well as material and military alliances are necessary for hegemonic effectiveness?
Furthermore, are there hegemonic phases that have accompanied the so-called “human rights revolution” since the aftermath of WWII? In what ways, eventually, it is possible to trace a counter-history to the mantra of a global constitutional progression and peace?
Papers in philosophy, law or politics addressing any of the issues above or suggesting relevant insights into the topic. In order to allow time for adequate presentation and discussion only a limited number of people will be selected (approx.10).

Abstract Submission

Abstracts between 700-1000 or more should be submitted by 31 March 2018 to

(source: International Law Reporter)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Young Scholars Conference: 'Historical Capitalism and International Law' (Paris, Sciences Po Law School, 18-19 Jan 2018); DEADLINE 15 OCT 2017

(image source: Sciences Po)

Sciences Po Law School, Paris, 18 and 19 January 2018

From the refugee crisis to climate change, from international terrorism to the ascent of extreme right governments, from increasing inequalities to new identity-based conflicts: the promises of liberal economic globalisation seem to be under attack all over. As a result, reflections on the relations between economy and society are increasingly present in the public debate, notably from the perspective of a more radical critique of the very basis of the capitalist system. This renewed interest is echoed for example in (yet another) return to Karl Marx’s writings, particularly in the German, French and Anglo-American press, in response to the now famous critiques of economic inequalities in liberal-democratic and market-driven societies, such as those raised by Thomas Piketty.
In the academic debate, although an increasing number of international lawyers have recently made historical interventions in their discipline in search of new possible futures, from a legal perspective in-depth analyses of the origins and functioning of the capitalist system remain limited. On the contrary, many historians have been focusing on the subject of capitalism and have developed analytical tools to critically analyse it, without however giving full importance to the constitutive role of law in the functioning of the capitalist system. 
The young scholars’ conference which will take place on 18 and 19 of January 2018 at Sciences Po Law School, Paris, as part of CIERA’s programme colloques juniors will explore the topic “Historical Capitalism and International Law” and try to fill some of these gaps. We borrow the notion of historical capitalism from Immanuel Wallerstein (Le Capitalisme historique, La Découverte, 2011) who points towards an analysis of the capitalist system as a specific historical process based on the principle of the continuous accumulation of capital. Originally historical, this definition underlines the particularities of capitalism as a social construction embedding several economic, social, political and cultural dimensions, all of which can be further articulated through analysing the legal dimension. Hence, this kind of analysis allows the elaboration of interdisciplinary perspectives, which depart from the material reality of capitalism to analyse its origins, functioning, current challenges and the prospect of its potential future developments. This conference will focus on the nature and evolution of economic and social institutions, their role in the exchanges and movement of peoples, ideas and commodities, as well as the way through which encounters, confrontations and interactions have shaped them in turn.

An interest in this particular dialogue lies principally in the perception of law as a social product which enjoys a relative autonomy in relation to other economic, social and cultural disciplines. Since law itself produces its own concrete realities and at the same time is an instrument around which various social actors struggle, it should not be analysed in complete isolation from other social processes. The interplay of voices coming from different disciplines is therefore central to grasping the specificity of law in the production of historical capitalism; particularly if one wants to avoid falling into analytical traps, such as the tendency to reduce law to a superstructure or on the other hand the reduction of histories and analysis of law to elements separated from the functioning of society. The conference will hence gather lawyers and historians, as well as social science scholars, appealing to the diverse and complementary approaches of each discipline in order to understand the forms of organisation which capitalism has taken in different times, in different places and at different scales. Each session will involve discussions between lawyers and historians working on related topics.
Contributions to the conference should explore one of the three following subject areas: 1) international law and the histories of capitalist expansion; 2) the history of international law and political conflicts in capitalism; 3) histories of international law and narratives of capitalist modernity. The publication of a special issue of the Journal of History of International Law is also being considered and would incorporate certain contributions from the conference.

Abstracts from 300 to 500 words shall be submitted indicating the subject area of the proposed contribution, along with a CV by 15 October 2017 to Successful applicants will be notified by 5 November 2017 at the latest. English will be the main working language during the conference.
We encourage applications from the members of the HeiParisMax network, of the Collège doctoral franco-allemand en droit public comparé européen and of scholars affiliated to history centres connected to CIERA. There will be an equal number of contributions from both men and women, participants from French and German institutions, and those proposing historical or legal approaches. Applications from other areas of the world are also accepted and encouraged. A portion of the travel and accommodation expenses of selected participants will be covered by the conference.

