ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

Tuesday 31 August 2021

BOOK: Kathryn GREENMAN, State Responsibility and Rebels. The History and Legacy of Protecting Investment Against Revolution [Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law; 161] (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), ISBN 9781009043779, 85 GBP


(image source: CUP)

Book abstract:
This book traces the emergence and contestation of State responsibility for rebels during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. In the context of decolonisation and capitalist expansion in Latin America, it argues that the mixed claims commissions-and the practices of intervention associated with them-served to insulate economic order against revolution, by taking the question of who assumed the risk of harm by rebels out of the scope of national authority. The jurisprudence of the commissions was contradictory and ambiguous. It took a lot of interpretive work by later scholars and codifiers to rationalise rules of responsibility out of these shaky foundations, as they battled for the meaning and authority of the arbitral practice. The legal debates were structured around whether the standard of protection against rebels owed to aliens was nationally or internationally determined and whether it was domestic or international authority that adjudicated such standard-a struggle over the internationalisation of protection against rebels.
On the author:
Kathryn Greenman is Lecturer in Law at the University of Technology Sydney. She is a co-editor of Revolutions in International Law: The Legacies of 1917 (Cambridge University Press, 2021) with Anne Orford, Ntina Tzouvala and Anna Saunders.

(source: CUP

Monday 30 August 2021

BOOK: Dominique BAUER & Randall C.H. LESAFFER (eds.), History, Casuistry and Custom in the Legal Thought of Francisco Suárez (1548-1617). Collected Studies [Legal History Library, 51; Studies in the History of International Law, 19] (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, 2021), viii + 160 p. ISBN 9789004464803, € 93


(image source: Brill)

Book abstract:
The thought and work of the Jesuit Francisco Suárez (1548-1617) is widely acknowledged as the culmination point of the contribution of the theologians and jurists of the so-called School of Salamanca to the development of modern Western law. This collection of studies on the legal work of Suárez explores some of his major forays into the law. Both his theoretical system-building as well as his interventions in practical questions are covered. Next to discussions on the nature of law and its different categorisations, they extend to various subbranches of the law including family law, property law, the law of obligations, criminal law and international law.


Dominique Bauer, Daniel Schwartz, João Manuel Azevedo Alexandrino Fernandes, Lisa Brunori, Wim Decock, Bart Wauters, Gaëlle Demelemestre, Jean-Paul Coujou, and Cintia Faraco.  

Read more with Brill (DOI 10.1163/9789004464810

Friday 27 August 2021

BOOK: Richard WHATMORE, The History of Political Thought: A Very Short Introduction [Very Short Introductions] (Oxford: OUP, 2021), 160 p. ISBN 9780198853725


(image source: OUP)

Thinking about politics has tended to be historical in nature because of the comparisons and contrasts that can be drawn between past and present. Different periods in politics have used the past differently. At times political thought can be said to have been drawn directly from the study of history; at others, perhaps including our own time, the relationship is more indirect. This Very Short Introduction explores the core concerns and questions in the field of the history of political thought. Richard Whatmore considers the history of political thought as a branch of political philosophy/political science, and examines the approaches of core theorists such as Reinhart Koselleck, Strauss, Michel Foucault, and the so-called Cambridge School of Quentin Skinner and John Pocock. Assessing the current relationship between political history, theory and action, Whatmore concludes with an analysis of its relevant for current politics.

On the author:

 Richard Whatmore is a Professor of Modern History and Co-Director of the Institute of Intellectual History at the University of St. Andrews. He is the author of Republicanism and the French Revolution (OUP, 2000); Against War and Empire (Yale, 2012); What is Intellectual History? (Polity, 2015); and Terrorists, Anarchists and Republicans (Princeton, 2019).

