30 June 2023

BOOK: Natasha WHEATLEY, The Life and Death of States: Central Europe and the Transformation of Modern Sovereignty (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2023), 424 pp, ISBN 9780691244075, $45

(image courtesy: Princeton University Press) 

Book description: 
Sprawled across the heartlands of Europe, the Habsburg Empire resisted all the standard theories of singular sovereignty. The 1848 revolutions sparked decades of heady constitutional experimentation that pushed the very concept of “the state” to its limits. This intricate multinational polity became a hothouse for public law and legal philosophy and spawned ideas that still shape our understanding of the sovereign state today. The Life and Death of States traces the history of sovereignty over one hundred tumultuous years, explaining how a regime of nation-states theoretically equal under international law emerged from the ashes of a dynastic empire.

Natasha Wheatley shows how a new sort of experimentation began when the First World War brought the Habsburg Empire crashing down: the making of new states. Habsburg lands then became a laboratory for postimperial sovereignty and a new international order, and the results would echo through global debates about decolonization for decades to come. Wheatley explores how the Central European experience opens a unique perspective on a pivotal legal fiction—the supposed juridical immortality of states.

A sweeping work of intellectual history, The Life and Death of States offers a penetrating and original analysis of the relationship between sovereignty and time, illustrating how the many deaths and precarious lives of the region’s states expose the tension between the law’s need for continuity and history’s volatility.
Table of contents: 
Chapter 1: Constitution as Archive: Drafting the Empire, 1848-1860s
Chapter 2: The Secret Science of Dual Sovereignty: 1867 and After
Chapter 3: Fictional States: Lands and Nations
Chapter 4: Pure Theory: Jellinek and Kelsen Reinvent Legal Philosophy
Chapter 5: What is a New State? 1919 in the History of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Chapter 6: State Birth at the Frontier of Knowledge: Reimagining International Law from Postimperial Vienna
Chapter 7: Sovereignty in Sequence: Law, Time, and Decolonization 
Conclusion: The Temporal Life of States

About the author: 
Natasha Wheatley is assistant professor of history at Princeton University. She is the coeditor of Remaking Central Europe: The League of Nations and the Former Habsburg Lands and Power and Time: Temporalities in Conflict and the Making of History. Her writing has appeared in Past & Present and the London Review of Books.
More information can be found here

29 June 2023

JOB : PhD position in ‘Legal History and Construction History’ (VUB, Belgium) (DEADLINE : 14 July 2023)

(Source: VUB)

The VUB has a PhD vacancy for a research project on ‘Construction History, Above and Beyond. What History Can Do for Construction History’.

2 - Position description

The Faculty of Engineering, Department Architectural Engineering, is looking for a PhD-student with a doctoral grant

More concretely your work package, for the preparation of a doctorate, contains:

This vacancy fits within the framework of the EOS research project “Construction History, Above and Beyond. What History Can Do for Construction History”, directed by professors Michiel Dehaene (UGent), Dave De ruysscher (VUB, Tilburg University), Rika Devos (ULB), Johan Lagae (UGent), Stephanie Van de Voorde (VUB) and Ine Wouters (VUB). In total, 3 PhD researchers and 4 postdoc researchers are included in this project. An overview of the full project can be consulted on:

The EOS research project will set up a dialogue (in terms of sources, methodologies, concepts and cognitive interests) between Construction History and three other fields of history, namely Colonial History, Legal History and Planning History. As such, the project sets out to strengthen the historical dimension of Construction History, while simultaneously demonstrating its relevance and potential to other fields and disciplines. The project overall concentrates on selected aspects in 19th and 20th -century building knowledge and building practice in Belgium and its former colony, with particular attention for tacit knowledge, in order to voice crucial yet underrated actors, sources and types of knowledge.

The individual trajectory of each researcher is embedded in this larger team, operating in the 3 universities (VUB, UGent and ULB). Intensive exchange and shared outcomes among team members are crucial for the success of the project. The PhD positions are each situated in one of the 3 fields of dialogue: (1) colonial history – construction history; (2) legal history – construction history and (3) planning history – construction history.

This specific vacancy is issued by Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and engages in the dialogue between legal history and construction history. It is co-supervised by profs. Dave De ruysscher (VUB, Tilburg University) and Stephanie Van de Voorde (VUB).

The proposed dialogue between Legal History and Construction History will focus on the normativity of ‘implicit’ and ‘practical’ knowledge in building in Belgium, during the 19th and 20th centuries. This type of knowledge is often enforced through informal rules, in many segments of society. The field of Construction History holds promising opportunities to further disentangle normativity and informal rules, as they can be enforced in the case of harm or construction faults. The liability of architects, contractors and even workers was tested against ‘rules of the trade’, which were rules of implicit, practical knowledge. The sources that can be used range from instructional literature to case law, in which the liability of constructors is explored. These sources shed light not only on the appraisal of ‘rules of the trade’ but also on how legal practitioners categorized ‘practical knowledge’.

