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The Gentle Civilizer of Nations
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  • Cited by 113
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Hehir, Aidan 2019. Hollow Norms and the Responsibility to Protect. p. 149.

    Grieco, Giuseppe 2018. British imperialism and Southern liberalism: re-shaping the Mediterranean space, c. 1817–1823. Global Intellectual History, Vol. 3, Issue. 2, p. 202.

    Harris, Steve 2018. The Encyclopedia of Diplomacy. p. 1.

    Crawford, Neta C 2018. The Potential for Fundamental Change in World Politics. International Studies Review, Vol. 20, Issue. 2, p. 232.

    Popa, Liliana E. 2018. Patterns of Treaty Interpretation as Anti-Fragmentation Tools. p. 1.

    Rogers, Damien 2018. Law, Politics and the Limits of Prosecuting Mass Atrocity. p. 1.

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    Dhondt, Frederik 2018. Reconsidering Constitutional Formation II Decisive Constitutional Normativity. Vol. 12, Issue. , p. 257.

    Krueger, Anna 2018. Die Bindung der Dritten Welt an das postkoloniale Völkerrecht. Vol. 264, Issue. , p. 41.

    Eichler, Jessika 2018. Neo-extractivist controversies in Bolivia: indigenous perspectives on global norms. International Journal of Law in Context, p. 1.

    Moses, Jeremy 2018. Anarchy, pacifism and realism: building a path to a non-violent international law. Critical Studies on Security, Vol. 6, Issue. 2, p. 221.

    Segesser, Daniel Marc 2018. Der Genozid an den ArmenierInnen. p. 1.

    Martin, Benjamin 2017. International legal cooperation in the Nazi-fascist New Order. International Politics,

    Hausteiner, Eva Marlene 2017. Staatsgeheimnisse. p. 91.

    Rogowski, Ralf 2017. The purposive approach assessed from a reflexive labour law perspective. Comments on A Purposive Approach to Labour Law by Guy Davidov. GIORNALE DI DIRITTO DEL LAVORO E DI RELAZIONI INDUSTRIALI, p. 773.

    Roquen, Jeff 2017. International law and ‘humanity’ in the making and unmaking of European solidarity, 1830–1915. European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire, Vol. 24, Issue. 6, p. 889.

    Mahmood, Saba 2017. Secularism, sovereignty, and religious difference: A global genealogy?. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Vol. 35, Issue. 2, p. 197.

    Uwazuruike, Allwell and Salter, Michael 2017. What does regional studies study? From sub-national to supra-national regional spaces or Grossraum of sovereign governance. Territory, Politics, Governance, Vol. 5, Issue. 1, p. 92.

    Wallenius, Tomas 2017. The case for a history of global legal practices. European Journal of International Relations, p. 135406611774356.

    Gozzi, Gustavo 2017. The “Discourse” of International Law and Humanitarian Intervention. Ratio Juris, Vol. 30, Issue. 2, p. 186.


Book description

International law was born from the impulse to 'civilize' late nineteenth-century attitudes towards race and society, argues Martti Koskenniemi in this extensive study of the rise and fall of modern international law. In a work of wide-ranging intellectual scope, now available for the first time in paperback, Koskenniemi traces the emergence of a liberal sensibility relating to international matters in the late nineteenth century, and its subsequent decline after the Second World War. He combines legal analysis, historical and political critique and semi-biographical studies of key figures (including Hans Kelsen, Hersch Lauterpacht, Carl Schmitt and Hans Morgenthau); he also considers the role of crucial institutions (the Institut de droit international, the League of Nations). His discussion of legal and political realism at American law schools ends in a critique of post-1960 'instrumentalism'. This book provides a unique reflection on the possibility of critical international law today.


‘... a great achievement of European history of science and a literary masterpiece.’

Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

‘... a splendid book of masterful writing and superb intelligence.’

Source: Leiden Journal of International Law

‘One is struck by Koskenniemi’s profound analysis, his richness of sources and linguistic knowledge. And finally, there are very few academic volumes that make such enjoyable reading.’

Source: European Journal of International Law

‘... a work that demands engagement of its readers, and repays repeated readings.’

Source: Modern Law Review

‘…Martti Koskenniemi is the first author in decades to concentrate on the development and history of public international law with special regard to its theoretical foundations in a monographic study … He studies and describes with the utmost precision the development and institutionalization of modern public international law as well as the professionalization of the discipline in its most exciting and important periods of development.’

Source: Journal of German History

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