Boekendepot Tilburg University


Virtual platform on the history of international law

Publications history of international law in the spotlight


Jus Gentium. Journal of International Legal History (4) 1 (2019)

  • A. Carty, ‘Archives on historical titles to South China Sea Islands’, 7-76;
  • V.I. Ivanenko, ‘Ignatii Ivanovskii: first head of the chair of international law at St. Petersburg University’, 77-94;
  • T. Korotkyi and A. Khevtsurian, ‘Island of hope in the vortex of revolution: the Georgian consul general in Odessa, 1918-1919’, 95-115;
  • O.O. Merezhko, ‘Petraycki’s psychological theory of private international law’, 117-144;
  • W.E. Butler and V.I. Ivanenko, ‘F.F. Martens: Russian scholar, diplomat, and arbitrator’, 145-178;
  • W.E. Butler, ‘Imperial Russian marine legislation: 1803-1817’, 179-189;
  • G.S. Starodubtsev, ‘Vsevolod Pievich Danevskii: a life well-lived’, 191-205;
  • P. Macalister-Smith and J. Schwietzke, ‘Latin American treaty collections and international law textbooks: from independence to World War One’, 207-284.

Maartje Abbenhuis

The Hague Conferences and International Politics, 1898-1915 (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)

  • (from the back cover): Beginning with the extraordinary rescript by Tsar Nicholas II in August 1898 calling the world’s governments to a disarmament conference, this book charts the history of the two Hague peace conferences of 1899 and 1907 – and the third conference of 1915 that was never held – using diplomatic correspondence, newspaper reports, contemporary publications and the papers of internationalist organizations and peace activists.
    Focusing on the international media frenzy that developed around them, Maartje Abbenhuis provides a new angle on the conferences. Highlighting the conventions that they brought about, she demonstrates how The Hague set the tone for international politics in the years leading up to the First World War, permeating media reports and shaping the views and activities of key-organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the International Council of Women and the Institut de Droit International.

Grotiana New Series (39) (2018)

  • Felix Waldmann, ‘An Unpublished Letter from Herbert of Cherbury to Grotius on the Expeditio in Ream Insulam: Commentary, Text, and Translation’, 1-14;
  • Francesco Iurlaro, ‘Grotius, Dio Chrysostom and the Invention of Customary ius gentium’, 15-44;
  • Emile Simpson, ‘States and Patrimonial Kingdoms: Hugo Grotius’s Account of Sovereign Entities in The Rights of War and Peace’, 45-76;
  • Gustaaf van Nifterik, ‘A Reply to Grotius’s Critics. On Constitutional Law’, 77-95;
  • Laurelin Middelkoop, ‘An Introduction to the Smaller Bodies of Water in Hugo Grotius’s Legal Theory’, 97-103;
  • Reviews on books by Joe Sampson, an edited collection by Hardy, Van Miert, Nellen, Steenbakkers and Touber, by Jeremy S. Geddert, Nicholas Hardy and by Jens Ohlin and Larry May.

Journal of the History of International Law (20) 3 (2018)

  • Ingo Venzke, ‘Possibilities of the past: histories of the NIEO and the travails of critique’, 263-302;
  • Marta Lorente, ‘Historical titles v. effective occupation: Spanish jurists on the Caroline Islands Affair (1885)’, 303-344;
  • Joshua Smeltzer’, On the use and abuse of Francisco de Vitoria: James Brown Scott and Carl Schmitt’, 345-372;
  • Li Chen, ‘Professor James Leslie Brierly and his first Chinese pupil Li Shengwu at Oxford University Faculty of Law (1927-1930), 373-380;
  • Review of Robert Deal, The Law of the Whale Hunt. Dispute Resolution, Property Law, and American Whales 1780-1880, by Malgosia Fitzmaurice, 381-384;
  • Review of Lauren Benton and Lisa Ford, Rage for Order. The British Empire and the Origins of International Law, 1800-1850, by Parvathi Menon, 385-390.


Khaled Ramadan Bashir

Islamic International Law. Historical Foundations and Al-Shaybani’s Siyar (Cheltenham and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar 2018)

  • (from the back cover): Islamic International Law examines Al-Shaybani’s work alongside that of other leading scholars such as Augustine, Gratian, Aquinas, Vitoria and Grotius, providing a full picture of early thinking on international law. Individual chapters provide discussion on Al-Shaybani’s writing in relation to war, peace, the consequences of war and diplomatic missions.

Will Smiley

From Slaves to Prisoners of War. The Ottoman Empire, Russia, and International Law (The History and Theory of International Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018)

  • (from the dust cover): The Ottoman-Russian wars of the eighteenth century reshaped the map of Eurasia and the Middle East, but they also produced a novel concept: the prisoner of war. For centuries, hundreds of thousands of captives, civilians and soldiers alike, crossed the legal and social boundaries of these empires, destined for either ransom of enslavement. But in the eighteenth century, the Ottoman state and its Russian rival, through conflict and diplomacy, worked out a new system of regional international law. Ransom was abolished; soldiers became prisoners of war; and some slaves gained new paths to release, while others were left entirely unprotected. These rules delineated sovereignty, redefined individuals’ relationships to states, and prioritized political identity over economic value. In the process, the Ottomans marked out a parallel, non-Western path toward elements of modern international law (…)

Juan Pablo Scarfi

The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas. Empire and Legal Networks (The History and Theory of International Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017)

  • (from the dust cover): The Hidden History of International Law in the Americas offers the first study of the deployment of international law for the legitimization of U.S. ascendancy as an informal empire in international law. The book explores the intellectual history of a distinct idea of American international law in the Americas, focusing principally on the evolution of the American Institute of International Law (AIIL).

Journal of the History of International Law (20) 2 (2018)

  • Guy Fiti Sinclair, ‘A civilizing task: the International Labour Organization, social reform, and the genealogy of development’, 145-197;
  • Melissa H. Loja, ‘A critical legal approach to the South China Sea territorial dispute’, 198-216;
  • Ivar Alvik, ‘Protection of private property in the early law of nations’, 217-250;
  • Review of Susan Pedersen, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire, by Victor Kattan, 251-256;
  • Review of Jakob Zollmann, Naulilla 1914. World War I in Angola and International Law, by Raphael Schäfer, 257-262.

