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

  • Research Handbooks in International Law series

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 5: The Transformation of International Law in the 19th Century

Amnon Lev


Amnon Lev1 Die Wissenschaft des Völkerrechts erschien überhaupt zu früh auf dem literärischen Schauplatze. Sie fand noch kein brauchbares Material zu einer tüchtigen theoretischen Verarbeitung vor und musste sich notwendig zu subjectiven Theorien und allgemeinen Abstractionen wenden, um ihren Bau aufrichten zu können. Kaltenborn von Stachau, Kritik des Völkerrechts (1847) Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa – das Gespenst des Kommunismus. Alle Mächte des alten Europa haben sich zu einer heiligen Hetzjagd gegen dies Gespenst verbündet, der Papst und der Zar, Metternich und Guizot, französische Radikale und deutsche Polizisten . . . Es ist hohe Zeit, daß die Kommunisten ihre Anschauungsweise, ihre Zwecke, ihre Tendenzen vor der ganzen Welt offen darlegen und den Märchen vom Gespenst des Kommunismus ein Manifest der Partei entgegenstellen. Marx and Engels, Manifest der kommunistischen Partei (1848) In recent years, international law has come to realize the importance of its history. In what has been described as a historiographical turn, the theory of international law has immersed itself in its past to better understand its present.2 The turn to history, which it is the great merit of Martti Koskenniemi to have spearheaded, has essentially been a turn to the 19th century. It is in this century that he locates the point of origin of the discipline of international law and it is here that he and, following him, much of recent legal historiography has looked to find the motive forces that have driven the evolution of international law. On the...

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