ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

donderdag 29 april 2021

BOOK: Dante FEDELE, The Medieval Foundations of International Law. Baldus de Ubaldis (1327-1400), Doctrine and Practice of the Ius Gentium [Legal History Library, 49; Studies in the History of International Law, 17, ed. Randall LESAFFER] (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, 2021). ISBN 978-90-04-44712-7

(image source: Brill)

On the book:

Dante Fedele’s new work of reference reveals the medieval foundations of international law through a comprehensive study of a key figure of late medieval legal scholarship: Baldus de Ubaldis (1327-1400). A student of Bartolus de Sassoferrato, Baldus wrote both extensive commentaries on Roman, canon and feudal law and thousands of consilia originating from particular cases. His writings dealt with numerous issues related to sovereignty, territorial jurisdiction, diplomacy and war, combining a rich conspectus of earlier scholarship with highly creative ideas that exercised a profound influence on later juristic thought. The detailed picture of the international law doctrines elaborated by a prominent medieval jurist offered in this study contributes to our understanding of the intellectual archaeology of international law. 

"Dr. Fedele’s monograph will no doubt become a necessary work of reference for any scholar interested in the history of international law. [...] Beyond the specific doctrines on particular areas of international law, Dr. Fedele’s study of Baldus shows how in the area of international governance, jurists sought to marshal different expressions of normativity." - Alain Wijffels, Foreword

 On the author:

Dante Fedele Ph.D. (2014), is Research Fellow at the CNRS (CHJ UMR 8025 - Lille). His publications on the history of diplomacy and international law include Naissance de la diplomatie moderne (XIIIe-XVIIe siècles). L’ambassadeur au croisement du droit, de l’éthique et de la politique (Nomos, 2017).

(read more with Brill

vrijdag 23 april 2021

BOOK: Glenda SLUGA, The Invention of International Order: Remaking Europe After Napoleon (Princeton: Princeton UP, NOV 2021), 336 p. ISBN 978-0691208213, € 30,82


(image source: amazon)


In 1814, after decades of continental conflict, an alliance of European empires captured Paris and exiled Napoleon Bonaparte, defeating French military expansionism and establishing the Concert of Europe. This new coalition planted the seeds for today's international order, wedding the idea of a durable peace to multilateralism, diplomacy, philanthropy, and rights, and making Europe its center. Glenda Sluga reveals how at the end of the Napoleonic wars, new conceptions of the politics between states were the work not only of European statesmen but also of politically ambitious aristocratic and bourgeois men and women who seized the moment at an extraordinary crossroads in history. In this panoramic book, Sluga reinvents the study of international politics, its limitations, and its potential. She offers multifaceted portraits of the leading statesmen of the age, such as Tsar Alexander, Count Metternich, and Viscount Castlereagh, showing how they operated in the context of social networks often presided over by influential women, even as they entrenched politics as a masculine endeavor. In this history, figures such as Madame de Staël and Countess Dorothea Lieven insist on shaping the political transformations underway, while bankers influence economic developments and their families agitate for Jewish rights. Monumental in scope, this groundbreaking book chronicles the European women and men who embraced the promise of a new kind of politics in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, and whose often paradoxical contributions to modern diplomacy and international politics still resonate today.

On the author:

Glenda Sluga is professor of international history and capitalism at the European University Institute, Florence, and Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow and professor of international history at the University of Sydney. Her books include Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism and Women, Diplomacy, and International Politics since 1500. Twitter @IntHist 

(source: amazon

woensdag 21 april 2021

WEBINAR: European Approaches to International Law in a Historical Perspective. Taking Stock of Some Contemporary Appraisals (Firenze: EUI, 11 MAY 2021)

(image: EUI; source: Wikimedia Commons)

This webinar aims to take stock of a series of recent publications adopting a critical and historical perspective to national approaches to international law in the European context.

