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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter suggests that Europe was a political and legal community with much ambivalence, many tensions, and a lot of common interests during the 19th century. It notes how hard it is to combine internationalism, imperialism, and law in the period of the so-called first globalization. International law and its makers had the lion’s share of this process. On the one hand, law expanded and favoured a juridification of international relations; yet simultaneously, some doctrines discriminated against particular actors structurally. Legal history can contribute to the awareness that the self-perception of 19th-century international lawyers is not always accurate: the assumption of a general process of positivism cannot be maintained; progress and peace were ideologies; and normative expansion and juridification of international relations were complex movements which made their way towards our modernity.

Keywords: international law doctrine, 19th-century Europe, globalization, imperialism, legal history

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