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The geopolitical background of the debates on international law in the mid-19th century
In the 1840s, Europeans often expressed a deep mistrust of the international order that had been created in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. This feeling resulted from the assertive and often illegal policies of the great powers which made a considerable number of people believe that the world was dominated by the strength of material power instead of written law. With this conviction, the questions of security, justice and international law became more and more debated in Europe. Some contemporaries desired to change the post- Napoleonic order by replacing it with a new one based on the principle of nationhood ensuring greater justice and a more stable peace among free European nations. During the same decade a similar debate on the political-legal coexistence with European countries spread in the United States. The goal of the paper is to reveal this important, but in historical and legal scholarship still neglected, phenomenon that existed in the mid-19th century on both sides of the Atlantic and contributed to the globalisation of international order.
Miroslav Šedivý (born in 1980, Prague) is a professor in general history at the University of Pardubice in the Czech Republic. He deals with the history of Europe and the Mediterranean spanning the period from the late 18th to the early 20th century. He has already published a trilogy on the functioning of the post-Napoleonic states system in the Near East (Metternich, the Great Powers and the Eastern Question, Pilsen 2013), Central Europe (Crisis among the Great Powers: The Concert of Europe and the Eastern Question, London– New York 2017) and Italy (The Decline of the Congress System: Metternich, Italy and European Diplomacy, London–New York 2018). His most recent book is on Si vis pacem, para bellum: The Italian Response to International Insecurity 1830–1848 (Vienna 2021). At this moment he is writing The Victory of Realism: The German Quest for International Security 1839–1853 (Paderborn 2023).
Tuesday 18 October 2022 17:00-19:00 CET
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Source: VUB Core