ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

dinsdag 16 mei 2017

BOOK: Dante FEDELE, Naissance de la diplomatie moderne (XIIIe-XVIIe siècles). L'ambassadeur au croisement du droit, de l'éthique et de la politique [Studien sur Geschichte des Völkerrechts; 36). Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag, 2017, 830 p. ISBN 9783848741274, € 198.

(image source: Nomos)

Dante Fedele (KULeuven) published his PhD dissertation (ENS Lyon) in the collection Studien zur Geschichte des Völkerrechts (Nomos).

The author investigates the birth of modern diplomacy. Drawing on a wide-ranging body of textual materials dealing with the ambassador from the 13th to the 17th century, he analyses how that figure was developed within a complex constantly renewed field of interaction between law, ethics and politics, where theory and practise are intertwined in an unresolved dialectical interaction. The first part examines how the legal status of the ambassador was shaped during the late Middle Ages and how this process influenced early-modern scholarship on diplomacy. The second part investigates how the emergence of the modern State both reinvigorated and reshaped the scholarly approaches to the different themes linked to the figure of the ambassador. The third part proposes an account of how the professional status of the ambassador developed within the examined body of literature. Through the prism of these approaches, diplomacy appears as a foundational matrix of modern political rationality.

More information on the publisher's website.

vrijdag 12 mei 2017

BOOK: Elisabetta FIOCCHI MALASPINA, L'eterno ritorno del Droit des gens di Emer de Vattel (secc. XVIII-XIX). L'impatto sulla cultura giuridica in prospettiva globale [Global Perspectives on Legal History, 8]. Frankfurt: MPI, 2017

Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina, L'eterno ritorno del Droit des gens di Emer de Vattel (secc. XVIII-XIX), May 2017

Global Perspectives on Legal History 8

With “L'eterno ritorno del Droit des gens di Emer de Vattel (secc. XVIII-XIX)” by Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina, the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History presents the newest publication in its book series "Global Perspectives on Legal History".

Global Perspectives on Legal History is a book series edited and published by the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
As its title suggests, the series is designed to advance the scholarly research of legal historians worldwide who seek to transcend the established boundaries of national legal scholarship that typically sets the focus on a single, dominant modus of normativity and law. The series aims to privilege studies dedicated to reconstructing the historical evolution of normativity from a global perspective.
It includes monographs, editions of sources, and collaborative works. All titles in the series are available both as premium print-on-demand and in the open-access format.
More information on the series and forthcoming volumes:

Prof. Dr. iur. Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina is Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich

L'eterno ritorno del Droit des gens di Emer de Vattel (secc. XVIII-XIX)
L'impatto sulla cultura giuridica in prospettiva globale
Global Perspectives on Legal History 8
Frankfurt am Main: Max Planck Institute for European Legal History 2017. 364 p., € 17,69 D
ISBN: 978-3-944773-07-0
Open Access Online Edition:

The numerous editions and early translations produced throughout the eighteenth century enabled the broad dissemination of Emer de Vattel’s juridical-political work Droit des gens. This book investigates the global impact of the Droit des gens with regard to the different political realities, the historical and legal contexts as well as the attempts, mechanisms and strategies used to put these ideas into practice and establish new doctrine between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The Droit des gens had an extremely diverse impact, owing to its varied reception in different political situations, historical and legal contexts, and attempts at practical and theoretical implementation. The fact that Vattel’s book was a point of reference for a considerable number of jurists and politicians further demonstrates its authority in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The question naturally arises whether the continuous references to the work may be regarded as «typical citations of style», simply confined to referencing Vattel’s thought, or whether they are a clear sign of a deeper significance; one springing directly from the characteristics of the Droit des gens, with its capacity to organise and regulate the State in its domestic and international relations.
The dissemination of the Droit des gens is reconstructed via a broad overview of the dynamics that actually underpinned the use of the treatise, ranging from its influence on political power in domestic and foreign affairs to its use as a guidebook for diplomats and consuls, and even its use as a teaching manual.
Co-existing in Vattel’s work are several topics—the legislative, the political and the social—which are developed independently of one another, yet are part of one unified framework. The book aims to bring together a study of the first publication in 1758 of Vattel’s Droit des gens, its constant interaction with subsequent editions, translations and annotated versions carried out by jurists in the 19th century its critical reception (both positive and negative) in relation to the more complex legislative contexts. The publishing history of the Droit des gens will be accompanied by the methodological aspect—closely bound to the need to write a global legal history—in which translation, in the broader sense of the term, plays a key role. Concepts of fashion and modernity are examined within the context of the practical and theoretical legal entanglements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, thanks to the voices of distinguished jurists and politicians who made use of the Droit des gens and who translated and annotated it, thereby encouraging the assimilation—not always unadulterated—of Vattel’s thinking.

