The Shifting Origins of International Law
28 Leiden Journal of International Law 3 (2015), Forthcoming
29 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 21, 2015
Both state-centrism and Euro-centrism are under challenge in international law today and this double challenge, this work argues, is being fruitfully mirrored back into the study of the history of international law. It examines, in the first section, the effects of the rise of positivism as a method of norm-identification and the role of methodological nationalism over the study of the history of international law in the modern foundational period of international law. This is extended by an examination of how this bequeathed a double exclusionary bias regarding time and space to the study of the history of international law as well as a reiterative focus on a series of canonical events and authors to the exclusion of others such as those related to the Islamic history of international law. In the second section, the analysis turns to address why this state of historiographical affairs is changing, specifically highlighting intra-disciplinary developments within the field of the history of international law and the effects that the “international turn in the writing of history” is having on the writing of a new history of international law for a global age. The conclusion reflects on some of the tasks ahead by providing a series of historiographical signposts for the history of international law as a field of new research.
Keywords: History of international law; Eurocentrism; state-centrism; Inter-disciplinarity; global perspectives
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation