Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2476016
 


 



Legal History as Foreign Relations History


Mary L. Dudziak


Emory University School of Law; Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

August 4, 2014

Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations, 3rd ed., Michael J. Hogan, Thomas G. Patterson, and Frank Costigliola, eds. (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming).
Emory Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-298

Abstract:     
This paper is for a leading work on the methodologies of foreign relations history. Traditionally, diplomatic historians have been skeptical about law as a causal force in international relations, and have often ignored it. Challenging that assumption, this essay shows that law is already present in aspects of foreign relations history scholarship. Using human rights as an example, I explore the way periodization of legal histories is tied to assumptions and arguments about causality. I illustrate the way law has worked as a tool in international affairs, and the way law makes an indelible mark, or acts as a legitimizing force, affecting what historical actors imagine to be possible. Drawing from Robert Gordon’s influential work on the methodology of legal history, the essay shows the way law can help to constitute the social and political context within which international affairs are conducted. I argue that the presence of law and lawyers in the history of U.S. foreign relations is too central to be ignored.

For a scholar without legal training, taking up law-related topics can pose special challenges. This essay ends with a Legal History Survival Guide that includes advice about how to get started and how to avoid mistakes.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: foreign relations, diplomatic, history, historiography, methodology, human rights, international

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: August 6, 2014 ; Last revised: August 29, 2014

Suggested Citation

Dudziak, Mary L., Legal History as Foreign Relations History (August 4, 2014). Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations, 3rd ed., Michael J. Hogan, Thomas G. Patterson, and Frank Costigliola, eds. (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming). ; Emory Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-298. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2476016

Contact Information

Mary L. Dudziak (Contact Author)
Emory University School of Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences ( email )
75 Alta Rd
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 733
Downloads: 176
Download Rank: 103,555

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.312 seconds