The PhD project in the dialogue between legal history and construction history will investigate cases of liability of architects, contractors and construction workers. The main research questions relate to the assessment of practical knowledge in cases of liability and negligence, and to the differences between the actors involved (i.e. construction professionals versus legal practitioners). The sources used will be instructional guidebooks, published case law, legislation, and archival sources (courts of appeal of Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels). Also less explored archives of associations dedicated to expertise and arbitration can play a crucial role, like the archives of the private organization Association Belge des Experts (holding reports on court and arbitration cases) or the Chambre d’Arbitrage et de Médiation (archival pieces on reports and sentences, with references to court cases as well, since the 1960s). One part of the research will cover ‘expertise’ in these cases, looking into who qualifies as an expert and why. In relation to this, expert reports are expected to reveal how the rules of the trade interacted with the legal rules, as the experience in drawing up reports for courts requires a minimal degree of acquaintance with legal categories and jargon.

For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base. 

3 - Profile

What do we expect from you?

  • You will hold one of the following master degrees (Master 120):
    • MA in History
    • MA in Architecture
    • MA in Architectural Engineering
    • MA in Law

or equivalent.

Also master students graduating in the academical year 2022-2023 are welcomed.

  • We are looking for a candidate with expertise in historical research and affinity for legal and/or institutional history. Affinity for construction history and architecture history is a plus.

You need to demonstrate an affinity for legal and/or institutional history and:

    • fluent passive knowledge of Dutch and French;

- a B2 level in English;

    • good editing skills, to be demonstrated by a sample of writing: a copy of the master thesis and/or a research paper;
    • good competences in teamwork and good social skills;
    • an interest in participating in international congresses;
    • passion for research in these domains, including archival research.

About the position:

    • The PhD position is funded by a 4-year EOS research project and is offered as a bursary position, following the standards of VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). See for further details. The project additionally covers expenses related to research visits, participation in conferences, publications, etc. as well as running costs.
    • You will be embedded in the open academic environment uniting 3 leading Belgian universities in the intensive collaboration on 1 project. You will benefit from the guidance of the supervisors, the direct interaction with a postdoctoral researcher working also in the dialogue between Legal History and Construction History, the interaction with the full team and the visibility that will result from it. You will also be supervised by a doctoral coaching committee and invited to engage in the doctoral training during the full duration of the project (2023-7).
    • You will contribute actively to the organisation of the involved departments at VUB and engage in educational activities. These activities can cover the guidance of students in exercises, following up master theses, etc. following the needs of the departments and the skills of the researcher. The amount of hours will not exceed the limits set by FWO.
  • You have not performed any works in the execution of a mandate as an assistant, paid from operating resources, over a total (cumulated) period of more than 12 months.

4 - Offer

Are you going to be our new colleague?

You’ll be offered a full-time PhD-scholarship, for 12 months (extendable up to max. 48 months, on condition of the positive evaluation of the PhD activities), with planned starting date 01/10/2023

You’ll receive a grant linked to one of the scales set by the government.


IMPORTANT: The effective result of the doctorate scholarship is subject to the condition precedent of your enrolment as a doctorate student at the university.

At the VUB, you’re guaranteed an open, involved and diverse workplace where you are offered opportunities to (further) build on your career.

As well as this, you’ll enjoy various benefits:

  • Full reimbursement for your home-work commute with public transport according to VUB-policy, or compensation if you come by bike;
  • Cost-free hospitalisation insurance;
  • The space to form your job content and continuously learn via VUB LRN;
  • Excellent facilities for sport and exercise;
  • Ecocheques;
  • Delicious meals at attractive prices in our campus restaurants;
  • An open, family-friendly work environment where attention is paid to work-life balance, and exceptional holiday arrangements with 35 days of leave (based on a fulltime contract). 

5 - Interested?

Is this the job you’ve been dreaming of?

Send us ONLINE and at the latest on 14/07/2023:

  • Motivation letter (in English, max. 500 words), mentioning also the contents of the application file;
  • Curriculum vitae with list of publications if available;
  • Copy of the diploma (if graduated) and grade record of master studies;
  • A sample of writing: your master thesis (if finished) and/or your best research paper (individual work, in Dutch, French or English);
  • Annexes, if relevant (publications, award certificates, etc.)

Interviews are planned in the week of August 2023.

Do you have questions about the job content? Contact Stephanie Van de Voorde at or on +32-2-6292840.

Would you like to know what it’s like to work at the VUB? Go to and find all there is to know about our campuses, benefits, strategic goals and your future colleagues.

All info via the website of the VUB

BOOK: Rabiat AKANDE, Entangled Domains: Empire, Law, and Religion in Northern Nigeria (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023), 202 pp, ISBN 9781316511558, £95


(image courtesy: Cambridge University Press)

Book description: 
Set in Colonial Northern Nigeria, this book confronts a paradox: the state insisted on its separation from religion even as it governed its multireligious population through what remained of the precolonial caliphate. Entangled Domains grapple with this history to offer a provocative account of secularism as a contested yet contingent mode of governing religion and religious difference. Drawing on detailed archival research, Rabiat Akande vividly illustrates constitutional struggles triggered by the colonial state's governance of religion and interrogates the legacy of that governance agenda in the postcolonial state. This book is a novel commentary on the dynamic interplay between law, faith, identity, and power in the context of the modern state's emergence from colonial processes.
Table of contents: 
Part I. Governing Faith:
1. Jousting for souls: indirect rule, Christian missions and the governance of religious difference
2. Governing Shari'a
Part II. Constituting Difference:
3. The construction of minorities: late imperial secularity and the constitutional politics of decolonization
4. The making of the 1958 Penal Code
5. Constituting rights: Christian religious liberty in the late colonial state
Part III. Imagining the Past:
6. The 1977 Constitutional Conference and beyond
About the author: 
Rabiat Akande is Assistant Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. She works in the fields of legal history, law and religion, constitutional and comparative constitutional law, Islamic law, International law, and (post)colonial African law and society.
More information can be found here