(Source: ESCLH blog)

SYMPOSIUM: Evaluating the Turn to History of International Law (ESIL Conference, Naples, 6 Sep 2017)

ESIL 2017 Annual Conference

Symposium of the 
Interest Group on the History of International Law

“Evaluating the Turn to History of International Law” 

Naples, Wednesday, 6 September 2017
13:00-17:00, Venue TBA

13:00: Welcome and Opening Remarks
Thomas Skouteris (The American University in Cairo)

13:00-14:30: Session 1
Martin Clark (London School of Economics): “Ambivalences, anxieties / Adaptations, advances”
Valentina Vadi (Lancaster University): “International Law and its Microhistories”
Amrita Mukherjee (University of Leeds): “Subaltern Studies & International Law”
DiscussantGerry Simpson (London School of Economics)
ModeratorThomas Skouteris (The American University in Cairo)

15:00-16:30: Session 2
Miriam Bak Mackenna (Lund University) & Matilda Arvidsson (Lund University): “The ‘turn to history’ and the sources doctrine in international law: disruption, democratization, and distress
Jan Martin Lemnitzer (University of Southern Denmark): “Writing a new history of international criminal law – where do we start?
Immi Tallgren (University of Helsinki)A turn to women? Histories of ‘international criminal lawyers
DiscussantIgnacio de la Rasilla del Moral (Brunel University)
ModeratorInge van Hulle (Tilburg University)

16:30: Closing remarks and discussion on future activities of the IGHIL

Symposium Conveners/ IGHIL Coordinating Committee Members
Frederik Dhondt, Inge van Hulle, Ignacio de lRasilladel Moral, and Thomas Skouteris

vrijdag 28 april 2017

BOOK: Juan Pablo SCARFI, The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas: Empire and Legal Networks (Oxford: OUP, 2017, ISBN 9780190622343, 280 p., 55 GBP)

(image source: OUP)

Juan Pablo Scarfi (University San Martín) is due to publish The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas: Empire and Legal Networks with OUP.

Book description:
International law has played a crucial role in the construction of imperial projects. Yet within the growing field of studies about the history of international law and empire, scholars have seldom considered this complicit relationship in the Americas. The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas offers the first exploration of the deployment of international law for the legitimization of U.S. ascendancy as an informal empire in Latin America. This book explores the intellectual history of a distinctive idea of American international law in the Americas, focusing principally on the evolution of the American Institute of International Law (AIIL). This organization was created by U.S. and Chilean jurists James Brown Scott and Alejandro Alvarez in Washington D.C. for the construction, development, and codification of international law across the Americas. Juan Pablo Scarfi examines the debates sparked by the AIIL over American international law, intervention and non-intervention, Pan-Americanism, the codification of public and private international law and the nature and scope of the Monroe Doctrine, as well as the international legal thought of Scott, Alvarez, and a number of jurists, diplomats, politicians, and intellectuals from the Americas. Professor Scarfi argues that American international law, as advanced primarily by the AIIL, was driven by a U.S.-led imperial aspiration of civilizing Latin America through the promotion of the international rule of law. By providing a convincing critical account of the legal and historical foundations of the Inter-American System, this book will stimulate debate among international lawyers, IR scholars, political scientists, and intellectual historians.
Table of contents:
 Introduction: Hemispheric Legal Networks and Languages in the Americas
Chapter 1: Towards a Pan-American Legal Order: The Rise of US Hemispheric Hegemony and Elihu Root's Visit to South America
Chapter 2: Forging and Consolidating a Hemispheric Legal Network: The Creation of the American Institute of International Law and the Encounter between Scott and Alvarez
Chapter 3: The Pan-American Redefinition of the Monroe Doctrine and the Emerging Language of American International Law
Chapter 4: International Organisation and Hegemony: The Codification of American International Law and the Tensions between Scott and Alvarez
Chapter 5: The Debate over Intervention at Havana and the Crisis of the American Institute of International Law: Scott´s Displacement of Alvarez
Chapter 6: From Pan-Americanism to Multilateral Inter-Americanism: The Impact of the Anti-War Treaty, the Principle of Non-intervention and Sovereign Equality at Montevideo and the Dissolution of the American Institute of International Law
Conclusion: From US Hemispheric to Global Hegemony: Assessing the Legacy of American International Law and the American Institute of International Law in the Americas
Appendix A: Constitution of the American Institute of International Law (1913)
Appendix B: American Institute of International Law, "Declaration of Rights and Duties of Nations" (1915)
Appendix C: Platt Amendment (1901)
Bibliography Index
On the author:
Juan Pablo Scarfi is a Research Associate at the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), and teaches international relations and international law at the School of Politics and Government at the National University of San Martín, Argentina. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2014. He was a Visiting Scholar at University College London (Institute of the Americas) and Columbia University, as well as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Intellectual History in the National University of Quilmes. He is the author of El imperio de la ley: James Brown Scott y la construcción de un orden jurídico interamericano (2014) and co-editor of Cooperation and Hegemony in US-Latin American Relations: Revisiting the Western Hemisphere Idea (2016).

