A Century of Anarchy?: War, Normativity, and the Birth of Modern International Order: The History and Theory of International Law

Autor Hendrik Simon
en Limba Engleză Hardback – 7 mai 2024
The nineteenth century has been understood as an age in which states could wage war against each other if they deemed it politically necessary. According to this narrative, it was not until the establishment of the League of Nations, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and the UN Charter that the 'free right to go to war' (liberum ius ad bellum) was gradually outlawed. Better times dawned as this anarchy of waging war ended, resulting in radical transformations of international law and politics.However, as a 'free right to go to war' has never been empirically proven, this story of progress is puzzling. In A Century of Anarchy?: War, Normativity, and the Birth of Modern International Order, Hendrik Simon challenges this narrative by outlining a genealogy of modern war justifications and drawing on scientific, political, and public discourses. He argues that liberum ius ad bellum is an invention created by realist legal scholars in Imperial Germany who argued against the mainstream of European liberalism and, paradoxically, that the now forgotten Sonderweg reading was universalized in international historiographies after the World Wars.A Century of Anarchy? is a compelling read for historians, jurists, political theorists, international relations scholars, and anyone interested in understanding the emergence of the modern international order. In this groundbreaking work, Simon not only artfully deconstructs the myth of liberum ius ad bellum but also traces the political and theoretical roots of the modern prohibition of war to the long nineteenth century (1789-1918).
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ISBN-13: 9780192855503
ISBN-10: 0192855506
Pagini: 432
Dimensiuni: 160 x 240 x 30 mm
Greutate: 0.8 kg
Colecția OUP Oxford
Seria The History and Theory of International Law

Locul publicării:Oxford, United Kingdom


Is what we got used to call the international community sliding back into anarchy as it prevailed in the era preceding the League of Nations, the Kellogg-Briand-Pact, and the establishment of the UN? In his impressive study Hendrik Simon demonstrates that this would be a wrong conclusion both with a view to our understanding of "the long 19th Century" and of what perhaps may be called the dialectical trinity of war, order, and peace in general. Simon's study opens up a new way of looking at the history of, and the issues at stake in, more recent aspirations to come to grips with the interplay between war and order.
It says a lot about societies what attitude toward violence they practice and accept. Throughout history, every use of international force has been accompanied by its justification. Breaches of international law are made to appear legal. Hendrik Simon's book helps to understand this paradox. Refuting the widespread proposition that states had a “free right to war” before 1920, it opens a view into the plurality of normative and political legitimation claims of interstate violence with unprecedented analytical acuity. Hendrik Simon's impressive study at the intersection of law, politics, and history serves to self-enlighten our society.
This book confronts a central myth of International Relations head-on: the myth that there existed a free right to go to war in the 19th century which was then replaced by legal restrictions of war in the 20th century. Simon shows that war was in need of justification, both legally and politically, throughout the 19th century and played a crucial role in the establishment of the modern international order. The myth of a free right to go to war was peddled by a small group of German militarists and perpetuated by realists and liberals alike - who used it to support their claims of anarchy and progress respectively. This is a carefully researched, rich and wide ranging, critical study highly recommended for all scholars interested in international relations, international law, and the history of the 19th century.
This exhaustively-researched study, located at the intersection of International Relations and International Law, turns an established orthodoxy on its head: The European 'long 19th Century', Hendrik Simon suggests, was not the pre-liberal era of an undisputed sovereign liberum ius ad bellum, but rather the precursor of a norm-governed international order. It was primarily significant voices in late Prussian and Imperial Germany's legal and political circles that struggled to superimpose the myth of the “free right to conduct warfare” upon a wider European reality that had decisively moved beyond it. Grounded in a genealogy of war justifications, the constructivist analysis takes the reader on a historical tour de force from the Vienna Congress, via the Eastern Question, Italian and German unification, to World War I, generating a striking revision of the standard argument in IR and IL.

Notă biografică

Hendrik Simon is a postdoctoral researcher at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) and Lecturer at Goethe University Frankfurt. He was Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Advanced International Theory/University of Sussex (2017), at the University of Vienna (2018, 2016), at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Frankfurt (2015-16) and at the Cluster of Excellence 'Normative Orders' (2011-12). Publications include The Justification of War and International Order. From Past to Present (OUP 2021; co-edited with Lothar Brock); and 'The Myth of Liberum Ius ad Bellum. Justifying War in 19th-Century International Legal Theory and Political Practice', 29 European Journal of International Law (2018).