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The Turning Aside. On International Law and Its History

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Chapter Summary

The aim of this chapter is to take a closer look at the current phenomenon of a growing and still expanding interest in the history of international law. International lawyers, but also historians, are turning to the history of the discipline, to the past itself as well as to its study and knowledge. The author argues that the study of international law's history requires not only careful contextualization of law and history, but also thoughtful distinctions. The history of international law, and the history of concepts coined by it, can be a burden. But it may, at times, also provide us with a language to discuss the conflicts and fragmentation of our day. And it may provide us with a backdrop to debate questions of values and principles shaping the international community and its law.

Keywords: contextualization; international community; International Law



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