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Neutrality and Alliances

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to assess the relevance of Vattel's great treatise for current concepts of neutrality, and maritime neutrality in particular-but also for the international legal rules on alliances. Alliances still are a pressing issue in international law. They are needed for preserving peace and for getting some safeguards against potential aggressors, in particular in cases of small and/ or lightly armed States that could not defend themselves against aggression alone. However, it is an open issue whether current thinking on alliances still can be linked suitably with the thinking of Vattel. The shape of the problem has changed so much during the last 250 years that it might be difficult to go back immediately to Vattel without reflecting the passage of time that has occurred in the meantime.

Keywords: maritime neutrality; international law; Vattel



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