28 June 2023

BOOK: Youcef L. SOUFI, The Rise of Critical Islam. 10th-13th Century Legal Debate (Oxford: University Press, 2023). ISBN: 9780197685006, pp. 296, £71.00


(Source: OUP)


In a richly narrated historical study, Youcef Soufi excavates an Islamic legal culture of critique from the 10th to 13th centuries. Focusing on the practice of munāẓara (disputation), Soufi explores how and why oral debates became a pervasive and revered part of the intellectual legal landscape of Iraq and Persia. Using the life and career of celebrated Iraqi jurist Abū Isḥāq al-Shīrāzī, he traces the formalization of debate gatherings at the dawn of the classical legal schools (al-madhāhib) in the early 10th century and analyzes the wider institutional, social, and discursive conditions that made debate an important feature of any jurist's practice.

Pushing back against claims that classical Muslim jurists sought to weed out differences of opinion, The Rise of Critical Islam presents a community committed to the openness, fluidity, and continued exploration of the law. Challenging the view of debate gatherings simply as mechanisms of doctrinal resolution before codification, the study reveals a classical culture where critical debates were part of a continual and personal quest to discover God's law. In uncovering this classical legal culture, Soufi invites readers to question claims about the promise of secular critique in disciplining religious passions and forging human solidarity.


Youcef Soufi is Research Associate at the University of Toronto's Institute of Islamic Studies. He is a former Assistant Professor in Islamic Studies at the University of British Columbia and a former Chair of the Canadian Association for the Study of Islam and Muslims (CASIM). He has held fellowships at the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto, the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies at Simon Frasier University, and The Centre for Studies in Religion and Society (CSRS) at The University of Victoria.



Part I

Chapter 1: Mourning Loss Through Debate: Pious Critique and its Limits

Chapter 2: The Emergence of Pious Critique: a Genealogy of "Munazara"

Chapter 3 "Why do We Debate?": Uncovering Two Discursive Foundations for Disputation

Part II

Chapter 4: Debating the Convert's Jizya: How the Madhhab Enabled Ijtihad

Chapter 5: Forced Marriage in Shafi'i Law: Revisiting School Doctrine

Chapter 6: The Case of the Mistaken Prayer Direction: Debating Indeterminate School Doctrine

Part III

Chapter 7: The End of Critical Islam?: Shafi'ism and Temporal Decay

More information with the publisher.

BOOK: Giacomo PACE GRAVINA, La terra e il codice: l'enfiteusi. (Milano: Giuffrè, 2023). ISBN 9788828853411 17,10€


Tra le figure dell’esperienza giuridica relative al possesso terriero un posto importante, tra Ottocento e Novecento, è stato occupato dall’enfiteusi. Bandita dalla Rivoluzione francese, esclusa dal Code Napoléon, venne accolta dai codici preunitari della Restaurazione perché ritenuta cruciale per lo sviluppo dell’agricoltura e della ricchezza fondiaria. La ricerca parte da queste premesse per tracciare una storia dell’enfiteusi fatta di terra e di uomini, di interessi e di problematiche sociali, ove l’antico contratto agrario gioca un ruolo centrale per l’eversione feudale e l’appropriazione della manomorta ecclesiastica da parte di un nuovo ceto ‘civile’ che si appresta al proprio ingresso nelle dinamiche socio-politiche dell’Italia unita. Scienza giuridica, logiche proprietarie e istanze progressiste si intrecciano tra la fine del sec. XIX e l’inizio del XX fino alla ridefinizione dell’enfiteusi come diritto reale, e alla sua inclusione nei progetti che condussero alla codificazione civilistica del 1942, anche in prospettiva coloniale, con un palese rafforzamento del diritto del concedente. Il secondo dopoguerra e le seguenti riforme declinarono l’istituto a favore del dominio utile, provocando così la crisi dell’enfiteusi, tanto da farne presagire la scomparsa: l’esperienza degli ultimi anni invece ne documenta persistenza e vitalità. 

Table of contents


1. « Notre Code civil serait un vrai chaos »

2. « Poi vennero i francesi a scompigliare il mondo »

3. La versione di Vienna 

4. Nei laboratori della Restaurazione 

4.1. La forza della tradizione

4.1.a. Stato pontificio ed enfiteusi ferraresi

4.1.b. I livelli toscani

4.2. Le vie del Codice

4.2.a. L’enfiteusi nella codificazione del Regno delle Due Sicilie

4.2.b. Il Codice parmense 

4.2.c. Il Codice estense  

4.3. Il peso del modello francese: il Codice albertino

5. Fortune dell’enfiteusi in Italia 

6. Sopravvivenze dell’enfiteusi in Francia


1. Due recensioni, tra Sicilia e Toscana 

2. Riflessioni meridionali

3. La ‘Scuola siciliana’ 

4. L’enfiteusi in Sicilia tra vecchie realtà e nuovi interessi

5. Il ruolo della Giurisprudenza


1. La testardaggine di Simone Corleo

2. « Vincoli d’impura origine »

