ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

donderdag 6 augustus 2020

ARTICLE: Valentina VADI, 'International Law and Its Histories: Methodological Risks and Opportunities' (Harvard International Law Journal LVIII (2017), No. 2, 311-352


Abstract:
The history of international law has recently come to the forefront of legal debate. Broadly defined as the field of study that examines the evolution of public international law and investigates state practice, the development of given legal concepts and theories, and the life and work of its makers, in recent years, the history of international law has attracted growing attention. Despite this flourishing, the history of international law is still in search of a proper methodology. Two cultures of writing compete in the making of international legal history: a “historians’ history” and a “jurists’ history.” While historians are interested in the past for its own sake and put legal history in context, lawyers tend to be interested in the past for its effects on the present. The existence of, and sometimes competition between, these two methodologies raises an important question: should international legal historians confine themselves to choosing between these two methodologies, or should they be free to adopt a comprehensive and interdisciplinary stance? This Article aims to address this question and investigate the methodological risks and opportunities of writing the histories of international law.
Read the full article here.