Research Handbook on the Theory and History of International Law
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Research Handbook on the Theory and History of International Law

Edited by Alexander Orakhelashvili

This pioneering Research Handbook, with contributions from renowned experts, provides a comprehensive scholarly framework for analyzing the theory and history of international law. Given the multiplication of theoretical approaches over the last three decades, and attendant fragmentation of scholarly efforts, this edited collection presents a useful doctrinal platform that will help academics and students to see the theory and history of international law in its entirety, and to understand how interdependent various aspects of the theory and history of international law really are.
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Chapter 2: Early-Modern Scholarship on International Law

Alain Wijffels


Alain Wijffels The development of international law scholarship from the 16th until the 18th century can be attributed to different changes in a wider context1. One major factor was the continuing development of legal scholarship in general, which, on the European continent, maintained its roots in the civil law tradition2. Another was the establishment of the territorial sovereign state as the new paradigm of political power. In both cases, the influence was incremental: early-modern legal scholarship evolved from late-medieval legal methods, and, similarly, the early-modern state retained until the end of the Ancien Régime many 1 Most general surveys on the history of international law include sections on international law scholarship, sometimes in greater detail than in the present chapter. Among the older works which are still quoted: A. Nussbaum, A Concise History of the Law of Nations, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1954 (revised edn.); History of International Law in Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Amsterdam, New York, Oxford, North Holland, 1984, vol. 7, esp. the entries on ‘History of the Law of Nations: Ancient Times to 1648’, and ‘History of the Law of Nations: 1648 to 1815’, pp. 132–179; A.C.G.M. Eyffinger (ed.), Compendium rechtsgeschiedenis, Deventer, Kluwer, 1991 (2nd edn.); W.G. Grewe, The Epochs of International Law. Translated and revised by Michael Byers, Berlin, New York, Walter de Gruyter, 2000 (based on the older, original version in German). More recent surveys include: C. Focarelli, Lezioni di Storia del Diritto internazionale, Perugia, Morlacchi Editore, 2002; S. Laghmani, Histoire...

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