Source: International Law Reporter. More information with OUP.

BOOK: Colleen MURPHY, The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (Cambridge: CUP, 2017, ISBN 9781107085473, 228 p., 75 GBP)

(image source: CUP)

Colleen Murphy (University Colleg of Illinois) published The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice with Cambridge University Press.

Book description:
Many countries have attempted to transition to democracy following conflict or repression, but the basic meaning of transitional justice remains hotly contested. In this book, Colleen Murphy analyses transitional justice - showing how it is distinguished from retributive, corrective, and distributive justice - and outlines the ethical standards which societies attempting to democratize should follow. She argues that transitional justice involves the just pursuit of societal transformation. Such transformation requires political reconciliation, which in turn has a complex set of institutional and interpersonal requirements including the rule of law. She shows how societal transformation is also influenced by the moral claims of victims and the demands of perpetrators, and how justice processes can fail to be just by failing to foster this transformation or by not treating victims and perpetrators fairly. Her book will be accessible and enlightening for philosophers, political and social scientists, policy analysts, and legal and human rights scholars and activists.
On the author:
Colleen Murphy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Source: International Law Reporter. More information with CUP (inter alia free excerpt).

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Production of Imperial Space. Empire and Circulations (18th-20th Centuries). Paris: Sciences Po Paris/CIERA, 23-24 Nov 2017 (DEADLINE 1 JUN 2017)

(image source: Sciences Po)

Camille Buat (CHSP/Sciences Po Paris-Göttingen), Aude-Cécile Monnot (CHSP/Sciences Po) and Alexander van Wickeren (CHSP/Sciences Po, Cologne) organize a conference on the Production of Imperial Space.

Conference description:

Empires are often presented as State structures with specific relations to space, as they tend to expand through progressive accretion of territory. Imperial spaces are supposed to be strongly hierarchical, divided between centres and peripheries, with highly militarized border areas and buffer zones. In this framework, empires are primarily defined by their ability to establish their sovereignty over a specific space, which entails control over territories and the populations that inhabit them, as well as over the flows of goods and people that develop in this space.
While it is important to take into account the role of the State in structuring imperial space, the workshop proposes to study the multiplicity of processes and actors involved in the production of such a space. Henri Lefebvre’s conception of social space has been especially significant in drawing attention to the different mechanisms involved in the production of space, which he identified as spatial practices (of each member of a society), representation of space (the “conceptual space” of scientists and planners) and representational space (the space of the “inhabitants”, lived through images and symbols). Lefebvre also contended that the constitution of new spaces did not lead to the disappearance of pre-existing ones. Such insights into the complexity and multilayeredness of social space provide the basis for an inquiry into the specificity of imperial space, and of the processes contributing to its constitution.
The workshop intends to focus on circulation as an entry point to study the imbrication of spaces, of space-producing activities, and of actors, in an imperial context. A “spatial practice” par excellence, circulation produces spaces of its own, both at its most local and at its most global scale. The imperial space is itself constituted through a multiplicity of circulations: flows of legal and regulatory practices as well as of imperial personnel constitute the administrative and political space of the empire; circulations of goods and of labor shape its economic space. In addition, circulation of explorers and surveyors, and the various survey reports, travelogues and cartographic representations they produced underlie its cognitive space. The workshop adopts a broad definition of circulation, looking at the movement of peoples and goods, of information, knowledge, techniques, cultural productions and practices which constitute the circulatory regime of a given society, a regime that is constantly reconstituted in response to wider economic, social and political processes.
The workshop especially proposes two lines of enquiry
1- Imperial spaces are neither singular, nor coherent, but are constituted of many nested spaces, produced through the interaction of various actors. The imperial State is only one among several actors who take part into the production of this imperial space. Through processes of imperial expansion and consolidation, the imperial State does usher in the spatial reorganisation of the territories that come under its ambit to serve its own economic, administrative and political interests. However, the Empire’s power over space is shaped by constant negotiations with local intermediaries and further contends with diverse practices of appropriation and subversion of space.
2- Imperial space is only one among many spaces that exist within and beyond. These different spaces coexist and overlap, compete or become intertwined. Circulatory practice – regional, cross-border, and transimperial – lead to the constitution of parallel spaces. Be it the circulation of experts or indentured workers, of technical or administrative knowledge, transimperial circulations contrive to link distant territories, each under distinct sovereignties. Similarly, any given space is set within multiple temporalities, as past circulatory practices continue to interact with new imperial circulatory regimes.
The workshop aims to develop a comparative approach to foster exchange between PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and researchers working on imperial structures that traditional taxonomies have tended to segregate; i.e. continental, colonial and maritime empires. A rather broad chronological focus, spanning the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century will allow us to capture different imperial formations at different stage of their evolution. By this mean we may explore the relationship between empire and circulation, and its reconfiguration, through different contexts and at different historical moments.
The workshop will especially welcome contributions that explore the intertwinement of spaces and actors. Papers could also go beyond a strictly imperial temporal framework, looking at circulations antedating the development of the empire, as well as studying the posterity of imperial circulatory regimes. With a view to explore the plurality of imperial spaces, different scales of analysis need to be deployed, relying on manifold sources both in terms of their nature, and of the scale of activity, as well as the actors involved. Administrative sources could thus be paired with literary ones, travelogues and maps, pictorial representations as well as folklore and, for the more recent periods, oral history.

