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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter shows that from the 16th century onwards, the early modern State and State system required a set of rules that transcended such ‘old’ instruments of inter-state relations as, for example, arbitration. From the beginning of the 16th century, drawing on ‘Spanish’ exponents of second scholasticism, there emerged an intensive debate about the ius ad bellum and the ius in bello as of concern to political actors at the time. Mirroring the negotiations leading to the Peace of Westphalia, the need for action became ever more urgent. European expansion and the emergence of colonial empires called for further rules. From the time of the French Revolution, international law, as challenged by private interest groups, advanced humanitarian and sociopolitical issues that would not have been of interest to 17th-century jurists primarily concerned with the laws of war.

Keywords: State system, inter-state relations, peace treaties, European expansion, French Revolution, laws of war

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