(read more with OUP

Thursday 26 August 2021

BOOK: Daniel LEE, The Right of Sovereignty. Jean Bodin on the Sovereign State and the Law of Nations [The History and Theory of International Law] (Oxford: OUP, 2021), 320 p. ISBN 9780198755531, 80 GBP


(image source: OUP)

Sovereignty is the vital organizing principle of modern international law. This book examines the origins of that principle in the legal and political thought of its most influential theorist, Jean Bodin (1529/30-1596). As the author argues in this study, Bodin's most lasting theoretical contribution was his thesis that sovereignty must be conceptualized as an indivisible bundle of legal rights constitutive of statehood. While these uniform 'rights of sovereignty' licensed all states to exercise numerous exclusive powers, including the absolute power to 'absolve' and release its citizens from legal duties, they were ultimately derived from, and therefore limited by, the law of nations. The book explores Bodin's creative synthesis of classical sources in philosophy, history, and the medieval legal science of Roman and canon law in crafting the rules governing state-centric politics. The Right of Sovereignty is the first book in English on Bodin's legal and political theory to be published in nearly a half-century and surveys themes overlooked in modern Bodin scholarship: empire, war, conquest, slavery, citizenship, commerce, territory, refugees, and treaty obligations. It will interest specialists in political theory and the history of modern political thought, as well as legal history, the philosophy of law, and international law.

On the author:
Daniel Lee is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in political theory, the history of political thought, and jurisprudence. He is the author of Popular Sovereignty in Early Modern Constitutional Thought (OUP, 2016) and A Division of the Whole Law (forthcoming with OUP).

(source: OUP

Wednesday 25 August 2021

BOOK: Edward JONES CORREDERA, The Diplomatic Enlightenment. Spain, Europe, and the Age of Speculation [History of European Political and Constitutional Thought; 5] (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, 2021), ISBN 978-90-04-46906-8


(image source: Brill)

Book abstract:

This book reconfigures the study of the origins of the Enlightenment in the Spanish Empire. Challenging dominant interpretations of the period, this book shows that early eighteenth-century Spanish authors turned to Enlightenment ideas to reinvent Spain’s role in the European balance of power. And while international law grew to provide a legal framework that could safeguard peace, Spanish officials, diplomats, and authors, hardened by the failure of Spanish diplomacy, sought instead to regulate international relations by drawing on investment, profit, and self-interest. The book shows, on the basis of new archival research, that the Diplomatic Enlightenment sought to turn the Spanish Empire into a space for closer political cooperation with other European and non-European states and empires.

Table of contents:


1 The Missing Century
 The Enlightenment, the Nation, and Modern Spain
 1 Introduction
 2 The Nineteenth-Century Spanish Enlightenment
 3 The Twentieth-Century View of the Absence of the Spanish Enlightenment
 4 Religion and the Spanish Political Elites
 5 The Diplomatic Enlightenment

2 Predicting War and Peace
 1 Introduction
 2 Spain, Europe, and Arbitrary Monarchy
 3 Crisis and Catharsis: The Dawn of the Early Spanish Enlightenment
 4 What News Do You Bring?
 5 Information Overload and Elite Political Debate

3 Investing in the Luces
 1 Introduction
 2 Shorting Diplomacy
 3 Representations of the Spanish Empire
 4 The Assembly of Public Trust
 5 Luces in the Mines
 6 The Seminary of Lawsuits: Law, Trade, and Corporations
 7 José Carvajal y Lancaster and the Arbitration of Europe
 8 Private Vices, Public Virtues, and Diplomatic Cooperation
 9 Coins, Corporations, China, and Europe
 10 The Naval Officer and the Aristocrat

4 Revolts and Returns
Free Trade and the Fear of Independence
 1 Introduction
 2 Investing in a New Timepiece
 3 Mapping Reform in Enlightenment Europe
 4 Free Trade: The Farce of Independence and the Growth of Spanish Political Economic Debate
 5 The Perils of Emulation: Corporations and the Meaning of the Spanish Empire
 6 The Criticism of Carvajal’s Joint-Stock Companies

5 The Lever of the Balance of Power
 1 Introduction
 2 Iberia’s Role in Europe
 3 Borders and Trade
 4 Investing in Peace
 5 A Monarchy without a King

6 Carthage’s Contractors
The Ends of the Spanish Empire
 1 Introduction
 2 The Grain Monopoly and the Voice of the People
 3 The Idea of the Nation: Outsourcing Propaganda and Colonisation
 4 Constitutionalism in the Spanish Empire and the International Order

7 Conclusion


On the author:

Edward Jones Corredera is a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge in 2020.