The following themes could, among others, be explored by the different contributions
- Imperial circulatory regimes (economic, political, administrative, cognitive...) and the processes of structuration of the imperial space (shifts and changes in spatial hierarchies, at different levels of the empire)
- Development of communication infrastructures, as both tools to control territories and objects of negotiations and contestations
- Discrimination between circulatory practices: fostering some (indenture and labor migration, opening the “interiors” and development of trade) and preventing others (sedentarisation of populations, criminalisation of peripatetic modes of life...)
- Imperial frontier, buffer zones and circulation across borders
- Trans-imperial circulations: development of regional linkages between empires, involving a multiplicity of actors (labor migrants and imperial experts, techniques and scientific knowledge, administrative practices...)
- Circulation and crisis: intensification of circulatory practices or breaches in circulatory regimes (crisis in the imperial system, but also sanitary, political, social, environmental crisis...)
Application process :
Paper abstract of 500 words max. and Curriculum Vitae should be sent to by June, the 1st 2017.
Every applicant will be informed by early August of the results of the selection process. Travel and housing expenses of the selected participants will be covered.

Source: HSozKult.
More information here.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Conflict Management in Modern Diplomacy (1500-1914) (University of Vienna, 8-10 Feb 2018) (DEADLINE 15 JUN 2017)

(image source:

The University of Vienna organizes a three-day conference in February 2018 on Conflict Management in Modern Diplomacy (1500-1914).

Conference information:
Conflict management was a genuine task of modern diplomacy, from its very beginnings in the 16th century onwards. In spite of the fact that diplomatic history has undergone an important renewal in the past decades, evolving from a history of institutions towards actor-based and intercultural history, conflicts – if addressed at all – are still regarded as the dysfunctional side of diplomacy. The conference, which is organised by the research group “Diplomacy in Conflict”, focuses on conflict management as the constant processes of mediation and negotiation, which included efforts but also resistance, success but also failure. Diplomatic contacts were not only destined to resolve political or military conflicts, but could also be highly conflictual themselves, due to cultural differences, such as incompatible codes or stereotypes. Diplomatic strategies comprised the avoidance and resolution of conflicts as well as their deliberate escalation or provocation. Furthermore, since the end of the 18th century, cultural conflicts became increasingly charged with national connotations. The conference is aimed to discuss the changing strategies and modes of conflict management within modern diplomacy in order to provide a deeper understanding of diplomatic processes. 
We welcome papers addressing private as well as public spheres, official as well as unofficial participants, and European as well as Non-European players. Prospective speakers are invited to submit abstracts of approximately 300 words. Submissions should include name, affiliation and contact details. The deadline for submissions is 15 June 2017. For more information about the conference, or to submit an abstract, please email the organisers at or We intend to publish the conference papers. For further information regarding our research group please visit our website "Diplomacy in Conflict - Conflict Management in Early Modern Diplomacy":
Julia Gebke Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1, A-1010 Wien
+43 1 4277 40859
Source: HSozKult.