The turn to history in international law has coincided with a heightened sensitivity to the need to explore international law from comparative and specific local/national perspectives. The intersection of these two movements has increased awareness of how national and local contexts have fundamentally contributed to shaping international legal rules, institutions and doctrines since the inception of the modern law of nations. It has also drawn attention to how the international dimension has influenced the conceptualization, interpretation and reform of law at the local/national levels. More and more, scholarship in international law has begun to uncover and scrutinize how political, economic, diplomatic, and historical elements affecting states might significantly contribute to introduce distinctive characteristics and peculiarities, or even diverging perspectives, to the international legal order and its rules.

Against this background, this webinar critically reflects on the legacy and characteristics (if any) of national approaches to international by bringing together recent scholarship on the European context as viewed from the perspective of broader debates in the history of international law.

The webinar is organized by the Department of Law of the EUI in cooperation with Roma Tre University and with the kind support of the European Society of International Law.


Session one (14.00-15.15)

The first panel will focus on overarching conceptual and methodological issues including the relevance of studies exploring potential national features; the relationship and dialogue (if any) among international scholars, legal historians and historians in this research; the long-term/contemporary legacy of national approaches; and the complex relationship between the domestic and global dimensions in the evolution of the discipline of international law.


Martti Koskennimi (University of Helsinki)

Inge van Hulle (University of Tilburg)

Jean-Marc Thouvenin (Hague Academy of International Law; University Paris X Nanterre)

Moderator: Neha Jain (European University Institute).

Q&A session with the virtual audience

Session Two (15.15-16.45)

The second session will take the form of an informal roundtable with the authors of some of the most recent scholarship in this area. Authors will be invited to discuss the rationale, methodological approaches, and main features of this scholarship. The conversation will be structured around a set of common themes such as points of commonality and divergence in the approach to national traditions present in such analysis; the role of international law and the academic community in signaling international/national historical markers in different contexts; and the potential legacy of national approaches in domestic contexts.


Peter Hilpold (University of Innsbruck)

Iulia Motoc (European Court of Human Rights, University of Bucharest)

Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral (University of Wuhan)

Vincent Genin (Catholic University of Leuven)

Giulio Bartolini (University of Roma Tre)

Moderator: Lauri Mälskoo (University of Tartu)

Q&A session with the virtual audience

Concluding observations: Veronika Bilkova (ESIL Secretary-General; University of Prague)

Registration link here.

dinsdag 20 april 2021

BOOK: Saikko KAIGA, Britain and the Intellectual Origins of the League of Nations, 1914–1919 (Cambridge: CUP, 2021), ISBN 9781108774130, 75 GBP


(image source: CUP)

Book abstract:

In this innovative account of the origins of the idea of the League of Nations, Sakiko Kaiga casts new light on the pro-League of Nations movement in Britain in the era of the First World War, revealing its unexpected consequences for the development of the first international organisation for peace. Combining international, social, intellectual history and international relations, she challenges two misunderstandings about the role of the movement: that their ideas about a league were utopian and that its peaceful ideal appealed to the war-weary public. Kaiga demonstrates how the original post-war plan consisted of both realistic and idealistic views of international relations, and shows how it evolved and changed in tandem with the war. She provides a comprehensive analysis of the unknown origins of the League of Nations and highlights the transformation of international society and of ideas about war prevention in the twentieth century to the present.

On the author:

Sakiko Kaiga is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo. 

(source: CUP

maandag 19 april 2021

BOOK: John SHOVLIN, Trading with the Enemy. Britain, France, and the 18th-Century Quest for a Peaceful World Order (New Haven (Conn.): Yale UP 2021), 352 p.


(image source: Yale UP)


Britain and France waged war eight times in the century following the Glorious Revolution, a mutual antagonism long regarded as a “Second Hundred Years’ War.” Yet officials on both sides also initiated ententes, free trade schemes, and colonial bargains intended to avert future conflict. What drove this quest for a more peaceful order? In this highly original account, John Shovlin reveals the extent to which Britain and France sought to divert their rivalry away from war and into commercial competition. The two powers worked to end future conflict over trade in Spanish America, the Caribbean, and India, and imagined forms of empire-building that would be more collaborative than competitive. They negotiated to cut cross-channel tariffs, recognizing that free trade could foster national power while muting enmity. This account shows that eighteenth-century capitalism drove not only repeated wars and overseas imperialism but spurred political leaders to strive for global stability.