Jus Gentium. Journal of International Legal History (3) 2 (2018)

  • Steve Harris, ‘Arbitration at Vienna: recasting the history of international dispute resolution’, 391-418;
  • V.S. Ivanenko, ‘The rising generation of international lawyers at St. Petersburg University: Zaremba and Spasovich, 419-436;
  • Mark W. Podvia, ‘The Baltimore Incident and American naval expansion’, 437-450;
  • O.O. Merezhko, ‘The 1917 Russian Revolution and international law’, 451-484;
  • K.O. Savchuk and I.M. Protsenko, ‘The development of the science of international law at the Koretsky Institute of State and Law, 485-504;
  • Jonathan Anderson, ‘Currency control, exchange contracts, and war: Boissevain v. Weil’, 505-524;
  • Isaac Schaphorst, ‘Brown v. United States and confiscation of enemy property’, 525-538;
  • V.I. Ivanenko, ‘Kronid Malyshev and the renaissance of private international law’, 539-552;
  • William E. Butler, ‘On teaching the history of international law’, 553-572;
  • I.O. Kresina and O.V. Kresin, ‘The people as a subject of international law’, 573-598;
  • Peter Macalister-Smith and Joachim Schwietzke (eds.), ‘Brief calendar of international practice for Spain and Portugal 1641 to 1818’, 599-670;
  • Book review by T.R. Korotkyi and N. Pashkovskyi of Philippe Sands, East West Street: Return to Lviv, 671-680.

Emiliano J. Buis

Taming Ares. War, Interstate Law, and Humanitarian Discourse in Classical Greece (Studies in the History of International Law, Leiden and Boston: Brill/Nijhoff 2018)

  • (from the back cover): In Taming Ares Emiliano J. Buis examines the sources of classical Greece to challenge both the state-centeredness of mainstream international legal history and the omnipresence of war and excessive violence in ancient times. Making ample use of epigraphic as well as literary, rhetorical, and historiographical sources, the book offers the first widespread account of the narrative foundations of the (il)legality of warfare in the classical Hellenic world.

Jennifer Pitts

Boundaries of the International. Law and Empire (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press 2018)

  • In Boundaries of the International Law, the Chicago-based historian of political thought Jennifer Pitts explores intellectual debates on the relations of Europe and the West with other parts of the world under the looking glass of the question of the geographical extent of the European/Western law of nations. The book covers the late 18th and 19th centuries. Through her thorough and nuanced reading of the sources, Pitt makes a significant, new contribution to scholarship on international law and empire. The book is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in the history of international law. – R.L.

Leonard V. Smith

Sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018)

  • (from the dust cover) This book investigates not whether the Paris Peace Conference succeeded or failed, but the historically specific international system it created. It explores the rules under which that system operated, and the kinds of states and empires that inhabited it. Deepening the dialogue between history and international relations theory makes it possible to think about sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference in new ways. Sovereignty in 1919 was about not just determining of answers demarcating the international system, but also the questions. Sovereignty in 1919 was about remaking the world.

Jus Gentium. Journal of International Legal History (3) 1 (2018)

  • V.G. Butkevych, ‘The International-Legal Ideology of Pre-Slavic Chiefdoms of the Ukrainian Ethnos (Part Four)’, 7-62;
  • Mark Somos, ‘Boston in the State of Nature, 1761-1765: The Birth of an American Constitutional Type’, 63-113;
  • Christopher Rossi, ‘The Gulf of Fonseca and international law: Condominium or anti-colonial imperialism?’, 115-153;
  • Amy Kellam, ‘Suzerainty and the Simla Agreement’, 155-80;
  • V. Popovski, ‘Raphael Lemkin: Inventing and Codifying Genocide’, 181-214;
  • M. Mulligan, ‘The Status of Egypt after the 1840 Convention of London’, 215-243;
  • V.S. Ivanenko’, Private International Law in Russia: The Earliest Work’, 245-255;
  • L. Anufrieva, ‘Myths and Facts of the Russian Science of Private International Law: The Legacy of M.I. Brun’, 257-274;
  • V.V. Veeder, ‘Looking for Professor Nolde’, 275-280;
  • W.E. Butler, ‘The Abbé Ferdinando Galiani and Neutrality’, 281-286;
  • Abbé Galiani, ‘On the Reciprocal Rights of Belligerents and Neurals’, 287-306;
  • P. Macalister-Smith and J. Schwietzke, ‘Treaty Collections Relating to Russia: A Baseline Historical Survey in Comparative Perspective’, 307-371.

Journal of the History of International Law (20) 1 (2018)

  • Andrew Fitzmaurice’ Context in the History of International Law’, 5-30;
  • Gabor Sulyok, ‘Breach of Treaties in the Ancient Near East’, 31-56;
  • Jorg Kustermans, ‘Henry Maine and the Modern Invention of Peace’, 57-88;
  • Ofra Friesel, ‘Fifty Years since the 1967 Annexation of East Jerusalem: Israel, the United States, and the First United States Denunciation’, 89-123;
  • Review of Arnulf Becker Lorca, Mestizo International Law: A Global Intellectual History 1842-1933, by Fabia Fernandes Carvalho Veçoso, 125-131.

Journal of the History of International Law (19) 3 (2017)

  • Claire Vergerio, ‘Alberico Gentili’s De iure belli: An Absolutist’s Attempt to Reconcile the jus gentium and the Reason of State Tradition, 429-466;
  • Jeffrey T. Tirshfield, ‘The Socio-Historical Case for the Existence of a Nexus Requirement in the Application of Universal Jurisdiction to Maritime Piracy’, 467-494;
  • Robert Schütze, ‘From the “Closed” to the “Open” Commercial State: A Very Brief of International Economic Law”, 495-524;
  • Review of Charlotte Peevers, The Politics of Justifying Force: The Suez Crisis, the Iraq War and International Law, by Parvathi Menon, 525-530;
  • Review of Guy Fiti Sinclair, To Reform the World. International Organisations and the Making of Modern States, by Madeleine Herren, 531-536.