Scientific Committee:
Lisa Herzog (Institut für Sozialforschung der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitat)
Claire Lemercier (Centre de Sociologie des Organisations de Sciences Po)
Anne Peters (Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht)
Emmanuelle Tourme-Jouannet (Ecole de droit de Sciences Po)

Organisational Committee:
Filipe Antunes Madeira da Silva (Ecole de droit de Sciences Po)
Robin Caballero (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin/ Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Alberto Rinaldi (Ecole de droit de Sciences Po)
Milan Tahraoui (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne/ Max Planck Institut für ausländisches Recht und Völkerrecht)
Leonie Johanna Vierck (Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht)

With the Support of:
Centre interdisciplinaire d’études et de recherches sur l’Allemagne (CIERA)
Collège doctoral franco-allemand en droit public comparé européen
Ecole doctorale de Sciences Po
Ecole de droit de Sciences Po
Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht
HeiParisMax – Partenariat académique franco-allemand

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Paris Peace Conference and the Challenge of a New World Order (Paris, June 2019); DEADLINE 1 JUNE 2018

                                              (Source: H-Net)

A call for papers has been announced at H-Announce for a conference on "The Paris Peace Conference and the Challenge of a New World Order", to be held in Paris in June 2019.

Call for Papers

September 26, 2017 to June 1, 2018


Subject Fields: 
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Nationalism History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, World History / Studies

The Peace Conference held in Paris in the aftermath of the Great War remains among the most important yet also most controversial events in modern history. Although it is often considered to have made a second global war all but inevitable, it has also been praised for providing the basis for an enduring peace that was squandered recklessly by poor international leadership during the 1930s.
A major international conference will take place in Paris in June 2019 to commemorate the centenary of the 1919 Conference from a global perspective. The purpose of this event is to re-examine the history of the Peace Conference through a thematic focus on the different approaches to order in world politics in the aftermath of the First World War. A remarkably wide range of actors in Paris - from political leaders, soldiers and diplomats to colonial nationalist envoys and trade unionists, economists, women's associations and ordinary citizens - produced a wide array of proposals for a future international and, indeed, global order. These proposals were often based on vastly different understandings of world politics. They went beyond the articulation of specific national security interests to make claims about the construction and maintenance of peace and the need for new norms and new institutions to achieve this aim. To what extent the treaties and their subsequent implementation represented a coherent world order remains a question of debate. 

By 'order', we mean in the first instance, the articulation and development of systematic ideas, institutions and practices aimed at promoting a durable peace that would deliver security, economic recovery and social justice. This distinguishes thinking about 'order' from discussions of 'national interests' - though there was of course overlap between these two modes of thinking about future international relations. Second, we are interested in 'order' as an analytical concept in its own right. This encourages historians to identify, as Paul Schroeder has argued, the shared rules, assumptions and understandings about a particular set of political relations and to show how specific decisions reflect the norms of the order.

Emphasising the preoccupation of peace-makers with the problem of world order broadens the scope of the familiar questions and debates that have dominated the literature on the Peace Conference. It also opens the way for posing new questions and for thinking about more familiar questions in new ways. We therefore invite papers addressing the following questions:

  1. What were different conceptions of political, economic and social order advocated at the Paris Conference? What was the relationship between different ideas about the international order, such as a system based on national self-determination and one based on the rule of law? Were there broad over-arching conceptions of an international order, such as liberal and socialist internationalism, that could accommodate more narrowly focused ideas such as free trade or labour rights? How did people conceive of the relationships between self-interest and order? What role did power politics play in conceptions of international order? Were the absentees from Paris - notably the Germans and the Bolsheviks - able to shape the debate about the emerging international order?
  2. What were the origins of these different ideas about order? Why was there such an interest in the systematic development of particular orders both during and after the war? Who produced ideas about order, and why? What was in particular the role of NGOs and ordinary citizens? Can an approache based on different 'generations' of international actors illuminate this problem in new ways? Was the idea of 'order' a reaction to international politics before and during the war? Or did it represent a continuity with certain strands of thinking about international politics that pre-dated the outbreak of war in 1914? What was the relationship between the articulation of war aims and ideas about post-war order?
  3. To what extent did contending visions of an international order shape the peace treaties? Did the organization and proceedings of the Conference reflect tensions between the national, the regional and the global? What was the role of regional orders in shaping broader conceptions of a new world order? To what extent did discourses concerning new regional orders reflect fundamental changes in the conceptualization of world politics? To what extent were they a repackaging of the more familiar themes of empire or spheres of influence?
  4. How were the peace treaties legitimated to domestic and international audiences? Were subsequent negotiations on the implementation and revision of the peace treaties shaped by the profound debates about international politics that took place before and during the Peace Conference? Were conceptions of international order systematically subordinated to concerns about national security? Conversely, to what extent can it be argued that the Paris Peace Conference produced or contributed to a disorder in European politics that led ultimately to the Second World War?
  5. What was the impact of the Paris Peace Conference on views of world order based on gender, class and race? How did women, workers and colonial subjects respond to the peace conference and what was its impact on the emergence of alternative voices in international affairs? Whose voices were heard at Paris in 1919 and whose remained silent or were silenced?
  6. What political and diplomatic practices were implied in these various conceptions of international order? To what extent did these practices shape the course of international relations in 1919? Did the intellectual debate and political experience of the Paris Peace Conference play a role in shaping a future generation of leaders (such as Jean Monnet and John Foster Dulles)?
Paper proposals
The conference organisers aim to ensure the conference provides a global perspective on the Paris Peace Conference. We are therefore particularly keen to receive proposals from scholars working on topics pertaining to the non-western world.

