Justice among Nations: A History of International Law

Justice among Nations: A History of International Law

by Stephen C. Neff


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Justice among Nations tells the story of the rise of international law and how it has been formulated, debated, contested, and put into practice from ancient times to the present. Stephen Neff avoids technical jargon as he surveys doctrines from natural law to feminism, and practices from the Warring States of China to the international criminal courts of today.

Ancient China produced the first rudimentary set of doctrines. But the cornerstone of later international law was laid by the Romans, in the form of natural law—a universal law that was superior to early laws and governments. As medieval European states came into contact with non-Christian peoples, from East Asia to the New World, practical solutions had to be devised to the many legal quandaries that arose. In the wake of these experiences, international legal doctrine began to assume its modern form in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

New challenges in the nineteenth century encompassed the advance of nationalism, the rise of free trade and European imperialism, the formation of international organizations, and the arbitration of disputes. Innovative doctrines included liberalism, the nationality school, and solidarism. The twentieth century witnessed the formation of the League of Nations and a World Court, but also the rise of socialist and fascist states and the advent of the Cold War. Yet the collapse of the Soviet Union brought little respite. As Neff makes clear, further threats to the rule of law today come from environmental pressures, genocide, and terrorism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674725294
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 02/18/2014
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 899,122
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Stephen C. Neff is Reader in Public International Law at the University of Edinburgh School of Law.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

I Law and Morality Abroad (to ca. AD 1550) 5

1 Doing Justice to Others 9

2 Keeping Kings in Check 50

3 New Worlds and Their Challenges 92

II Reason and Its Rivals (ca. 1550-1815) 137

4 Putting Nature and Nations Asunder 143

5 Of Spiders and Bees 179

III A Positive Century (1815-1914) 215

6 Breaking with the Past 221

7 Dissident Voices 260

8 In Full Flower 298

IV Between Yesterday and Tomorrow (1914-) 341

9 Dreams Born and Shattered 345

10 Building Anew 395

11 Shadows across the Path 439

Conclusion 481

Notes 485

Bibliographic Essay 561

Index 603

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