3. Una chiave di lettura

4. L’enigma del dominio

5. L’Arcadia di Vincenzo Simoncelli

6. Tempo di riforme


1. Una nuova vita

2. Nel labirinto della codificazione

3. Il comitato Vassalli

4. La Commissione delle Assemblee legislative

5. Verso il traguardo

6. Propaganda fascista e miraggi coloniali


1. Nuovi assetti sociali e normativi

2. Il dominio diretto ritorna sulla scena

3. Per una forma alternativa di proprietà

27 June 2023

BOOK: Andrea ERRERA (ed.), I Codici di Maria Luigia tra tradizione e innovazione. Atti del Convegno di studi Parma, 29 novembre-1 dicembre 2021 [Collana di Studi di storia del diritto medievale e moderno; 8] (Roma: Historia et Ius, 2023), 496 p. ISBN 978-88-946376-8-7 [OPEN ACCESS]

(image source: HistoriaetIus)

From the preface:

Maria Luigia d’Asburgo-Lorena, Duchessa di Parma, promulgò nel corso del 1820 quattro Codici, di cui la storiografia – recente e meno recente – ha ripetutamente sottolineato il valore e l’importanza. Il 2020 presentava quindi un anniversario importante da celebrare, ossia i 200 anni dalla promulgazione. Questa circostanza mi ha indotto a progettare un convegno di studi da svolgere a Parma proprio nel 2020 per indagare le caratteristiche salienti di quella stagione codificatoria tramite il contributo dei più autorevoli esperti della materia. Purtroppo però nello stesso anno una micidiale pandemia era in agguato, e la diffusione del morbo ha costretto ineluttabilmente a postergare ogni iniziativa congressuale che prevedesse gli incontri fisici e le assemblee scientifiche.

Download the book for free here


BOOK: Priyasha SAKSENA, Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia (Oxford: University Press, 2023). ISBN: 9780192866585, pp. 272, £90.00


(Source: OUP)


What constitutes a sovereign state in the international legal sphere? This question has been central to international law for centuries. Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia provides a compelling exploration of the history of sovereignty through an analysis of the jurisdictional politics involving a specific set of historical legal entities.

Governed by local rulers, the princely states of colonial South Asia were subject to British paramountcy whilst remaining legally distinct from directly ruled British India. Their legal status and the extent of their rights remained the subject of feverish debates through the entirety of British colonial rule. This book traces the ways in which the language of sovereignty shaped the discourse surrounding the legal status of the princely states to illustrate how the doctrine of sovereignty came to structure political imagination in colonial South Asia and the framework of the modern Indian state.

Opening with a survey of the place of the princely states in the colonial structures of South Asia, Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia goes on to illustrate how international lawyers, British politicians, colonial officials, rulers and bureaucrats of princely states, and anti-colonial nationalists in British India used definitions of sovereignty to construct political orders in line with their interests and aspirations. By invoking the vernacular of sovereignty in contrasting ways to support their differing visions of imperial and world order, these actors also attempted to reconfigure the boundaries among the spheres of the national, the imperial, and the international. Throughout the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, debates and disputes over the princely states continually defined and redefined the concept of sovereignty and international legitimacy in South Asia.

Using rich material from the colonial archives,Sovereignty, International Law, and the Princely States of Colonial South Asia conveys an understanding of the history of sovereignty and the construction of the modern Indian nation-state that is still relevant today. A riveting read, this book will be of considerable interest and importance to scholars of international law and South Asia, legal historians, and political scientists.


Priyasha Saksena is a lecturer at the School of Law, University of Leeds, UK. Her research focuses on the historical development of legal concepts and institutions within the British empire and their contemporary effects. She is particularly interested in exploring how legal doctrines such as sovereignty have shaped the relationship between international law and colonialism.


1: Introduction
2: Setting the Stage: The Legal Construction of British Paramountcy
3: Jousting Over Jurisdiction: Sovereignty Debates in the Aftermath of the 1857 Rebellion
4: The Controversy Over Divisible Sovereignty: The Princes and the Indian States Committee
5: Political Negotiations: The Princes in the Federation Debates
6: Building the Nation: The Princely States in the Age of Decolonization
7: Epilogue

More information with the publisher.

CFP: Seventeenth International Congress of Medieval Canon Law (ICMCL) - Canterbury, UK, 7-13 July 2024 [DEADLINE 15 DEC 2023]


(Canterbury Cathedral. Source: University of Kent)

The 17th International Congress of Medieval Canon Law, co-sponsored by ICMAC (Iuris Canonici Medii Aevi Consociatio/International Society of Medieval Canon Law) will be based at the University of Kent campus in Canterbury, UK, between Sunday, 7 July, and Saturday, 13 July 2024. These congresses take place every four years on alternate sides of the Atlantic and constitute the leading academic conferences in the field of medieval canon law. Traditionally they have drawn scholars from many countries, including not only medievalists and lawyers, but also those who study related fields, such as Western jurisprudence and legal norms, Roman law, ecclesiastical and papal history, theology and biblical exegesis, manuscript studies, and the history of culture, society, and ideas.