Grotiana, New Series 38 (2017)

  • Johannes Magliano Tromp, ‘Acceptilatio. Hugo Grotius on Satisfaction, 1-27;
  • Eltjo Schrage, ‘Having Made Peace through the Blood of Christ: On Legal Arguments in Grotius’s De satisfactione Christi’, 28-45;
  • Jeremy Seth Geddert, ‘Too Subtle to Satisfy Many: Was Grotius’s Teleology of Punishment Predestined to Fail?’, 46-69;
  • Brad Hinshelwood, ‘Punishment and Sovereignty in De Indis and De Iure Belli ac Pacis, 71-105;
  • Sylvie Loriaux, ‘Grotius and Kant on Original Community of Goods and Property’, 106-128;
  • Bart Wauters, ‘Grotius, Necessity and the Sixteenth-Century Scholastic Tradition’, 129-147;
  • Lydia Janssen, ‘Hugo Grotius in Dialogue with His Colleagues: Intertextuality and Polemlics in Historia Gotthorum (1655)’; 148-175;
  • Mark Somos and Daniel Margoscy, ‘Pirating Mare Liberum (1609)’, 176-210;
  • Benjamin Straumann, ‘Adams Smith’s Unfinished Grotius Business, Grotius’s Novel Turn to Ancient Law, and the Genealogical Fallacy’, 211-228;
  • Frank Gunert and Béla Kapossy, ‘Christian Wolff’s Lectures on Grotius’s De Iure Belli ac Pacis from 1739-1740’, 229-233;
  • Rens Steenhard, ‘Bibliography’, 235-244.

Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral

In the Shadow of Vitoria. A History of International Law in Spain (1770-1953) (Studies in the History of International Law 9, Leiden and Boston: Brill/Nijhoff 2017).

  • (from the back cover) This book offers the first comprehensive treatment of the intellectual evolution of international law in Spain from the late 18th century to the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Ignacio de la Rasilla del Moral recounts the history of the two ‘renaissances’ of Francisco de Vitoria and the Spanish Classics of International Law and contextualizes the ideological glorification of the Salamanca School by Franco’s international lawyers. Historical excursuses on the intellectual evolution of international law in the US and the UK complement the neglected history of international law in Spain from the first empire in history on which the sun never set to a diminished and fascistized national-Catholicist state.


Samatha Besson and Jean d’Aspremont

The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017)

The first part of this volume’ The histories of the sources of international law’, contains 7 sections pairing each time two papers on

  • Sources in the scholastic legacy: Peter Haggenmacher and Annabel Brett;
  • Sources in the modern tradition: Dominique Gaurier and Randall Lesaffer;
  • Sources of international law in the nineteenth-century European tradition: Milos Vec and Lauri Mälksoo;
  • The history of Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice: Ole Spiermann and Malgosia Fitzmaurice;
  • Sources in the anti-formalist tradition: Monica Garcia-Salmones Rovira and Upendra Baxi
  • Sources in the meta-history of international law: Anthony Carty/Anna Irene Baka and Mark Janis;
  • Legal history as a source of international law: Robert Kolb and Samuel Moyn.

Jus Gentium. Journal of International Legal History (2) 2 (2017)

  • G.S. Starodubtsev, ‘The 1917 October Russian Revolution and international law’, pp. 375-88;
  • V.G. Butkevych, ‘The international-legal ideology of Pre-Slavic Chiefdoms of the Ukranian Ethnos (Part Three)’, pp. 389-442;
  • O.O. Merezhko, ‘On the origins of the Ukranian science of international law’, pp. 443-84;
  • Olga Butkevych, ‘The Nezabytovskyi concept of the law of the international community’, pp. 485-504;
  • A.N. Vylegzhanin, ‘Legal status of the Bering Strait: historical and legal context’, pp. 505-22;
  • W.E. Butler and V.S. Ivanenko, ‘On the history of teaching international law at St. Petersburg University’, pp. 523-54;
  • Egle Bendikaite, ‘Interwar Lithuania as a laboratory of international law’, pp. 555-80.
  • Notes, comments, notes on doctrines and reviews;
  • P. Macalister-Smith and J. Schwietzke, ‘A brief calendar of state practice from Russia during the First World War: 1914 to 1924 (Part Two 1919-1924)’, pp. 671-710.

Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro

The Internationalists and Their Plan to Outlaw War (New York/London: Simon & Schuster/Allen Lane 2017).

  • (from the dust cover) Since the end of the Second World War, we have moved from an international system in which war was legal, and accepted as the ultimate arbiter of disputes between nations, to one in which it is not. Nations that wage aggressive war have become outcasts and have almost always have to give up their territorial gains. How did this epochal transformation come about? This remarkable book, which combines political, legal and intellectual history, traces the origins and course of one of the great shifts in the modern world.

Journal of the History of International Law (19) 3 (2017)

  • Emily Crawford, ‘Tracing the historical and legal development of the Levée en masse in the law of armed conflict, pp. 329-361;
  • Steven Harris, ‘Taming arbitration: states’ men, lawyers, and peace advocates from the Hague to the war, pp. 362-396;
  • Leonardo Valladares Pacheco de Oliveira, ‘Overcoming the challenges in establishing arbitration in Brazil: a historical perspective’, 397-421;
  • Review of Andreas H. Aure, The Right to Wage War (jus ad bellum). The German Reception of Grotius 50 Years after De iure belli ac pacis, by Frederik Dhondt.

Dante Fedele

Naissance de la diplomatie moderne (XIIIe-XVIIe siècles). L’ambassadeur au croisement du droit, de l’éthique et de la politique (Studien zur Geschichte des Völkerechts 6, Baden: Nomos Verlag 2017).

  • Fedele offers a thorough and systematic study of the legal foundations and organisation of diplomacy from the Late Middle Ages to the advent of permanent diplomatic representation in the context of the rise of the sovereign state in the 16th and 17th centuries. He does so mainly through the perusal of legal and other literature on diplomacy and law from the period. The book also goes into questions about the functions, formations, qualities and ethics of diplomats, a common theme in the sources it considers. – R.L.

