Since the 1960s and more particularly since the end of the Cold War, interest in the history of international law has greatly increased among international lawyers and legal historians alike. Nevertheless, as an academic discipline, it is still lagging behind compared to most other branches of legal history. Recent efforts cannot be expected to make up for the neglect the field has suffered during most of the past two centuries. The causes of the traditional neglect of the history of international law are many and much debated. Paramount among them is – or was? – the dominance of national states and national law. This caused lawyers and legal historians to concentrate on internal legal developments. Moreover, in the heyday of state sovereignty, the binding character of public international law came to be disputed or even denied, which surely caused legal historians to turn away from its study. Notwithstanding the efforts of many scholars from all over the world during recent decades, the study of international law is still lagging behind the field. Fundamental methodological questions have not been answered or even seriously debated. Most of the sources – even the most important ones like treaties – still await modern, critical editions. The vast majority of recent scholarship still tends to concentrate, as it has been the case before, on doctrine and not on legal practice. And above all, most of the endeavours of recent years have been individual.
|Title of host publication||Peace treaties and international law in European history|
|Subtitle of host publication||From the late middle ages to World War One|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|