ICMAC, the congress organisers Prof. Barbara Bombi FBA, Dr Edward Roberts, and Prof. Peter Clarke and congress programming committee invite proposals for individual 20-minute papers and for sessions (of 3 x 20-minute papers or 4 x 15-minute papers) on any aspect of medieval canon law, including, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • Texts and Jurisprudence
  • Influence of the ius commune on the Western Legal Tradition and International Law
  • Canon Law and Local Ecclesiastical History
  • Canon Law, Theology, and Pastoral Care
  • Medieval Law in Comparative Perspective

Proposals should be submitted as Word attachments via email to the congress address ( no later than 15 December 2023.

An individual paper proposal should comprise: paper title and language of presentation; a brief abstract (100-150 words); the speaker’s details (name; academic status; institutional affiliation; email address).

A session proposal should comprise the above for each paper proposed, together with: the details (as for speakers above) of the session organiser and session chair; the session title; a brief rationale (50-100 words) for the session, i.e., how the papers are related.

Proposals are welcomed from those at all stages of their academic career, including PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, as well as independent scholars. Papers may be delivered in these languages: English; French; German; Italian; or Spanish. Scholars not presenting in English are encouraged to use PowerPoint presentations and/or provide written English summaries of their papers.

Regular sessions will not feature papers on text-editing projects (but can include papers on manuscript studies). Updates on such projects will be showcased in a poster session during the Congress. Scholars who wish to present on such projects may submit two proposals if they desire, one for the poster session and another for a regular session.

The organisers would especially welcome proposals on the theme ‘Bridging the Divide’, focusing on Canterbury as a place of significance in the history of Western Christianity and medieval canon law before and after the Protestant Reformation and as the centre of the global Anglican communion. Contributions to this theme might cover such topics as:

  • Canterbury’s role in the compilation and diffusion of medieval canon law in the English Church
  • Canon law and local jurisdictions: application of canon law in the archbishops’ and other local church courts
  • Canon law and secular law: the impact of the Becket crisis on medieval canon law (especially after the Constitutions of Clarendon in 1164) and its long-term legacy
  • Global Anglicanism: the continuing influence of medieval canon law in the Anglican communion and other post-Reformation churches

Although the chronological focus of the Congress is typically c. 500 – c. 1500, we would also welcome contributions from early modernists to this theme, which is designed to bridge the all too separate study of pre- and post-Reformation Christianity and explore continuities and synergies in the history of canon law over the longue durée. Historians of early modern Catholicism are also invited to offer papers exploring continuities of pre-Tridentine canon law in Europe and the New World, including among English Catholics.

In addition, we would welcome contributions to the strand ‘Canon law and governance’, which will explore how the study of medieval canon law can help inform current public policy debates, notably on the role of international law, electoral systems, constitutional reform, and representative government. The strand will thus focus on these four topics:

  • Canon law and international law: the transnational influence of medieval canon law on the emergence of national legal systems
  • Constitutionalism and canon law: the interaction of medieval canon law and secular law in the development of governing institutions
  • Communities and canon law: the role of medieval canon law in the emergence and definition of groups and communities, such as women and clergy
  • Elections and consent: the influence of medieval canon law on the role of elections and consent in government

Papers on other aspects of medieval canon law and governance, such as human rights, are also welcome. The purpose of this strand is to show the continuing relevance of medieval canon law to political issues and appeal to a broader public audience.  Invited speakers in this special strand include:

  • Orazio Condorelli (University of Catania, Italy)
  • Christof Rolker (University of Bamberg, Germany)
  • Caroline Humfress (University of St Andrews, UK)
  • Nicholas Vincent FBA (University of East Anglia, UK)
  • Sara Butler (Ohio State University, USA)
  • Charles West (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • Dr Joseph Canning (Queens’ College, Cambridge, UK)
  • Dr Danica Summerlin (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • Kenneth Pennington (Catholic University of America, Washington DC)

BOOK: Domenico SICILIANO, «Defensive Aufklärung»: Il conflitto tra filosofia, politica e giurisprudenza nell'Articolo segreto per la Pace Perpetua di Immanuel Kant. (Milano: Giuffrè, 2023). ISBN 9788828851547



Table of contents:




I) Della pericolosità della polis per i filosofi e come neutralizzare il pericolo (Hannah Arendt) 

II) Del fine politico dei « königliche Völker » (Werner Schneiders).

III) Kant e il suo tempo (Georg Cavallar)

IV) Della ‘differenziazione funzionale’ tra politica e filosofia (Volker Gerhardt)  

V) Del ruolo decisivo dell’antropologia pessimistica kantiana (Otfried Höffe) 

VI) Della separazione dei poteri nell’Articolo segreto (Reinhard Brandt)


I) La questione del « Re-Filosofo »

II) La questione del « Filosofo-Re »

1. Kant e Sieyès 

2. Kant e Sieyès nella letteratura: l’interpretazione di Cavallar 

3. Kant tra la Francia rivoluzionaria e la Prussia reazionaria 

4. La questione del nesso tra il (mancato) contatto tra Kant e Sieyès e l’Articolo segreto ovvero: quando vengono pubblicate la « Neue vermehrte Auflage », la versione francese e quella inglese nel 1796? 

a) La questione della pubblicazione della « Neue vermehrte Auflage » ovvero delle corrispondenti versioni francesi e inglese nel 1796

aa) Le traduzioni in francese del 1796

bb) La traduzione in inglese del 1796

cc) La « Neue vermehrte Auflage » di Per la Pace perpetua

b) Quando è stato scritto l’Articolo segreto ovvero la parte di esso sui « Philosophenkönige »? 

