ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

donderdag 7 februari 2019

ADVANCE ARTICLE: Ignacio DE LA RASILLA DEL MORAL, "The Problem of Periodization in the History of International Law" (Law & History Review)

(image source: Cambridge Core)

"To illustrate the central if often overlooked role that periodization plays in the history of international law, this article proceeds in three parts. The first part critically discusses six approaches to periodization in the history of international law: the hegemonic, the Eurocentric universalist, the state-centric, the doctrinal, the institutional, and the normative. The second part studies how, in the wake of the recent “turn to history” in international legal scholarship, a new critical historiography has problematized the question of periodization because of the homogenizing effect and the “teleology of progress” to which periodization is interpreted as contributing. This part also shows that even despite a radical postmodern critique of periodization that distrusts “great meta-narratives,” alternative meta-narratives and ideological frameworks nonetheless structure other periodizations for contemporary historians of international law. The third part elaborates on the heuristic potential of a multiperspective approach to the question of periodization, and addresses the notion of “alternative periodization.” With examples from a new wave of literature on the history of international law, it illustrates its value as a launch pad for the “formation of new formerly unknown periods,” a task that can be considered “an essential part of historiographical innovation.”

Read the article on Cambridge Core (open access).

(source: Legal History Blog)