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This article investigates T. O. Elias's constructions of past and future Africas in Africa and the Development of International Law. It locates Elias within Nigeria's educated elite and its oscillating constructions of past and future Africas, and turns specifically to Elias's romanticized African past of the great medieval empires as a source of legitimacy within the broader ‘development’ of international law. The article works through his depiction of ‘customary’ law in Nigeria and how the African past maintains its presence in current law, and then addresses Elias's depiction of the future represented by new pan-African institutions. Finally, the article discusses Elias's depiction of a liberating future or ‘modern’ international law – the move from consent to consensus – in which Africa seems important only within the broader population of new states, and how his conception of international law – citing Jenks and Jessup, Friedmann and Falk – with its commitment to law's reflection of society, fits comfortably within the traditions of a modern sociological jurisprudence.
This article uses the first issue of the American Journal of International Law, one hundred years after its creation in 1907, to analyse the state of American international legal thought following the acquisition of Pacific and Caribbean island territories in the Spanish–American War and the creation of a new international identity. Traditionally, the American Society of International Law (of which the journal was the organ) has been placed in the context of the US peace movement. However, both the society and the journal were led by individuals occupying major positions in the administration of Theodore Roosevelt and earlier administrations, including the sitting and a former secretary of war. The society and its journal were vehicles of the US foreign policy establishment. Despite a mixture of imperialists and anti-imperialists, a cultural coherence is discernable in the journal's pages. In essence, the journal can be placed within what the article calls the genteel tradition of US international law, involving an effort at educating the public away from over-excitement, adopting science in the newly professionalized administrative state, and advocating an arbitrational model of legal ordering to promote international peace.
This article, focusing on Alejandro Álvarez's Le droit international américain (1910), locates Álvarez in his second home, Paris, within the French sociological/historical school of ‘solidarist’ legal thought. Álvarez's book provides a heroic image of Latin America developing its own regional international law away from the decadent forces of Europe and making significant contributions to international law generally. To tell his story, Álvarez also highlights the dark side of his native continent, in part to sell Álvarez as a practitioner of a bold method. Álvarez adopts racial hierarchy as part of his explanatory model, displaying the tendency of Latin Americans of Spanish descent to identify with and distance themselves from the metropole while separating themselves from the ‘other’. And despite the progressive manifesto rhetoric of the book and its claims for the Latin American role, the substance of Álvarez's international law was ultimately fairly domesticated for his French audience.
The article focuses on the overlooked volume of Henry Sumner Maine’s corpus, the posthumously published International Law and uses it to respond to the general critical difficulty in establishing Maine’s posture. Maine, of course, makes it difficult with the numerous contrapuntal moves of this book and others. For example, he strongly criticizes the predominant view of international law as an accretionary process of commentary by one theorist following another and yet he places tremendous value on Grotius, “whose works acted on the spirit of belligerency like a charm,” and other early international legal theorists. He sees his contemporary environment as marked by increasing militarization, even of militarization of society during time of peace, while he describes the relative humanity of the present over the distant past.
Ultimately, Maine is a realist who focuses on late nineteenth-century manuals of war rather than the idealism of the Anglo-American peace movement, and recognizes the importance of Czar Alexander II over any of nineteenth-century international legal theorists. If J.W. Burrow has identified social evolution as providing Victorians an “intellectual resting-place” between theoretical clarity and social diversity, Maine’s broad social evolution allows him to mediate between the moral amelioration in international life and the practical realities of that life.
Law and the Conditions of Freedom in the Nineteenth-Century United States, the slim volume that emerged from Willard Hurst's 1955 Rosenthal Lectures at the Northwestern School of Law, has attained an iconic status in American legal history. In his 1994 interview of Willard Hurst, for example, Hendrik Hartog mentions that both he and Robert Gordon were led to legal history as a result of reading Hurst's little book. A good deal of the magic of Law and the Conditions of Freedom stems from its undeniable vitality. Certainly, Hurst was after vitality in legal history, surprising Hartog in the 1994 interview by his fondness for Albert Beveridge's life of John Marshall because of its “magnificent job of bringing history to life.”