Journal of the History of International Law (19) 2 (2017): Special issue on the Russian Revolution, the Soviet Union and international law

  • Anne Peters, ‘Introduction: A century after the Russian Revolution: Its legacy in international law, pp. 135-46;
  • Veronika Bilkova, ‘Sovereignty, property and the Russian Revolution’, pp. 147-77;
  • Sabine Dullin and Etienne Forestier-Peyrat, ‘Flexible sovereignties of the revolutionary state: Soviet republics enter world politics’, pp. 178-199;
  • Lauri Mälksoo, ‘The Soviet approach to the right of peoples to self-determination: Russia’s farewell to jus publicum Europaeum’, pp. 200-218;
  • Johannes Socher, ‘Lenin, (just) wars of national liberation, and the Soviet doctrine on the use of force’, pp. 219-45;
  • John Quigley, ‘Leon Trotsky and the prohibition against secret treaties’, pp. 246-273;
  • Bill Bowring, ‘Yevgeniy Pashukanis, his Law and Marxism: A General Theory, and the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo between Soviet Russia and Germany, pp. 274-295;
  • Alina Cherviatsova and Oleksandr Yarmysh, ‘Soviet international law: between slogans and practice’, pp. 296-327.

Marco Duranti

The Conservative Human Rights Revolution. European Identity, Transnational Politics, and the Origins of the European Convention (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017)

  • From the dust cover: Duranti radically interprets the origins of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), arguing that conservatives conceived of the treaty not only as a Cold War measure, but also as a vehicle for pursuing a controversial domestic political agenda on either side of the Channel. Just as the Supreme Court of the United States had sought to overturn Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, a European Court of Human Rights was meant to constrain the ability of democratically elected governments to implement left-wing policies that British and French conservatives believed violated their basic liberties.

Journal of the History of International Law (19) 1 (2017)

  • John T. Bennett, ‘The forgotten genocide in colonial America: reexamining the 1622 Jamestown Massacre within the framework of the UN Genocide Convention’, pp. 1-49;
  • Paulina Starski and Jörn Axel Kammerer, ‘Imperial colonialism in the genesis of international law – anomaly or time of transition?, pp. 50-69;
  • Michael Mulligan, ‘Piracy and empire: the campaign against piracy, the development of international law and the British imperial mission’, pp. 70-92;
  • Oliver Diggelmann, ‘Beyond the myth of a non-relationship: international law and World War I’, pp. 93-120;
  • Review of Bonny Ibhawoh, Imperial Justice: Africans in Empire’s Court, s Court, by Evelyn Mogere, pp. 121-125;
  • Review of Umut Özsu, Formalizing Displacement: International Law and Populations Transfers, by Alain Zamaria, pp. 126-132.

Koskenniemi, Rech and Jimenez Fonseca

International Law and Empire: Historical Explorations (The History and Theory of International Law; Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017).

  • From the dust cover: By examining the relationship between international law and empire in historical context from early modernity to the present, this volume aims at deepening current understandings of the way international legal institutions, practices, and narratives have shaped specifically imperial ideas about and structures of world governance. As it explores fundamental ways in which international legal discourses have operated in colonial as well as European contexts, the book enters a heated debate on the involvement of the modern law of nations in imperial projects. (…) Importantly, as the book suggests that international legal argument may sometimes be used to counter imperial enterprises, it maintains that international law can barely escape the Eurocentric framework within which the progressive aspirations of internationalism were conceived.

Abbenhuis, Barber and Hiigins

War, Peace and International Order? The Legacies of the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 (Routledge Studies in Modern History; London and New York: Routledge 2017).

  • From the website of Routledge: The exact legacies of the two Hague Peace Conferences remain unclear. On the one hand, diplomatic and military historians, who cast their gaze to 1914, traditionally dismiss the events of 1899 and 1907 as insignificant footnotes on the path to the First World War. On the other, experts in international law posit that The Hague’s foremost legacy lies in the manner in which the conferences progressed the law of war and the concept and application of international justice.

Jus Gentium. Journal of International Legal History (2) 1 (2017)

V.G. Butkevch, ‘The International Legal Ideology of Pre-Slavic Chiefdoms of the Ukranian Ethnos (Part Two)’, pp. 7-66;

Douglas Howland, ‘The Limits of International Agreement: Belligerent Rights v. Submarine Cable Security in the Nineteenth Century’, pp. 67-92;

Miriam McKenna, ‘The Means to the End and the End of the Means: Self-Determination, Decolonization, and International Law’, pp. 93-130;

Further notes, reviews and documents;

Peter Macalister-Smith and Joachim Schwietzke, ‘A Brief Calendar of International Practice for Spain and Portugal: 1297 to 1641’, pp. 243-286;

Peter Macalister-Smith and Joachim Schwietzke, ‘A Brief Calendar of State Practice for Russia During the First World War: 1914 to 1924 (Part One 1914-1918), pp. 287-350.


Grotiana, New Series 37 (2016)

  • Douglas J. Osler, ‘The Restless Mind and the Living Text: The First Edition of Grotius’s De iure belli ac pacis’, 1-15.
  • James Muldoon, ‘Grotius and English Charters’, 16-42.
  • Inge Van Hulle, ‘Grotius, Informal Empire and the Conclusion of Unequal Treaties’, 43-60.
  • Stefanie Ertz, ‘Hugo Grotius’s Hermeneutics of Natural and Divine Law’, 61-94.
  • Book review of Benjamin Straumann, Roman Law in the State of Nature, by Jakob Giltaij, 95-104.
  • Ed. Rens Steenhard, ‘Bibliography’, 105-114.

Mieke van der Linden

The Acquisition of Africa (1870-1914). The Nature of International Law (Studies in the History of International Law 8; Leiden and Boston: Brill/Nijhoff 2016).

  • Based on her PhD, which she defended in 2014 at Tilburg University, Van der Linden’s book analyses the legal strategies of Britain, France and German for the acquisition of territory in Africa during the Age of New Imperialism. She analyses the legality of the three European powers actions under then current international law and raises the question of their responsibility for their alleged illegality.  – R.L.

Lauren Benton & Lisa Ford

Rage for Order. The British Empire and the Origins of International Law 1800-1850 (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press 2016).

  • From the dust cover: Lauren Benton and Lisa Ford uncover the lost history of Britain’s global empire of law in colonial conflicts and bureaucratic dispatches rather than legal treaties and case law. Tracing constitutional politics around the world, Rage for Order shows that attempts to refashion the British imperial constitution touched on all the controversial issues of the day, from slavery to revolution (…) Yet, through it all, legal reforms focused on promoting order, not advancing human rights or charting liberalism. Rage for Order maps a formative phase in world history when imperial, not international, law anchored visions of global order. This sweeping story changes the way we think about the legacy of the British empire and the meaning of international law today.