On the author:

John Shovlin is associate professor of history at New York University and the author of The Bordeaux–Dublin Letters, 1757 and The Political Economy of Virtue. 

 (source: Yale UP)

dinsdag 13 april 2021

BOOK LAUNCH: Frédéric MÉGRET & Immi TALLGREN (eds.), The Dawn of a Discipline. International Criminal Justice and Its Early Exponents (Helsinki: Erik Castrén Institute, 26 APR 2021, ONLINE)

(image source: Helsinki)

Event abstract:

Welcome to the book launch of 'The Dawn of a Discipline – International Criminal Justice and Its Early Exponents' (Cambridge University Press, 2020) edited by Fréderic Mégret and Immi Tallgren on Monday, 26 April 2021, at 4-5.30 pm. Focusing principally on the inter-war years up to Nuremberg, this book examines the intellectual contribution of a dozen figures in the early development of international criminal justice. The book not only provides an in-depth study of these leading figures, but also contextualizes international criminal justice in its various intellectual stages addressing the diversity of ideas and questioning its hegemonic (white) male narrative. The presentation will bring together the contributors of the book who will discuss the  relevance of the respective authors, how their writings might help us interrogate the present moment of international criminal justice and what concepts have passed the test of time.

This book was earlier announced on this blog.

Register here.

maandag 12 april 2021

ESIL IGHIL Pre-Conference event: The Founding of Solidarity in the International Community (Catania, ESIL Research Forum, 15 APR 2021, ONLINE))


(image: Catania Port; source: Wikimedia Commons)

Welcome (09:00 CET)

Presentations (09:05 CET)


‘Louis Bara (1821-1857) and the Liberal-scientific Restatement of International Law in the Nineteenth Century Peace Movement’, Wouter De Rycke (Brussels) (30 minutes)

Discussion (15 minutes)


‘The Role of the Brazilian Academic Elite in the “Civilization Project” during the XIX Century: An Analysis from the Example of the Whitening of the Population’, Luisa Cortat Simonetti Goncalves-Renato Coutinho (Maastricht)

Discussion (15 minutes)

Break (5 minutes)


‘Views in the Literature on Interdisciplinarity Research Between History and Law’ Jaanika Erne (Tartu, ESIL IGHIL Steering Committee)

Discussion (15 minutes)

Interest Group Meeting (11:25 CET)

Registration is mandatory, until 23:59 CET on 12 April. Click here.

vrijdag 9 april 2021

BOOK: P. SEAN MORRIS (ed.), The League of Nations and the Development of International Law. A New Intellectual History of the Advisory Committee of Jurists [Routledge Research in Legal History] (London: Routledge, SEP 2021), ISBN 9780367897536


(image source: Routledge)

Book abstract:

This volume examines the contributions to International Law of individual members of the Advisory Committee of Jurists in the League of Nations, and the broader national and discursive legal traditions of which they were representative. It adopts a biographical approach that complements existing legal narratives. Pre-1914 visions of a liberal international order influenced the post-1919 world based on the rule of law in civilised nations. This volume focuses on leading legal personalities of this era. It discusses the scholarly work of the ACJ wise men, their biographical notes, and narrates their contribution as legal scholars and founding fathers of the sources of international law that culminated in their drafting of the statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, the forerunner of the International Court of Justice. The book examines visions of world law in a liberal international order through social theory and constructivism, historical examination of key developments that influenced their career and their scholarly writings and international law as a science. The book will be a valuable reference for those working in the areas of International Law, Legal History, Political History and International Relations.

