The End of the Cold War as an Epochal Event in the History of International Law
Tilburg Working Paper Series on Jurisprudence and Legal History No. 10-01
25 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2010 Last revised: 19 Feb 2013
Date Written: August 23, 2010
The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the end of the Cold war constitutes an epochal event in the history of international and whether it heralded a new epoch in that history. For this, we look at the period through the perspective of three grand narratives in the historiography of international law: the hegemonic, the Eurocentric and the state-centric. The latter appears to be the most relevant for our purposes. The post-Cold War years constitute another gradual step away from a system premised on the sovereign state. The balance between state sovereignty and international community is slowly shifting further. The post-Cold War Age – if one wants to consider an ‘age’ that has not ended yet just that – can best be called a third sub-period in the ‘Age of Mankind,’ the ‘Age of Universal International Law’ or the ‘Age of the International Community’ after the Interbellum and the Cold War Age.
Keywords: International Law, History, Cold War
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation