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The Context of International Legal Arguments: 'Positivist' International Law Scholar August von Bulmerincq (1822 - 1890) and His Concept of Politics

IILJ Working Paper No. 2005/13

48 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2005  

Lauri Mälksoo

New York University School of Law; University of Tartu

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

This working paper discusses the life and legal arguments presented by August von Bulmerincq(1822-1890), a leading figure in the discipline of international law during the 1860s-1880s. One of the influential initial collaborators of the Institut de droit international, Bulmerincq taught international law at the universities of Dorpat (today: Tartu, Estonia) and Heidelberg. The paper discusses the positivist concept of the separation of international law from politics in Bulmerincq's theoretical work and demonstrates how Bulmerincq's Baltic German backgroundhad impact on his legal views. The paper examines, by going through Bulmerincq's international legal arguments, whether he could hold up to his normative ideal of the separation of law frompolitics. In particular, Bulmerincq's views regarding the right to asylum, the legal status of the Baltic provinces, the international law aspects of the unification of Germany under Bismarckand the right to national self-determination are discussed.

JEL Classification: K29

Suggested Citation

Mälksoo, Lauri, The Context of International Legal Arguments: 'Positivist' International Law Scholar August von Bulmerincq (1822 - 1890) and His Concept of Politics (2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=871751 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.871751

Lauri Mälksoo (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

University of Tartu ( email )

Ülikooli 18
Tartu 50090, 50090
Estonia

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