Table of contents:

The "Wise Men" of the Advisory Committee of Jurists (ACJ) and Contemporary Legal Biography: An Introduction
P. Sean Morris

  1. The Legal Conscience of a Universal Man: Rafael Altamira y Crevea (1866 – 1951)
    Yolanda Gamarra
  2. National Political Ideologies and International Legal Practices: Raul Fernandes (1877 – 1968)
    Arthur Roberto Capella Giannattasio
  3. A Civilizational Pluralist and Inegalitarian: Mineichiro Adachi (1870 – 1934)
    Tetsuya Toyoda
  4. Francis Hagerup (1853 – 1921): A Norwegian Legal Internationalist
    Dag Michalsen
  5. Elihu Root (1845 – 1937): Architect and Advocate of the Permanent Court of International Justice
    William G. Ross
  6. Forgetting Albert Geouffre de Lapradelle (1871 – 1955) and Ignorance as Remembering
    Toni Selkälä
  7. Edouard Descamps (1847 – 1933): From Negative Neutrality to Positive Pacigerate
    Frederik Dhondt
  8. The Judicial-Churchman for Peace: Walter George Frank Phillimore (1855 – 1933)
    P. Sean Morris
  9. "Where is Your Tribunal?" Bernard Loder (1849 – 1935) and the Quest for International Justice
    Freya Baetens and Veronica Lavista
  10. The Italian Jurist and Diplomat at the Advisory Committee of Jurists: Arturo Ricci Busatti (1868 – 1923)
    Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina
On the editor:
P. Sean Morris is a research fellow at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, Finland.


(source: Routledge - DOI 10.4324/9781003020882


donderdag 8 april 2021

BOOK: Markus M. PAYK & Kim Christian PRIEMEL (eds.), Crafting the International Order. Practitioners and Practices of International Law since c.1800 [The History and Theory of International Law] (Oxford: OUP, 2021), 304 p. ISBN 9780198863830, 80 GBP


(image source: OUP)

Book description:

This volume sheds light on how lawyers have made sense of, engaged in, and shaped international politics over the past three hundred years. Chapters show how politicians and administrators, diplomats and military men, have considered their tasks in legal terms, and how the field of international relations has been filled with the distinctly legal vocabulary of laws, regulations, treaties, agreements, and conventions. Leading experts in the field provide insights into what it means when concrete decisions are taken, negotiations led, or controversies articulated and resolved by legal professionals. They also inquire into how the often-criticised gaps between juristic standards and everyday realities can be explained by looking at the very medium of law. Rather than sorting people and problems into binary categories such as 'law' and 'politics' or 'theory' and 'practice', the case studies in this volume reflect on these dichotomies and dissolve them into the messy realities of conflicts and interactions which take place in historically contingent situations, and in which international lawyers assume varying personas.

On the editors:

Edited by Marcus M. Payk, Professor of Modern History, Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg, and Kim Christian Priemel, Professor of Contemporary European History, University of Oslo Marcus M. Payk is professor of modern history at Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany. He has a special interest in international history, legal history, German and European history, and has published widely in these fields. His research has been supported by various grants and scholarships both in Europe and the United States. Kim Christian Priemel is professor of contemporary European history at the University of Oslo. He specializes in legal history, social and economic history, and media history. He has authored and edited several books and has published in the Journal of Modern History, the Journal of Contemporary History, and Central European History. 

Table of contents;:

 1:Introduction: Thinking Law, Talking Law, Doing Law: How Lawyers Craft(ed) the International Order, Marcus M. Payk and Kim Christian Priemel