The conference languages will be English and French
Regardless of language, all proposals will receive serious consideration.

The deadline for proposals is: 1 June 2018
Please send your proposal (abstract in English or French of no more than 500 words) and short CV to Axel Dröber:

Conference Steering Committee
Laurence Badel (Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Eckart Conze (Philipps-Universität Margurg)
Norman Ingram (Concordia University)
Peter Jackson (University of Glasgow)
Stefan Martens (Deutsches Historisches Institut, Paris)
Matthias Schulz (Université de Genève)
William Mulligan (University College Dublin)

Comité scientifique
Andrew Barros (Université de Québec à Montréal)
Carl Bouchard (Université de Montréal)
Eric Bussière (LABEX EHNE)
Michael Clinton (Gwynedd Mercy University)
Olivier Compagnon (Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle)
Beatrice de Graaf (Utrecht)
Vincent Dujardin (Université catholique de Louvain)
Olivier Forcade (Université de Paris - Sorbonne)
Erik Goldstein (Boston University)
Jean-Michel Guieu (Université de Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Talbot Imlay (Université Laval)
Stanislas Jeannesson (Université de Nantes)
John Keiger (Cambridge University)
William Keylor (Boston University)
Antoine Marès (Université de Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Holger Nehring (University of Stirling)
Jennifer Siegel (The Ohio State University)
Glenda Sluga (University of Sydney)
Georges-Henri Soutou (Collège de France)
Christian Tams (University of Glasgow)
Hugues Tertrais (Commission of History of International Relations - ICHS)
Martin Thomas (University of Exeter)
Antonio Varsori (University of Padua)
Hirotake Watanabe (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)

Xu Guoqi (University of Hong Kong)

CONFERENCE: A legal history conference: Russian Revolution in the Nordic perspective (7 Nov 2017, Oslo, Oslo University)

This conference aims at discussing the history, legal implications, and legacy of the 1917 Russian Revolution.
Illustration: Reidar Aulie: Tendens (copyright BONO).
In February and October 1917 Revolutions took place in Russia, bringing about dramatic changes in the society and the legal system. Did the Russian Revolution(s) have any impact on the Nordic countries? What legal transformations did the Revolution(s) bring about for Russia and for the Nordic countries?
Without understanding the legal and political transformations which occurred in Russia 100 years ago, we may not fully understand the legal system of Russian law in the later Soviet and post-Soviet period, and the implications for the Nordic countries.
This conference will be of interest not only for legal historians. We invite legal scholars, practitioners, students and everyone interested in history of Russia and the Nordic states, international and comparative law and Russian law.


9:00-9:15 Coffee
9:15-9:30 Welcome: Professor Dag Michalsen, Dean of the Law Faculty / Professor Alla Pozdnakova
9:30 Professor William E. Butler (Penn State University): Key note speech

Chair: Professor Marit Halvorsen
10:00 History of 1917 Russian Revolution(s): Professor Emeritus Åsmund Egge (UiO)
10:25 Young Marx and why Revolutionists did not like him: Professor Christoffer Conrad Eriksen (UiO)
11:50 Coffee break
11:15 Comparative Law in Russia: Historical traces of influence: Irina Fodchenko, PhD candidate (UiO)
11:15 Revolutionary Law in Russia: Continuity and change: Dr. Tatiana Borisova (HSE St. Petersburg)
11:30 Questions and discussion
          12:15-13:00 Lunch break

Chair: Professor Gentian Zyberi
          13:00 Fisheries in Finnmark – relationship with Russia in legal history perspective: Professor Emeritus Kirsti Strøm Bull (UiO)
13:20 Right to state and other property  after the revolution and/or recognition of new government in Russia, contra Russian recognition of the Norwegian government in 1905: Professor Ola Mestad (UiO)
13:40 Real property law in pre- and post-soviet Russia: Has the Revolution altered Russia's legal regime? Professor Tina Hunter (University of Aberdeen)
14:00 How Russia became a market economy - or did it? Professor Kaj Hobér (University of Uppsala; Stockholm Chamber of Commerce)
14:30 Questions and discussion
14:50 Commentary/ Professor William E. Butler
15:00 - 15:15 Coffee break

Chair: Professor Alla Pozdnakova
15:15 The Martens Clause and Its Importance for the Development of International Humanitarian Law, Professor Gentian Zyberi (NCHR)
15:35 The Soviet Union and the negotiation of the UN Charter and universal human rights, 1941-1948: Professor Emeritus Åsbjørn Eide
15:50 Turbulent times: Finnish independence and civil war in a comparative context: Professor Jukka Kekkonen (University of Helsinki)
16:20 "Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic or so called "Stuchka’s Republic" (December 1918 – January 1920) as a Latvian statehood alternative and social experiment": Dr.iur. Elīna Grigore-Bāra (University of Latvia)
16:40 Commentary / Professor William E. Butler
17:00 Questions and round-up

(source: University of Oslo)