Martti Koskenniemi and the Historiographical Turn in International Law

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

Date Written: June 2005


The Gentle Civilizer of Nations constitutes one of the most significant efforts to review the history of international law to be published in recent years. It is possible to say that Martti Koskenniemi`s book represents much more than the final word on a subject; it is, in fact, the first word. For this reason, the book opens up many possibilities for a renewed debate in the field of the history of international law. The present article discusses seven controversial themes of the book in order to underline the strong and weak points of The Gentle Civilizer of Nations. The author concludes by proposing that we need to take seriously the historiographical turn that emerges in Koskenniemi`s recent work and advocates that this should lead the discipline to a historical turn, where memory would play an essential role in its development.

Keywords: Diffuse-porous, hydraulic conductance, orthostichy, phyllotaxy, ring-porous, sectoriality, temperate deciduous trees, vascular architecture

Suggested Citation

Galindo, George Rodrigo Bandeira, Martti Koskenniemi and the Historiographical Turn in International Law (June 2005). European Journal of International Law, Vol. 16, Issue 3, pp. 539-559, 2005. Available at SSRN:

George Rodrigo Bandeira Galindo (Contact Author)

University of Brazil ( email )

Piazza del Mercato, 15
Brasilia - DF - CEP 70910-900

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