Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), "the miracle of Holland," was famous as a child prodigy, theologian, historian, Dutch political figure, escaped political prisoner, and finally as Sweden's Ambassador to France. Addressing his contribution to international relations, this book critically reappraises Grotius' thought, comparing it to his predecessors and examining it in the context of the wars and controversies of his time. The collection illuminates enduring problems of international relations: the nature of international society and its institutions, the equality of states, restraints in war, collective security, military intervention, the rights of the individuals, and the law of the sea.
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This book examines the spectrum of contributions Grotius has made to International Law. The critique begins with questioning his title as its true ¿father¿ and stretches to a speculation of his relevancy in a modern world. Some major points include an outline of how biographical elements shaped the political views and consequently major writings of Grotius. Other sections describe his works on the Law of the Sea, International Equality, and Human Rights & Intervention. Extensively detailed is influence of Gentili¿s works on him, and the differentiation which Grotius created between the two. While the authors believe that International Law has moved away from Grotius ¿Just War¿ cause and a natural law philosophy, the book discusses his reasoning and justification for his principals at the time of the Thirty Years War. Additionally described is how the shift in international politics from a state-dominating-state system to one of international organizations has made some of his theories obsolete. Overall, this book provides a thorough examination of how Grotius¿s works originated, where many of his ideas stem, how they played into politics of the time, and their current relevancy.