5. Kant e la questione della verità. Ovvero: Kant ‘tra Platone e Kant’

6. Del « possesso della forza »

7. La connessione tra lo Streit tra filosofi e giuristi e il « PhilosophenKönige-Satz » nell’Articolo segreto

26 June 2023

JOURNAL: Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d'histoire du droit international XXV (2023), No. 2


(image source: Brill)

Petro-States’ Shaping of International Law (Lys Kulamadayil)
DOI 10.1163/15718050-12340214

This article highlights the marks left on international law by Iran’s and Algeria’s early, and mid-20th century paths to re-claiming sovereignty over their petroleum reserves. It shows that Iran has significantly affected the contractual model of petroleum operations, whereas Algeria has championed the international law turn of third world internationalism. It thus hopes to shift attention from the frequently cited non-consequentialism of key moments in Third World Internationalism, such as Bandung and the NIEO to the significance of these domestic and transnational processes. While so doing, it is careful to point to the extraordinary bargaining power given to petro-states by the fossil-fuel dependent global economy, which elevated their influence in global affairs over that of other states in the Global South.

Planning for the Aftermath. Longue Durée Histories for a New International Legal Order in Kelsen, Lauterpacht and De Visscher (Jacob Giltaij) [OPEN ACCESS]
DOI  10.1163/15718050-bja10084

As early as the 1930s, the development of plans for an international legal order to be created in the aftermath of the Second World War were commonplace. This particularly concerned a group of refugee scholars hailing from the German-speaking academic world. The plans of three scholars that were personally affected by the Nazi regime are discussed, those of Hans Kelsen, Hersch Lauterpacht and Charles De Visscher. This contribution compares the plans of the three scholars as formulated in the period between 1934 and 1947, as well as the historical narratives at their core, and ventures to answer the question whether these narratives should be seen as ‘invented traditions’ or that the scholars perceive them as significant and crucial stages of development at the basis of their plans for a post-War international legal order.

A History of Double Criminality in Extradition (Neil Boister) [OPEN ACCESS]
DOI 10.1163/15718050-bja10089


This article sets out the history of double criminality in the law of extradition. It shows how that it only emerged as a legal requirement in the ‘Jay Treaty’, the 1794 treaty between theUSand UK. The article explores how the ‘Jay proviso’, a procedural requirement that the requesting state produce sufficient evidence to satisfy the requested state of the criminality of the requested person, morphed through interaction between common law and civil law states into a substantive requirement that the acts for which extradition is requested be criminal under the laws of both states. The article diccusses the evolution of the idea, and of its rationale, and then concludes that acceptance of this idea by the early part of the 20th Century confirmed its status as a general principle of law, or perhaps even a rule of customary international law. 

The Alaskan Fur-Seal Crisis: Science, Capital, and Multilateralism in the Settlement of International Biodiversity Disputes (James Hickling) 
DOI 10.1163/15718050-12340217

The history of the Alaskan fur-seal crisis shows that the development of international environmental law and the peaceful settlement of biodiversity-related disputes can occur over the very long term, through a dynamic, iterative, and cyclical process that involves four key steps: the sorting of competing interests; the sifting of evidence and expert opinion; convergence on shared values; and the articulation of new regulatory regimes that reflect those values. The fur-seal dispute followed this pattern; it occurred over a period of more than 25 years during which the parties initiated several resets of the cycle until finally reaching a durable multilateral agreement grounded in a commitment to the rule of law and the rational use of natural resources. The main obstacles that prevented a more timely and efficient resolution were scientific uncertainty and risk to investment capital. The parties found they could not reach agreement on the causes of the decline of fur-seal populations, but they could agree on a regulatory model that incented the reallocation of private capital away from unsustainable activities, and that provided for an equitable sharing of public revenues in the long term, including through compensatory payments in exchange for restraint in the exercise of legal rights. This manuscript traces the origins of the dispute and the steps taken to reach a solution, including the several joint scientific inquiries commissioned by the parties, and invites discussion about how the lessons of the fur-seal crisis could be applied to avoid and resolve future biodiversity-related disputes.

Book review
The Invention of Custom. Natural Law and the Law of Nations, ca. 1550–1750 , written by Francesca Iurlaro (by Alain Wijffels)

Read all contributions here.

CFP: 'Meeting of Legal Cultures' - XXVIIth Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians - Sarajevo, 21-23 September 2023 [DEADLINE 1 July 2023]



XXVIIth Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians Sarajevo, (21 - 23 September 2023)



We are pleased to announce a call for papers for our upcoming gathering, which aims to explore the convergence of legal cultures. This event seeks to provide a platform for young legal historians to share their latest research on the meeting of legal cultures. We welcome papers that examine the challenges and opportunities presented by cross-cultural encounters, and that shed light on the ways in which legal systems have evolved and adapted to new contexts.

The convergence of legal cultures between the Orient and Occident has played a pivotal role in the development of law throughout history. As the East and West have interacted and exchanged ideas, legal systems have adapted and evolved to new contexts. However, these encounters have also presented significant challenges, particularly when reconciling conflicting norms and protecting fundamental values. The ongoing encounter of legal cultures between the Orient and Occident remains a critical aspect of legal history, shaping the evolution of law and promoting a more interconnected and just legal system that embraces both Eastern and Western perspectives.

