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

See all articles by Randall Lesaffer

Randall Lesaffer

Tilburg Law School; KU Leuven - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 23, 2010

Abstract

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

Lesaffer, Randall C. H., The End of the Cold War as an Epochal Event in the History of International Law (August 23, 2010). Tilburg Working Paper Series on Jurisprudence and Legal History No. 10-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1663871 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1663871

Randall C. H. Lesaffer (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law School ( email )

PO Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
0031 13 4662294 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://rechten.uvt.nl/lesaffer

KU Leuven - Faculty of Law

Tiensestraat 41
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

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