Revisiting the Memory of Solferino: Knowledge Production and the Laws of War

Andrea Bianch and Moshe Hirsch (eds), International Law’s Invisible Frames (Oxford University Press, 2021)

University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 1/2021

26 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2021

See all articles by Eyal Benvenisti

Eyal Benvenisti

University of Cambridge - Lauterpacht Centre for International Law

Doreen Lustig

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2021

Abstract

During the course of the second half of the nineteenth century, the rules regulating the conduct of armies during hostilities were internationally codified for the first time. The conventional narrative attributes the codification of the laws of war to the campaign of civil society, especially that of the founders of the Red Cross – Henry Dunant and Gustav Moynier. In what follows, we problematize this narrative and trace the history of the construction of this knowledge. We explore how the leading figures of the Red Cross, who were aware of the shortcomings of their project, were nonetheless invested in narrating its history as a history of success. Their struggle to control the narrative would eventually confer the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with considerable interpretive and agenda-setting authority in the realm of the laws of war. We dwell on the meaning of this conscious exercise in knowledge production and its normative ramifications.

Keywords: International Humanitarian Law, The Laws of War, History of International Law, The Red Cross, Henry Dunant, Gustave Moynier

Suggested Citation

Benvenisti, Eyal and Lustig, Doreen, Revisiting the Memory of Solferino: Knowledge Production and the Laws of War (January 1, 2021). Andrea Bianch and Moshe Hirsch (eds), International Law’s Invisible Frames (Oxford University Press, 2021), University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 1/2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3766952 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3766952

Eyal Benvenisti (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Lauterpacht Centre for International Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Doreen Lustig

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
94
Abstract Views
422
rank
320,349
PlumX Metrics