(see Brill's site: DOI 10.1163/9789004469099)

Tuesday 24 August 2021

BOOK: Marcel BERNI & Tamara CUBITO (Eds.), Captivity in War during the Twentieth Century - The Forgotten Diplomatic Role of Transnational Actors (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). ISBN 978-3-030-65094-0, 127.19 EUR


(Source: Palgrave)

Palgrave Macmillan is publishing a book on the role of IOs, neutral nations and other transnational actors in supporting civilian and military captives in the 20th century.  


This book offers new international perspectives on captivity in wartime during the twentieth century. It explores how global institutions and practices with regard to captives mattered, how they evolved and most importantly, how they influenced the treatment of captives. From the beginning of the twentieth century, international organisations, neutral nations and other actors with no direct involvement in the respective wars often had to fill in to support civilian as well as military captives and to supervise their treatment. This edited volume puts these actors, rather than the captives themselves, at the centre in order to assess comparatively their contributions to wartime captivity. Taking a global approach, it shows that transnational bodies - whether non-governmental organisations, neutral states or individuals - played an essential role in dealing with captives in wartime. Chapters cover both the largest wars, such as the two World Wars, but also lesser-known conflicts, to highlight how captives were placed at the centre of transnational negotiations.


Marcel Berni is a Research and Teaching Fellow at the Swiss Military Academy at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He specialises in the history of the Cold War. His dissertation on the treatment of communist captives during Vietnam's American War has won the André Corvisier Prize.

Tamara Cubito is a Research and Teaching Fellow at the Swiss Military Academy at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. She recently completed her PhD on the treatment of enemy aliens in the British colonies during the First World War.


More info here

(source: ESCLH Blog)

Monday 23 August 2021

BLOG: Bruno LIMA, “Hidden thunder”: Who Was Luiz Gama? (Legal History Insights Blog, MPILHLT)

(image source: Legal History Insights)

First paragraph:

In 1847, fourteen years after escaping slavery in Kentucky (USA), William Wells Brown published an autobiography that soon became a best-seller and a landmark in the abolitionist propaganda. The epigraph of Brown’s famous Narrative brought about an existential question. Or, rather, a plea, that reflected the author’s state of mind:

Read more here.

Friday 20 August 2021

BOOK: Philippe RYGIEL, L’ordre des circulations ? L’Institut de Droit international et la régulation des migrations (1870-1920) [Coll. « Histoire contemporaine »] (Paris: Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2021), ISBN 9791035106348


(image source: CNRS Histoire Sociale)

Le contrôle des migrations affectant le territoire d’un État est souvent conçu comme relevant de la seule compétence de celui-ci : tout passage de frontière, tout séjour d’un étranger, pourtant, mettent en contact plusieurs souverainetés et instaurent entre elles des échanges, des négociations, ou suscitent des conflits. Les fondateurs du droit international moderne, réunis à la fin du XIXe siècle par l’Institut de droit international, en étaient bien conscients. Fins observateurs du monde de leur temps, qu’ils entendaient ordonner selon le droit, ils consacrent alors aux implications des mobilités humaines des milliers de pages, et au meilleur moyen de les régler de nombreux débats, soucieux qu’ils étaient d’instaurer un ordre des circulations libéral, condition à leurs yeux de la prospérité de chacun et de la paix entre les nations occidentales. Ils entreprennent ainsi, non sans connaître de véritables succès, d’assurer un statut juridique aux étrangers résidant en Occident, de protéger les réfugiés de la vindicte des États, de dénoncer enfin les entraves trop manifestes à la liberté de circulation. Les guerres brutales que connut l’Europe, sa division en aires d’influence rivales, l’affaissement de la civilisation européenne consécutif à la Première Guerre mondiale ont fait tomber dans l’oubli ces travaux fondateurs autant que leurs réalisations effectives, dont beaucoup ne survécurent toutefois pas à l’effondrement du monde qui les avait vu naître. Ce livre retrace leur histoire et leurs combats, en un temps que marque à nouveau autant la nécessité d’un ordre mondial des mobilités humaines que l’apparente impossibilité de le faire advenir.

(read more here

Thursday 19 August 2021

BOOK: Annabel BRETT, Megan DONALDSON & Martti KOSKENNIEMI (eds.), History, Politics, Law. Thinking Through the International (Cambridge: CUP, SEP 2021), ISBN 9781108903516


(image source: CUP)


Historians of political thought and international lawyers have both expanded their interest in the formation of the present global order. History, Politics, Law is the first express encounter between the two disciplines, juxtaposing their perspectives on questions of method and substance. The essays throw light on their approaches to the role of politics and the political in the history of the world beyond the single polity. They discuss the contrast between practice and theory as well as the role of conceptual and contextual analyses in both fields. Specific themes raised for both disciplines include statehood, empires and the role of international institutions, as well as the roles of economics, innovation and gender. The result is a vibrant cross-section of contrasts and parallels between the methods and practices of the two disciplines, demonstrating the many ways in which both can learn from each other.

On the editors:

Annabel Brett, University of Cambridge Annabel Brett is a leading historian of late medieval and early modern political thought, with a particular interest in natural law and the law of nations. She is the author of Liberty, Right and Nature: Individual Rights in Later Scholastic Thought (1997) and Changes of State: Nature and the Limits of the City in Early Modern Natural Law (2011).  Martti Koskenniemi is a leading critical scholar of the theory and history of international law. His works are studied by lawyers, historians and international relations scholars across the world. He has held visiting professorships at many of world's leading universities, is Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Martti Koskenniemi, University of Helsinki Megan Donaldson, University College London Megan Donaldson has published on nineteenth and twentieth-century shifts in treaty-making, statehood and international organisations. Her forthcoming monograph traces the evolution of secrecy in the international legal order.


Annabel Brett, Martti Koskenniemi, David Kennedy, Armin von Bogdandy and Adeel Hussain, Jennifer Pitts, Emma Hunter, Megan Donaldson, Surabhi Ranganathan, Joel Isaac, Anna Becker, Karen Knop

(read more on Cambridge Core

Wednesday 18 August 2021

JOURNAL: Outre-Mers. Revue d'histoire 410-411 [Numéro Spécial: L'impérialisme informel de la France et de l'Espagne au XIXe siècle] (JUN 2021)


(image source: SFHOM)


"La Société Française d’Histoire des Outre-mers publie dans ce numéro de sa revue un travail novateur d’Arnaud Bartolomei, de Xavier Huetz De Lemps et de Martín Rodrigo Y Alharilla sur l’impérialisme informel de la France et de l’Espagne au XIXe siècle. Si la notion d’impérialisme informel a été mobilisée par les historiens britanniques pour comprendre la puissance coloniale hégémonique d’outre-manche, cette notion a été plus rarement sollicitée pour analyser les trajectoires impériales d’autres puissances européennes. Les auteurs pallient cette carence pour les empires français et espagnol dont l’historiographie s’est trop longtemps attachée à la seule conquête territoriale afin d’évaluer leur puissance impériale. Toute proportion gardée avec le modèle britannique, les auteurs interrogent la puissance heuristique d’une telle perspective et les modalités de domination informelle envisagées par la France et l’Espagne au XIXe siècle. David Todd focalise son attention sur les agents français et les collaborateurs autochtones des outre-mers, sur les promoteurs et les bénéficiaires de ces nouvelles formes d’influence en France métropolitaine. Ce cadre établi, Arnaud Bartolomei, Manuel Talamante et Xavier Daumalin ouvrent respectivement des perspectives sur l’expansion commerciale de la France au Mexique, à Montevideo mais aussi en Afrique. Pour l’Espagne, les contributions d’Eloy Martín Corrales et de Juan Inarejos Muñoz portent sur l’analyse des motivations des politiques d’expansion espagnole qui vont à l’encontre de la seule lecture de la « matrice » du désastre de 1898. D’autres acteurs et d’autres intentions ont pu générer de nouvelles formes d’impérialisme. Martín Rodrigo y Alharilla et Lizbeth Chaviano Pérez montrent ainsi que la question de l’esclavage et de la traite a constitué le principal moteur de l’implantation de l’Espagne en Afrique sub-saharienne. De même, L. Chaviano Pérez met clairement en évidence des formes de sous-impérialisme informel en montrant que le sort des établissements espagnols en Guinée a été intimement lié aux intérêts cubains et aux pressions de ses planteurs. En focalisant leur attention sur la fin de l’époque moderne et le début de la reprise de l’expansion européenne dans le dernier tiers du XIXe siècle, l’ensemble de ces contributions invite le lecteur à appréhender les « conditions d’une domination économique » qui se voulait « si possible exclusive ou privilégiée, sur le reste du monde »."