The study of the convergence of legal cultures is crucial for legal history because it sheds light on the ways in which legal systems have developed and interacted with each other over time. By examining how legal systems have evolved through cross-cultural encounters, legal historians can gain insight into the complex dynamics of legal change and development. Moreover, the study of the convergence of legal cultures can help legal historians to uncover the diverse range of legal traditions that have existed throughout history, and to appreciate the unique contributions that different legal systems have made to the evolution of law. Ultimately, by studying the convergence of legal cultures, legal historians can better understand the complex and dynamic nature of law, and can contribute to the development of a more inclusive and diverse legal history.

The following are not an exhaustive list of topics we would like to see submissions fall under:

  •           Meeting of legal cultures
  •           Religious law
  •          Roman law
  •         Modern legal systems

 We believe that the conference gives young legal historians a unique opportunity to present their research in the field and to get acquainted with the interdisciplinary approaches presented by their colleagues from around the world. If you would like to present a paper during the conference, please send an application including an abstract of not more than 250 words and your CV to before 1st of July. Presentations have to be in English and should not exceed 20 minutes each.

The conference fee will be € 150, - and does not include travel and accommodation. After 1st of Julyt accepted papers will be informed and will be contacted further to complete the registration by paying the conference fee.

BOOK: Paolo CAPPELLINI; Giovanni CAZZETTA (Orgs). Pluralismo giuridico. Itinerari contemporanei, atti dell'incontro di studi, Firenze, 20-21 ottobre 2022. (Milano, Giuffrè, 2023). ISBN 9788828853404 37,05€


Il volume raccoglie gli Atti dell’Incontro internazionale di studi tenutosi a Firenze nell’ottobre del 2022 in occasione dei cinquant’anni dalla fondazione dei Quaderni fiorentini e del Centro di studi per la storia del pensiero giuridico moderno. Calato com’è nei pilastri fondativi dell’ordine giuridico e nei suoi processi di trasformazione, il tema del Pluralismo giuridico incrocia perfettamente i caratteri qualificanti iscritti sin dalle origini nel progetto della Rivista e nelle attività del Centro, intitolato a Paolo Grossi proprio a partire dall’Incontro di ottobre. Il volume  organizza in tre sezioni – Paradigmi, Esperienze, Prospettive – il ricco e vivace confronto tra storici, filosofi del diritto e giuristi di diritto positivo, e contiene altresì gli interventi della Cerimonia di intitolazione a Paolo Grossi del Centro di studi.

Table of Contents

Itinerari contemporanei del pluralismo giuridico. Le ragioni di un Incontro (P. Cappellini, G. Cazzetta, B. Sordi, I. Stolzi)


 TOMMASO GRECO, Il problema (della scienza) del diritto e le vie del pluralismo

MICHELE GRAZIADEI, Frontiere, legal transplants, comparazioni: le vie del diritto e l’incontro con il pluralismo

CARLA FARALLI, Pluralismo e teoria generale del diritto

FABIO DEI, Razionalità e relativismo nell’antropologia giuridica

Esperienze: il caso della colonizzazione portoghese

CRISTIANO PAIXA˜ O, Pluralismo in gioco: le dispute sulla democrazia costituzionale brasiliana

RICARDO SONTAG, Ordine domestico e ordine statale nel Brasile del XIX secolo: la disciplina degli schiavi

CRISTINA NOGUEIRA DA SILVA, Colonial Justice in Mozambique (1915-1954): Preserving and Changing Indigenous Customary Law

MASSIMO MECCARELLI, Pluralismo giuridico e spazio eccedente. Il laboratorio storiografico brasiliano visto dall’Europa


MASSIMO LUCIANI, La Costituzione e il pluralismo

ENZO CANNIZZARO, Consuetudine e pluralismo normativo nel diritto internazionale

THORSTEN KEISER, Pluralismo e diritto del lavoro

NICOLO` LIPARI, Gli approdi pluralistici del diritto civile

Cerimonia di intitolazione a Paolo Grossi del Centro di studi per la storia del pensiero giuridico moderno

PAOLO CAPPELLINI, Paolo Grossi: una dedica, una presenza




PIETRO COSTA, Paolo Grossi: il sapere come istituzione

BOOK: Gianfrancesco ZANETTI, Mortimer SELLERS & Stephan KIRSTE (eds.), Handbook of the History of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy [Studies in the History of Law and Justice, eds. Mortimer SELLERS & Georges MARTYN, vols. 22-24] (Heidelberg: Springer, 2023), 3 vol., ISBN 978-3-031-19544-0, € 211,99 per volume


(image source: Springer)


This Handbook discusses representative philosophers in the history of the philosophy of law and social philosophy, giving clear concise expert definitions and explanations of key personalities and their ideas. It provides an essential reference for experts and newcomers alike.

On the editors:
Gianfrancesco Zanetti taught Jurisprudence and Political Theory in the University of Bologna, University of Modena, Military Academy of Modena (course for the Carabinieri Cadets), Hunter College CUNY (New York), UC Berkeley. Mortimer Sellers is Regents Professor of the University System of Maryland. He is past President of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR). Stephan Kirste holds the Chair for the Philosophy of Law and Head of the Department for Legal Theory, International and European Law at the University of Salzburg, Professor Colaborador at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) and member of the Council of the German Speaking International Andrássy University, Budapest.
Read volume 1 and 2 here (DOI 10.1007/978-3-031-19542-6).