2:Shaping a New Profession: Japanese Encounters with International Law, c. 1600-1900, Andrew Cobbing
3:Legal Practitioners: Nineteenth Century International Jurisdiction and the Ambiguous Role of the Members of the Mixed Commissions, Fabian Klose
4:Legal Advice, the Foreign Office, and Britain's Neutrality Policy, 1870-1914, Gabriela A. Frei
5:The First R2P: US Legal Advisers and the Right to Protect Citizens in the Early Twentieth Century Americas, Benjamin A. Coates
6:Hammarskjöld at The Hague: Sweden and the Peace Conference of 1907, Michael Jonas
7:The Draughtsmen: International Lawyers and the Crafting of the Paris Peace Treaties, 1919-20, Marcus M. Payk
8:Legal Legwork: How Exiled Jurists Negotiated Recognition and Legitimacy in Wartime London 1939-45, Julia Eichenberg
9:Changing Hats. Nuremberg's Visible College and the Politics of Internationalism, 1941-49, Kim Christian Priemel
10:Fluid Boundaries in the Divisible College: The International Law Association and the Indus Waters Dispute in the 1950s, Katharina Rietzler
11:Agents of Constitutionalism: The Quest for a Constitutional Breakthrough in European Law, 1945-1964, Morten Rasmussen

(source: OUP

woensdag 7 april 2021

ESIL RESEARCH FORUM CATANIA: Deadline for registration extended (12 APRIL 2021)

(image source: unict)

The organising committee of the 2021 ESIL Research Forum in Catania (where the IGHIL organizes a pre-conference event) have communicated that the deadline for registration has been extended to 12 April 2021.

Further details earlier on our blog.

See also the event's website for further information.

dinsdag 6 april 2021

LECTURE (recorded): David ARMITAGE on intellectual history and treaties (London: LSE, 18 MAR 2021)

(image source: fineartamerica)

Prof. David Armitage's lecture on treaties and intellectual history at LSE (announced earlier on this blog) has been recorded and rendered publicly available in MP3-format here.

maandag 5 april 2021

VACANCY: Assistant Professor in Legal History (Tilburg: Tilburg University, DEADLINE 25 APR 2021)


(image source: drieam)

Job description:

As assistant professor, you develop and teach courses in the bachelor Global Law (English, courses History of International Law and Global Legal History), and in the master International Law and Global Governance (English, course History and Theory of International). You will supervise master theses. You also participate in research carried out by the team of the legal philosophy, jurisprudence and legal history scholars, part of the Department of Public Law and Governance. In the course of your appointment, you will develop a research profile, in line with the research profile and priorities of the Law School. The research conducted within Tilburg Law School is aimed at both scientific and societal relevance. It is organized into several cross-departmental research programs, including Global Law and Governance, New Modes of Lawmaking and Governance in a Multilayered Order, Law and Security, and Law and Technology. Key research themes of legal history include the history of international law, the history of commercial law and the history of public law and governance. Your teaching and research is managed according to PLG’s Work Allocation Model (WAM), where the general ratio for full-time academic staff is 60% Teaching and Service and 40% Research.

More information here

vrijdag 2 april 2021

VACANCY: Assistant Professor in International and Comparative Law (Tilburg: Tilburg University, DEADLINE 26 APR 2021)


(image source: drieam)

Job description:

As our Assistant Professor, you develop and teach a range of courses principally in the domains of International Law and Global Law, but also have competence to teach courses in Comparative Law and International Arbitration. Your courses will span a number of teaching programs, such as the: International Law and Global Governance LLM; the Global Law LLB; EU Law and Global Risk LLM, and the Rechtsgeleerdheid LLB (your teaching in English). Further, you conduct research individually, and develop a research profile compatible with the research profiles and priorities of the Law School. Research within Tilburg Law School is organized into several cross-departmental research programs, notably as: Global Law and Governance, or Law and Technology. Your teaching and research is managed according to PLG’s Work Allocation Model (WAM), where the general ratio for full-time academic staff is 60% Teaching and Service and 40% Research.

(read further here

donderdag 1 april 2021

ZOOM SEMINAR: Nehal BHUTA, The State Theory of Grotius (St Andrews, ILCR - IIH, 8 APR 2021)


(source: Twitter; click on image to enlarge for full details)

Nehal Bhuta (Edinburgh Law School) will hold a talk on "The State Theory of Grotius", organized by the University of St Andrews (ILCR and IIH) on Zoom. Click on the image above to enlarge the image and obtain details.

(source: Twitter)