It has long been understood that historians, literary critics, and art historians who write about past cultures use those cultures for present purposes, whether by turning Periclean Athens into an ideal for present-day America or the fall of the Roman empire into an ominous signal for modern empires. German humanists who sought refuge from Nazi Germany had, however, special reasons to use their cultural studies as a strategy of escape. Erich Auerbach in exile in Istanbul and Ernst Robert Curtius in “inner exile” in Bonn provided narratives of European literary history that minimized the contribution of their native culture, and in so reworking the narrative of Western literature, they were able to reshape their own identities. Their reconstructions of past cultures can thus be read as attempts at self-reconstruction. Ultimately, however, the attempt by such scholars to distance themselves from German culture often faltered on the very Germanness of their cultural reconstructions.
“At the beginning of this book,” Ernst Kantorowicz wrote in the preface to The King's Two Bodies, “stands a conversation held twelve years ago with my friend Max Radin (then John H. Boalt Professor of Law, at Berkeley) in his tiny office in Boalt Hall, brimful floor to ceiling and door to window of books, papers, folders, notes—and life.”1 The conversation the two men had that day centered on Kantorowicz's amusement at receiving a mailing from The Order of St Benedict, Inc. “To a scholar coming from the European Continent and not trained in the refinements of Anglo-American legal thinking,” Kantorowicz wrote, “nothing could have been more baffling than to find the abbreviation Inc., customary with business and other corporations, attached to the venerable community founded by St. Benedict on the rock of Montecassino in the very year in which Justinian abolished the Platonic academy in Athens.” Kantorowicz thus traced the origins of his magnum opus to an amusing tale about a mailing from an American Benedictine abbey and a stimulating conversation between two scholars on the Berkeley campus. But what Kantorowicz accomplished with this opening—in part by reminding his reader of his European erudition—was to place his study in a realm very different from that occupied by his first immense volume of 1927, Kaiser Friedrich der Zweite.
Although the International Workingmen's Association is often called the Marxian International, it was at no time safely under the control of Karl Marx. The spirit of Marx, however, was the strongest single influence in the organization from its beginning, and from 1868, when the Proudhonians had suffered defeat at the Brussels Congress, to 1872, when Bakunin's opposition proved too strong to be overcome, Marx possessed more power in the organization than anyone else. Yet this power collapsed in 1872: Although formally Marx was the victor at the Hague Congress, actually in the conflict with Bakunin it became evident that Marx's position was disintegrating. What were the reasons?
The internal conflicts of the socialist movement before 1914 grew out of the antagonism between orthodox Marxists and reformist Socialists, or were at least closely related to that antagonism, as for instance the conflict between the labor unions and the party leadership in Germany in 1905–6. This running battle of pre-war days, which set the scene for the splitting of the movement during the first World War, reached its most spectacular expression in Germany in Bebel's attack on the Revisionists at the Dresden party convention of 1903. But the conflict unfolded first in France, and it was in France rather than in Germany that the fundamental issues were posited most clearly. In 1882, nine years before Georg von Vollmar in his “Eldorado” addresses in Munich started the revolt of the German Revisionists and fourteen years before Eduard Bernstein in his “Evolutionary Socialism” published the first comprehensive exposition of Revisionist ideas, Paul Brousse broke with the Marxist leaders, Jules Guesde and Paul Lafargue, whom he forced out of the Fédération des travailleurs socialistes de France, thus transforming the latter into a Possibilist party, whereas the expelled Marxists formed the Parti ouvrier. Even the debates at Dresden – and subsequently at the International Socialist Congress at Amsterdam – developed from a French issue – namely, the acceptance of a position in a liberal cabinet by the French reformist, Alexandre Millerand.