SUMMER SCHOOL: "Fascismo e Diritto. Continuità e rotture nella tradizione giuridica italiana" - Perugia 4-6 luglio 2023

CLOSING PLENARY SESSION: Dialogues of Art, History and Law: 'Legal Iconography Issues in Byzantine Art' - 30th June 2023 [online, registration required]

(Source: IEM)

The closing plenary session of the 2nd Cycle of Webinars “Dialogues of Art, History and Law”, dedicated to the theme "Legal Iconography Issues in Byzantine Art", will take place on June 30, at 4:30 pm, via Zoom.
The cycle is organized by the Institute of Medieval Studies (IEM- NOVA/FCSH), together with the IUS ILLUMINATUM research team and in partnership with the Portuguese Heraldry Institute (IPH), the Capitular Library of Verona and the Capitular Library of Vercelli. 

This initiative, organized by a scientific and organizational committee composed of members of the IUS ILLUMINATUM research team, coordinated by researcher Maria Alessandra Bilotta, PI of the team, aims to establish a fruitful dialogue between different scientific disciplines, namely History of Art, History and History of Law, necessary for the study of illuminated legal manuscripts and documents.

This initiative also aims to facilitate synergies between different areas of knowledge and to disseminate the results of research to a wider audience, always maintaining scientific rigor, in order to promote the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in the study of manuscripts and medieval legal documents, drawing attention to the importance of conserving that heritage.

To participate (free but compulsory registration):

23 June 2023

BOOK: Emőd VERESS (ed.), Constitutional History of Transylvania [Studies in the History of Law and Justice, eds. Mortimer SELLERS & Georges MARTYN; 25] (Heidelberg: Springer, 2023), XIII + 373 p. ISBN 978-3-031-22165-1, € 169,59

(image source: Springer)


This book examines the constitutional history of Transylvania, a region of Central Europe that has experienced a compelling series of historical events and been governed by a variety of ancient, medieval, and modern entities, as well as its own peoples, who from time to time have jointly or separately exercised their right to self-governance. The book’s main goal is to provide, for the first time in English, a comprehensive source for those interested in the variety of states, constitutional and public legal orders which have succeeded one another during Transylvania’s tumultuous history. It serves to underline the region’s uniqueness as a space where (for better or worse) several nationalities, multiple religions and varied cultures have had to find a way to get along, under the pressures of external state and constitutional orders. It seeks to show both the positive and the negative solutions found, which advanced or hindered this goal of organised coexistence.
On the editor:
Emőd Veress is a distinguished professor of law, member of the faculty of the Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, and Director of its Department of Legal Studies. His publishing career extends to numerous works in the Romanian, Hungarian and English languages, in the fields of commercial, economic and public (constitutional) law. As a high recognition of his academic achievements in 2016 he has been inducted into the Hungarian Order of Merit.

Read the book here (DOI 10.1007/978-3-031-22166-8

SCHOLARSHIPS: Ph.D. Program in Global History and Governance at the Scuola Superiore Meridionale (SSM) in Naples (Italy) Nov 2023-2027 (DEADLINE: 25 AUG 2023)


(Image source:

Ph.D. Program in Global History and Governance
Eight 4-year doctoral scholarships are available
at the Scuola Superiore Meridionale, Napoli (Italy)
a.y. 2023-2024


The Scuola Superiore Meridionale (SSM) in Naples invites applications for 8 fully-funded scholarships (of which 7 are funded by the EU via the PNRR and one is on ) in the PhD program in Global History and Governance for the academic year 2023-2024.


The Program: The PhD in Global History and Governance consists of an advanced course of study and research at the end of which the student defends a thesis based on original and independent scientific work. The course offers an educational program based on a multi-disciplinary approach centered on history and law and opened to contributions of other disciplines. The Ph.D. program in Global History and Governance is aimed at highly motivated students with a solid personal background and diverse language skills. The program focuses on the comparisons, connections, and processes of globalization that have characterized different areas of the planet between the 16th and the 20th century. It does so by concentrating on the relational dimension of historical processes, legal regimes, and the organization of power; on the interconnections between economic, political, legal, cultural, and social factors; and circulation, exchange, and interconnection of ideas, persons, institutions, legal cultures, political models, concepts, rights and goods on a global scale.

Program coordinator: Prof. Daniela Luigia Caglioti

Program webpage:

Funding amount: Annual stipend of € 19,000.00; 50% increase of the scholarship for research abroad for up to 12 months; up to 20% of the scholarship in research funds per year; no tuition fees.

Starting date: November 2, 2023

Admission requirements: Candidates must possess an MA/MS degree, an excellent command of English, and possibly a second language other than their mother tongue. They must present a personal statement, a research proposal on a subject relevant to the PhD program, and the review/discussion of a text that particularly inspired applicants in the choice to pursue their studies as well as in the conception and writing of the proposal itself.

Application deadline: August 25, 2023 (only via the online system at

 Deadline for recommendation letters: August 29, 2023

 Please visit the SSM website for full details of the funding of the award, eligibility, and how to apply:

 For further information, please write to