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16 September 2016

BOOK: Martti KOSKENNIEMI, Walter RECH & Manuel JIMÉNEZ FONSECA (eds.), International Law and Empire: Historical Explorations [The History and Theory of International Law]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Dec 2016, 416p. ISBN 978-0198795575, £ 80.


(image source: amazon)


Oxford University Press will publish a volume on 1 December 2016 on the theme International Law and Empire: Historical Explorations. This is a product of the project "International Law, Religion and Empire" under the direction of Martti Koskenniemi at the Eric Castrén Institute (Helsinki).

Book description:
In times in which global governance in its various forms, such as human rights, international trade law, and development projects, is increasingly promoted by transnational economic actors and international institutions that seem to be detached from democratic processes of legitimation, the question of the relationship between international law and empire is as topical as ever. By examining this relationship in historical contexts from early modernity to the present, this volume aims to deepen 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. Each of the chapters contributes to this emerging body of scholarship by drawing out the complexity and ambivalence of the relationship between international law and empire. They expand on the critique of western imperialism while acknowledging the nuances and ambiguities of international legal discourse and, in some cases, the possibility of counter-hegemonic claims being articulated through the language of international law. 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.

Table of contents:
Introduction, Martti Koskenniemi
Part I: Epistemologies of Empire and International Law 1: Provincializing Grotius: International Law and Empire in a Seventeenth-Century Malay Mirror, Arthur Weststeijn
2: Indirect Hegemonies in International Legal Relations: The Debate of Religious Tolerance in Early Republican China, Stefan Kroll
3: International Law, Empire, and the Relative Indeterminacy of Narrative, Walter Rech
Part II: Legal Discourses of Empire 4: The Concepts of Universal Monarchy and Balance of Power in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century-a Case Study, Peter Schröder
5: Between Faith and Empire: The Justification of the Spanish Intervention in the French Wars of Religion in the 1590s, Randall Lesaffer
6: Jus gentium and the Transformation of Latin American Nature: One More Reading of Vitoria?, Manuel Jiménez Fonseca
7: Cerberus: The State, the Empire, and the Company as Subjects of International Law in Grotius and the Peace of Westphalia, José-Manuel Barreto
8: Revolution, Empire, and Utopia: Tocqueville and the Intellectual Background of International Law, Julie Saada
Part III: Managing Empire: Imperial Administration and Diplomacy 9: Towards the Empire of a 'Civilizing Nation': The French Revolution and its Impact on Relations with the Ottoman Regencies in the Maghreb, Christian Windler
10: A Comporting Sovereign, Tribes, and the Ordering of Imperial Authority in Colonial Upper Canada of the 1830s, PG McHugh
11: Territory, Sovereignty, and the Construction of the Colonial Space, Luigi Nuzzo
Part IV: A Legal Critique of Empire? 12: An Anti-Imperialist Universalism? Jus Cogens and the Politics of International Law, Umut Özsu
13: Drift towards an Empire? The Trajectory of American Reformers in the Cold War, Hatsue Shinohara
14: Imperium sine fine: Carneades, the Splendid Vice of Glory, and the Justice of Empire, Benjamin Straumann
15: Scepticism of the Civilizing Mission in International Law, Andrew Fitzmaurice 

On the editors:
Martti Koskenniemi is Academy Professor and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki, a Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Law School, and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has held visiting professorships at New York University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Utrecht, Columbia University, the University of São Paulo, the University of Toronto, and the Universities of Paris I, II, X and XVI. He was a member of the Finnish diplomatic service from 1978 to 1994 and of the International Law Commission (UN) from 2002 to 2006. His publications include From Apology to Utopia: The Structure of International Legal Argument (1989), The GentleCivilizer of Nations: The Rise and Fall of International Law 1870-1960 (2001), The Politics of International Law (2011), and The Cambridge Companion to International Law (2012, co-edited with Professor James Crawford). 
Walter Rech is a postdoctoral researcher at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki. His research interests are located in the history and theory of international law and international politics. His publications include Enemies of Mankind: Vattel's Theory of Collective Security ( 2013). 
Manuel Jiménez Fonseca is a doctoral researcher at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki. His research interests include the historical relationship between international law and nature, development, and social movements. His publications include 'The Colonization of American Nature and the Early Developments of International Law' 12 Journal of the History of International Law (2010) 189. 

The book can be pre-ordered with amazon.

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