Edited by Anthony F. Lang and Antje Wiener
Chapter 2: Global constitutionalism: the ancient worlds
The ancients (for example, Marcus Aurelius) conceptualized the ‘universal’ through ideas of the ‘world as a city’, ‘Constitutions’, usually unwritten, evolved over time; ideas were shared between cities through a process of borrowing and imitation. The Romans’ ‘just war’ was defined by the proper observation of a legal process, the ‘fetial law’. Leagues between ancient states provide models for cooperation and reasons for failure. Polybius’ account of the ‘democratic’ Achaean League analyses the abuse of hegemony; the Romans’ handling of alliances proved more durable. The success of legal pluralism in the multi-ethnic Roman Empire suggests that a more pluralistic model of international governance has advantages.
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