Jus Gentium. Journal of International Legal History (1) 2 (2016)

  • V.G. Butkevch, ‘The International Legal Ideology of Pre-Slavic Chiefdoms of the Ukranian Ethnos (Part One)’, pp. 345-390.
  • A.P. Useche, ‘The Standard of Civilization on Trial at the United States/Mexico Claims Commission: 1923-1937’, pp. 391-426.
  • G. Himeno, ‘The Right to Cure under the Unidroit Principle Article 7.1.4: A Historical Analysis’, pp. 427-572.
  • Further notes and comments, reviews, reviews, an extensive literature survey and documents and evidence of state practice.
  • P. Macalister-Smith and J. Schwietzke, ‘Publication of Treaty Collections Relating to Spain and Portugal in Historical Perspective: A Baseline Compilation’, pp. 639-694.

Journal of the History of International Law (18) 4 (2016)

Edward J. Kolla, ‘Maritime Intercourse and the Commercial Origins of the Alien Tort Statute’, pp. 395-419.

Emily Haslam, ‘International Criminal Law and Legal Memories of Abolition: Intervention, Mixed Commission Courts and Emancipation’, pp. 420-448.

Dante Fedele, ‘The Renewal of Early-Modern Scholarship on the Ambassador: Pierre Ayrault on Diplomatic Immunity’, pp. 449-468.

Review of Mamadou Hébié, Souveraineté territoriale par traité by Michel Erpelding, pp. 469-479.

Review of Harald Kleinschmidt, Geschichte des Völkerrechts in Krieg und Frieden by Karolina Januszewski, pp. 480-484.

Fabian Klose

The Emergence of Humanitarian Intervention. Ideas and Practice from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2016).

  • From the dust cover: How should the international community react when a government transgresses humanitarian norms and violates the rights of its own nationals? And where does the responsibility lie to protect people from such acts of violation? In a profound new study, Fabian Klose unites a team of leading scholars to investigate some of the most complex and controversial debates regarding the legitimacy of protecting humanitarian norms and universal human rights by non-violent and violent means. Charting the development of humanitarian intervention from its origins in the nineteenth century through to the present day, the book surveys the philosophical and legal rationales of enforcing humanitarian norms by military means, and how attitudes to military intervention on humanitarian grounds have changes over the course of three centuries. Drawing from a wide range of disciplines, the authors lend a fresh perspective to contemporary dilemmas using case studies from Europe, the United States, Africa and Asia.


The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016).

  • In its series of International Law Handbook, OUP had just published a massive volume on the theory of international law, numbering 48 chapters. It book is divided in four parts, the first of which is titled ‘Histories’. After a survey chapter on the role of Roman law in the development of international law (Lesaffer) follow three chapters on early-modern scholarship in Europe: one on the German school of Vernünftrecht (Koskenniemi), one on the reception of Grotius (Van Ittersum) and one on Vattel (Tourme Jouannet). There are three chapters which pertain to the imperial encounter, covering the Ottoman Empire (Özsu), China (Ruskola) and the role of imperialism in the development of international law (Anghie). The 20th century is well represented with five chapters. These deal with positivism (Garcia Salmones), Kelsen (Von Bernstoff), Schmitt (Howse), Arendt (Whitehall) and the Russian approach to international law (Mälksoo). The other parts of the book also contain a few chapters which are of direct relevance to the history of international law. Among those the chapter on Marxism by Knox, on the doctrine of international personality by Parfitt and one free trade by Orford must be singled out. – R.L.

Journal of the History of International Law (18) 2-3 (2016)

  • YI Ping, ‘A Swan Song, or a Phoenix Rising’, pp. 147-180.
  • Vincent Genin, ‘L’institutionalisation du droit international comme phénomène transnational (1869-1873). Les réseaux européens de Gustave Rolin-Jacquemyns’, pp. 181-196.
  • Ignacio de la Rasilla y del Moral, ‘In the General Interest of Peace? British International Lawyers and the Spanish Civil War’, pp. 197-238.
  • Focus Section on ‘Colonialism and International Law’:
    • Jörn Axel Kämmerer, ‘Introduction.Imprints of Colonialism in Public International Law: On the Paradoxes of Transition’, pp. 239-247.
    • Martti Koskenniemi, ‘Colonial Laws: Sources, Strategies and Lessons?’, pp 248-277.
    • Harald Kleinschmidt, ‘The Family of Nations as an Element of the Ideology of Colonialism’, pp. 278-316.
    • Fabian Klose, ‘Human Rights for and against Empire – Legal and Public Discourses in the Age of Decolonisation’, pp. 317-338.
    • Richard P. Boast, ‘The Waitangi Tribunal in the Context of New Zealand’s Political Culture and Historiography’, pp. 339-31.
  • Book review of edition of Gérard de Rayneval’s Freedom of the Seas in English by Jean Allain, pp. 363-31.
  • Book review of Andrew Fitzmaurice, Sovereignty, Property and Empire, by Mieke van der Linden, pp. 372-385.
  • Book review of Lai Junnan, Le droit international et la Chine impériale dans ses dernières années. Textes, évènements et politique, by Mingzhe Zhu, pp. 386-392.

Dominique Gaurier

Baldo degli Baldeschi, Commentaire sur la Paix de Constance (1183). Traduction, introduction et notes de Dominique Gaurier (Cahiers Internationaux d’Anthropologie Juridique 46, Limoges: Presses Universitaires de Limoges 2016).