(source: SFHOM

BLOG: Christian POGIES, The Cannon. A Tool for Delimiting Maritime Space (Legal History Insights, MPILHLT)

(image source: MPILHLT)

 First paragraph:

This is the story of the cannon as a tool to delimit maritime space in the history of the law of the sea. It is a story that spans from the 17th to the 20th century – it is a story about a state practice that became legal theory, technological progress and Western dominance in international law.

Read more here.

Tuesday 17 August 2021

JOURNAL: Monde(s) 19 [La Société des nations. Une expérience de l'internationalisme, eds. Jean-Michel GUIEU & Stanislas JEANNESSON] (JUL 2021) (ISBN 9782753582682)


(image source: CAIRN)

« L’expérience de Genève » (1920-1946) (Jean-Michel Guieu & Stanislas Jeannesson)

The League of Nations Secretariat: An Experiment in Liberal Internationalism? (Karen Gram-Skjoldager & Haakon Andreas Ikonomou)

Employées à la Société des nations : carrières et conditions de travail, 1920-1932 (Myriam Piguet)

Usages du droit et espaces de pouvoir transnationaux. La pratique pétitionnaire de la section des minorités de la SDN face aux rescapés d’un crime de masse, 1920-1939 (Dzovinar Kévonian)

Beware of Pity: The League of Nations’ Treatment of Prostitution (Magaly Rodríguez García)

Breaking Even for the Future: The Financial History of the League of Nations Between 1919 and 1933 (Hannah Tyler)

Joseph Paul-Boncour à Genève : une pratique de l’internationalisme (Matthieu Boisdron)

Un Uruguayen à Genève : Julián Nogueira et l’internationalisme latino-américain à la Société des nations (Yannick Wehrli)

Missed Opportunities to be Global Conversion and Diversion of the Scientific Field of Knowledge of International Relations of the International Studies Conference and the Institute of Pacific Relations (Tomoko Akami)

Débat autour d'un livre
Les États-Unis et la Société des nations (1914-1946) Le système international face à l’émergence d’une superpuissance, Berne, Peter Lang, 2016 (Andrew Barros, Nicolas Vaicbourdt, Ludovic Tournès)

En quête de légitimité. Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge et l’Afrique durant les années 1960 (Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps)

Les maoïstes suisses et « l’or de Pékin » au cœur de la Guerre froide (Cyril Cordoba)

Read all articles on Cairn. Or buy the special issue in book form with the PUR.

Monday 16 August 2021

BOOK: Peter SCHRÖDER (ed.) Concepts and Contexts of Vattel's Political and Legal Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), ISBN 9781108784009


(image source: CUP)

Swiss-born Emer de Vattel (1714–1767) was one of the last eminent thinkers of natural law. He shaped the later part of early-modern natural jurisprudence. At the time, the subject had become a fashionable academic sub-discipline in both jurisprudence and philosophy. Vattel's considerable impact on statesmen, political thinkers, diplomats and lawyers during his lifetime and after rested primarily on the fact that his The Law of Nations (1758) transformed natural law into the basis of a more comprehensive and practicable theory of interstate relations. His ideas served to promote reform programmes whose comprehensive natures spanned the domains of economic reform, constitutionalism and international diplomacy and foreign trade policy. Vattel's conception centred round the principle that defined all sovereign states as nations composed of societies of free men and profoundly influenced legal and political debates in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

See table of contents on Cambridge Core.