  • The late-medieval collation of the codification of Roman law by the Emperor Justinian did not only contain texts which were originally contained in the Justinianic collection, but was expanded with some more recent texts. Among them was the Peace of Konstanz, an agreement between Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and the Lombard League from 1183. After Odofredus in the 13th century, Baldus de Ubaldis (c. 1327-1400), one of the leading Roman as well as canon lawyers of the 14th century, produced an extensive commentary to the text. The presence of the Peace of Konstanz in the Volumen parvum of the medieval collection of Roman law occasioned the teaching of numerous subjects relating to government and public affairs. Baldus’ commentary reflects this. In this sense, the text forms a major source for late-medieval jurisprudence with relation to a wide range of subjects that Peace of Konstanz could be brought to bear on. These pertained to the relative authority of the emperor and the city-states of Italy, the organization of government, peace-making and the law of treaties. Whereas Baldus did not recognize the law of nations as a separate category, his work, of which this commentary is just a small sample, contributed in a significant manner to the development of numerous legal doctrines which later found their way into the law of nations. Gaurier’s French translation discloses a key-text from the tradition of late-medieval legal scholarship. It may help to direct the interest of historians of international law towards the jus commune which stands at the origins of many doctrines of modern international law, but has been ostracized from mainstream histories of international law, often because of its inaccessibility and the linguistic challenges it offers. In the early 17th century, the Leuven law professor Petrus Gudelinus (1550-1619) also wrote a commentary on the peace, which was in fact rather a treatise on peace treaties and peace-making under the law of nations. In 2011, Gaurier already published a French translation of this text – R.L.

Jus Gentium. Journal of International Legal History (1) 1 (2016)

  • L.P. Anufrieva, ‘P.E. Kazanskii: “On his Character, Biography, Life, and Works, or What Has Been Left to His Descendants …”, pp. 9-32;
  • O.V. Kresin, ‘Origins of the Idea of Social International Law (XVI-XIX Centuries)’, pp. 33-52.
  • O.O. Merezhko, ‘The History of International Law in the Mirror of Ancient Greek Literature’, pp. 53-62.
  • W.E. Butler, ‘International Treaties, Heraldic Seals, and Bookplates: John Adams and John Quincy Adams’, pp. 63-70.
  • Jean Allain, ‘Biographical Note: Joseph-Mathias Gérard de Rayneval’, pp. 71-84.
  • Joseph-Mathias Gérard de Rayneval, Institutions du Droit de la Nature et des Gens (1803), Book II, pp. 85-140.
  • W.E. Butler, N.V. Hendel and T.R. Korotkyi, ‘The Legal Scholarship of P.E. Kazanskii: A Bio-Biographical Essay’, pp. 141-182.
  • Review by Jean Allain of M.A. Gazi (ed.), The Shorter Book of Muslim International Law, pp. 183-192.
  • Review by O.O. Merezhko of A.I. Dmitriev and W.E. Butler, History of International Law, pp. 193-196.
  • Ed. W.E. Butler, ‘The Bentham Letters of Anti-Machiavel’, pp. 197-234.
  • P. Macalister-Smith and J. Schwietzke, ‘Jus Gentium and Globally-Conceived General Treaty Collections’, pp. 235-316.
  • W.E. Butler, ‘In Memoriam A.P. Rubin (1931-2014)’, pp. 317-318.

Journal of the History of International Law (18) 1 (2016): International Legal Histories of the Ottoman Empire (eds. Umut Özsu and Thomas Skouteris) / Special Issue

  • Umut Özsu and Thomas Skouteris, ‘International Legal Histories of the Ottoman Empire: An Introduction to the Symposium’, pp. 1-4.
  • Davide Rodogno, ‘European Legal Doctrines on Intervention and the Status of the Ottoman Empire within the Family of Nations’, pp. 5-41.
  • Will Smiley, ‘War without War: The Battle of Navarino, the Ottoman Empire, and the Pacific Blockade’, pp. 42-69.
  • Berdal Aral, ‘The Ottoman School of International Law as Featured in Textbooks’, pp. 70-97.
  • Will Hanley, ‘International Lawyers without Public International Law: The Case of Late Ottoman Egypt’, pp. 98-119.
  • Sarah Shields, ‘Force Migration as Nation-Building: The League of Nations, Minority Protection, and the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange’, pp. 120-145.


Arnulf Becker Lorca

Mestizo International Law. A Global Intellectual History 1842-1933 (Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

  • In his book, Becker Lorca develops the idea which was earlier defended by Anghie and others that modern international law is a product of the confrontation between European and non-European powers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Becker Lorca argues that international law turned ‘mestizo’ as the positive international law from the core States of the 19th century was first appropriated and then reformed by lawyers from the global semi-periphery, such as China, Japan, the Ottoman Empire or Latin America. While the chapters on the 19th and early 20th centuries are largely a thoughtful synthesis of recent secondary literature and its reframing from a global perspective, the book comes most into its own in the final part on the Interbellum where the author discusses the use of arguments of self-determination and statehood and the role of Latin-American lawyers in the reformulation of the doctrine of statehood which led to the Montevideo Conference  - R.L.

Benjamin Straumann

Roman Law in the State of Nature. The Classical Foundations of Hugo Grotius’ Natural Law (Ideas in Context, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

  • This book is the revised English translation of Benjamin Straumann’s PhD which first appeared in German in ‘Studien zur Geschichte des Völkerrechts’ with Nomos Verlag in 2007. The book focuses on the influence of the rediscovery of ancient Roman law as well as the works of Cicero on Grotius’s natural law theory in the context of humanism. – R.L.

Henk Nellen

Hugo Grotius. A Lifelong Struggle for Peace in Church and State, 1583-1645 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2014).

  • The English translation of Henk Nellen’s massive biography of Hugo Grotius, which first appeared in Dutch in 2007. Nellen based his study largely on the correspondence of Grotius. The book gives a fascinating insight into the life and thought of the polymath Grotius was. To the historian of international law it offers an excellent entry into Grotius’ significance as a theologian and general intellectual giant – R.L.

Andrew Fitzmaurice

Sovereignty, Property and Empire 1500-2000 (Ideas in Context; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

  • From the dust cover: This book analyses the laws that shaped modern European empires from medieval thinkers to the twentieth century. Its geographical scope is global, including the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Poles. Andrew Fitzmaurice focuses upon the use of the law of occupation to justify and critique the appropriation of territory. He examines both discussions of occupation by theologians, philosophers and jurists, as well as its application by colonial publicists and settlers themselves. Beginning with the medieval revival of Roman law, this study reveals the evolution of arguments concerning the right to occupy through the School of Salamanca, the foundation of American colonies, seventeenth-century natural law theories, Enlightenment philosophers, eighteenth-century American colonies and the new American republic, writings of nineteenth-century jurists, debates over the carve-up of Africa, twentieth-century discussions of the status of polar territories, and the period of decolonisation.

Journal of the History of International Law 16 (2) (2014)

  • Ronald Janse, ‘(Why) Was the World Bank Supposed to be a Nonpolitical Organization? An Interpretation of the Original Meaning and Rationale of Article 4(10) of the Articles of Agreement of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 1941-1948, pp. 113-155.
  • Review Essay by Valentina Vadi on Benedict Kingsbury and Benjamin Strauman (eds.), The Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations. Alberico Gentili and the Justice of Empire (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 157-177.
  • Book review by Robert Kolb of Carlo Focarelli, International Law as a Social Construct. The Struggle for Global Justice (Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 179-193. 

Isabel V. Hull

A Scrap of Paper. Breaking and Making International Law during the Great War (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2014).

  • In this timely published study of the international law practices of France, Germany and Great Britain during World War I, the American historian Isabel Hull challenges the generally held opinion that international law only played a marginal role in the start and the waging of the war. In a first, introductory chapter, Hull argues that the myth of the irrelevance of international law stemmed from the success of the German campaign, in which the German government and German academia colluded, to discredit the Peace of Versailles. This campaign successfully implanted into mainstream historiography the thought that the allied victors had held Germany at Versailles to standards of international law which had not existed before. In her meticulous study of the wartime legal strategies and practices of Germany and the two Western-European allies, Hull persuasively proves that international law, in the applying as well as in the breaking, did play a significant role in these countries’ policies, towards one another and towards neutral states. Hull’s major conclusion is that whereas France and Great Britain identified strongly with international law as it was, over the war, Germany hardened in its position that put necessity at the centre of its decision-making and its understanding of international law. Often driving by the agenda of the military, Germany moved to the point where it made the construction of a new international law, based on necessity, self-preservation and the privileged right of a hegemonic power, a guideline as well as an object of the war itself.  – R.L.

Michael Fakhri

Sugar and the Making of International Trade Law (Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law, Cambridge University Press, 2014).

  • From the back cover: This book traces the changing meaning of free trade over the past century through three sugar treaties and their concomitant institutions. The 1902 Brussels Convention is an example of how free trade buttressed the British Empire. The 1937 International Sugar Agreement is a story of how a group of Cubans renegotiated their state’s colonial relationship with the US through free trade doctrine and the League of Nations. And the study of the 1977 International Sugar Agreement maps the world of international trade law through a plethora of institutions such as the ITO, UNCTAD, GATT and international commodity agreements – all against the backdrop of competing Third World agendas. Through a legal study of free trade ideas, interests and institutions, this book highlights how the line between the state and market, domestic and international, and public and private is always a matter of contest.

New issue of European Journal of International Law

  • The November 2014 issue of the European Journal of International Law (vol. 25) has published two historical articles in its series ‘The European Traditional of International Law’. Helmut Philipp Aust highlights the role of the former Russian diplomat André Mandelstam (1869-1949) in the emergence of the international protection of human rights during the two World Wars. Reut Yael Paz discusses the influence of Hans Kelsen on the intellectual development of Helen Silving-Ryu (1906-1993), the first female law professor in the US.

Maartje Abbenhuis

An Age of Neutrals. Great Powers Politics, 1815-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

  • The rights and duties of neutrals formed one of the major concerns of international lawyers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The roots of modern neutrality go back to the Late Middle ages, but it took to the mid of the 19th century before a consent started to emerge in international law about its legal implications. Between the Paris Declaration of 1856 on the maritime warfare and the Second Hague Peace Conference of 1907 and the Declaration of London of 1909 this consent was crystallized and the laws of neutrality were expanded, solidified and largely codified.
    While this legal history of neutrality in the 19th century is well established in literature, few survey works have been written about its political context. Abbenhuis’s An Age of Neutrals fills this lacuna. Whereas neutrality is traditionally considered of marginal concern to the great power politics of the 19th century, Abbenhuis argues that it was one of the major instruments of peace and war management by the great powers in the context of the Concert of Europe, or even wider, on a global scale. Her book focuses on four major episodes: the decades immediately after Vienna, the Crimean War, the 1860 with the American Civil War and the wars for German unification, and the years from the First Hague Peace Conference to World War I. Though the narrative, it becomes clear how the great powers used different strategies to remain or support neutrality to limit the expansion of war, both by restricting the number of belligerents as by limiting its economic impact. Though this, she offers a contextual explanation for different crucial turns in the legal development of neutrality, and of its ultimate abandonment after 1914. – R.L.

New issue GrotianaGrotiana, New series 35 (2014)

  • Grotiana latest volume collects a number of papers from the conference held at Potsdam in 2011 on the reception during the Enightenment of Hugo Grotius’ treatise De veritate religionis Christianae (1627). Grotius wrote this theological treatise during his time in prison in castle Loevenstein. It was the most popular of his writing during the Early Modern Age. The issue contains contributions by Jonathan Israel, Silke-Petra Bergjan, Jan Paul Heering, Günther Lottes, Sarah Mortimer, Yvonne Sherwood, Mark Somos, Th. Marius van Leeuwen and Christoph Bultmann. Further, there is also a short essay by Viola Heutger, Bastiaan van der Velden and Laurens Winkelon the editio prima of De iure belli ac pacis which belonged to Christoph Besold, and the annual bibliography of writings relating to Grotius, by Ingrid Kost.

Dominique Gaurier

Histoire du droit international. De l’Antiquité à la creation de l’ONU (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2014).

  • Over the last years, Dominique Gaurier has made a name for himself as the translator and editor of numerous classical texts of the early-modern law of nations. In 2005, he published a survey of the history of international law Histoire du droit international. Auteurs, doctrines et développement de l’Antiquité à l’aube de la période contemporaine. This book is a thoroughly revised, but also vastly expanded new edition of this work, having doubled in size to a generous 1137 pages. The author has exchanged the rather brief passages on the 19th and early 20th centuries from the first edition for a book-size second part. After a general chapter on major writers of international law, follow chapters on codification, dispute settlement, the laws of war, the expansion of the international community of states, regional organization, colonization, international organizations and the protection of the individual and minorities.

Oxford Historical Treaties

Oxford Historical Treaties (Oxford University Press), ed. Randall Lesaffer

  • In September 2014, Oxford University Press has launched ‘Oxford Historical Treaties’ on its digital international law platform ‘Oxford Public International Law’. The site offers a vast collection of historical treaties in pdf-files. For now, it contains the 16,000 treaties collected in Clive Parry’s Consolidated Treaties Treaty Series, which was published between 1969 and 1981. The treaties date from the period between 1648 and 1919. There are plans to expand the collection with earlier treaties, and with some treaties of the period after 1648 which were not included in Parry. The treaties can now be searched through parties.

Randall Lesaffer (ed.)

The Twelve Years Truce (1609). Peace, Truce, War and Law in the Low Countries at the Turn of the 17th Century, Studies in the History of International Law 6 (Leiden and Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2014)

From the back cover:

The Twelve Years Truce of 9 April 1609 made a temporary end to the hostilities between Spain and the Northern Netherlands that had lasted for over four decades. The Truce signified a crucial step in the recognition of the Republic of the Northern Netherlands as a sovereign power. As the direct source of inspiration for the 1648 Peace of Munster the Truce is a crucial text in the formation of the early modern law of nations. As few other texts, it reflects the radical changes to the laws of war and peace from around 1600.

The Twelve Years Truce offers a collection of essays by leading specialists on the diplomatic and legal history of the Antwerp Truce of 1609. The first part covers the negotiation process leading up to the Truce. The second part collects essays on the consequences of the Truce on the state of war. In the third part, the consequences of the Truce for the sovereignty of the Northern and Southern Netherlands as well as it wider significance for the changing laws of war and peace of the age are scrutinized.

Stephen C. Neff

Justice Among Nations. A History of International Law (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2014).

  • From the dust cover:
    Justice Among Nations tells the story of the rise of international law and how it has been formulated, debated, contested, and put into practice from ancient times to the present. Stephen Neff avoids technical jargon as he surveys doctrines from natural law to feminism, and practices from the Warring States of China to the international criminal courts of today.

Jan Martin Lemnitzer

Power, Law and the End of Privateering (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

  • From the back cover:
    The books offers an exciting new take on the relationship between law and power, exposing the delicate balance between great powers and small states that is necessary to create and enforce norms across the globe. The 1856 Declaration of Paris marks the precise moment when international law became universal, and it is the template for creating new norms until today. Moreover, the treaty was an aggressive and successful British move to end privateering forever – then the United States’ main weapon in case of war with Britain. Based on previously untapped archival sources, Jan Lemnitzer shows why Britain granted generous neutral rights in the Crimean War, how the Europeans forced the United States to respect international law during the American Civil War and why Bismarck threatened violent redemption during the Franco-German War of 1870/71. The powerful conclusion exposed the 19th-century roots of our present international system, and why it is as fragile as before the First World War.


Rémy Ambühl

Prisoners of War in the Hundred Years War. Ransom Culture in the Late Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

  • The ransoming of prisoners of war is one of the most important institutions of late-medieval warfare. Besides the relevant chapters in Keen’s classical study of the late-medieval laws of war (1965) and Meron’s more recent Henry’s Wars and Shakespeare’s Laws (1993), hardly any survey-studies exist on the subject. Ambühl offers a thorough analysis of all major aspects of the process of captivity and ransom in the Hundred Years War (1337-1453). While the applicable laws are covered in the first chapter, the rest of the book discusses the different stages of the process from captivity to release, with special attention to the question of the provenance of financial means. This offers a vivid background to the complex legal reality ransom was. The central legal thesis of the book is that ransom was not legally covered in full by the law of arms or code of chivalry – the closest thing the Late Middle Ages had to a precedent to the laws of war – but that its legal regulation was subject to a great plurality and variety of sources. Whereas the laws of arms as well as royal ordinances of war were mostly concerned with preserving the rights of a captor of his captive in relation to third parties, the actual treatment of the captive and the agreement about ransom largely fell within the remit of private negotiations, and thus contract. One of the major conclusions of the book is that during the 15th century, there is a clear evolution towards the standardization of ransom tariffs for different categories of less-important captives, thus preparing the ground for the cartels and other general settlements of the Early Modern Age (RL).

Pierre-Mary Dupuy and Vincent Chetail (eds.)

The Roots of International Law/Les fondements du droit international. Liber amicorum Peter Haggenmacher, Studies in the History of International Law 5 (Leiden and Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2013).

  • From the back cover:
    This collection of essays gathers contributions from leading international lawyers from different countries, generations and angles with the aim of highlighting the multifaceted history of international law. This volume questions and analyses the origins and foundations of the international legal system. A particular attention is devoted to Hugo Grotius as one of the founding fathers of the law of nations. Several contributions further question the positivist tradition initiated by Vattel and endorsed by scholars of the 19th Century. This immersion in the intellectual origins of international law is enriched by an enquiry into the practice of the law of nations, including its main patterns and changing evolution as well as the role of non-western traditions and the impact of colonization.


James Q. Whitman

The Verdict of Battle. The Law of Victory and the Making of Modern War (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2012).

  • From the dust cover:
    Today, war is considered as a last resort for resolving disagreements. But a day of staged slaughter on the battlefield was once seen as a legitimate means of settling political disputes. James Whitman argues that pitched battle was essentially a lawful verdict. And when this contained form of battle ceased to exist, the law of victory gave way to the rule of unbridled force. The Verdict of Battle explains why the ritualized violence of the past was more effective than modern warfare in bringing carnage to an end, and why humanitarian laws that cling to a notion of war as evil have led to longer, more barbaric conflicts.

John Fabian Witt

Lincoln’s Code. The Laws of War in American History (New York etc.: Freedom Press, 2012).

Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Bancroft Prize Winner

  • From the dust cover:
    In this pathbreaking and deeply original book, John Fabian Witt tells the hidden story of the laws of war in the first century of the United States – and of the extraordinary code that emerged from it to change the course of world history. Lincoln’s Code is the haunting and inspiring story of an idea in American history: the idea that conduct of war can be regulated by law. For many, the very idea of a law of war seemed like an oxymoron. But with sweeps and vitality, Witt unfolds the story of the cast of characters who invented the modern laws of war.

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