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5 - The Boundaries of Peace-Making

British Imperial Encounters, circa 1700–1900

from Part I - Historical Dimensions to Peace Settlement Practice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 January 2021

Marc Weller
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Mark Retter
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Andrea Varga
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

Many histories of peace settlements in international law have concentrated on the peace treaties of European powers inter se. Literature on the history and anthropology of imperial legal ordering, on the other hand, has illuminated the outer reaches of this picture: peaces made by European powers in the expansion of empire. This chapter draws these two bodies of work into relation, with a particular focus on British practice in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The chapter poses anew some fundamental questions about the conceptual and juridical universe of 'European' peace-making: to what extent we can understand peace as a relation of law, and where we are to look for the law on peace? Opening up the implicit geographical and conceptual boundaries which characterize much legal scholarship on peace settlements both challenges our sense of the legal past, and offers new insights for thinking about peace-making in the present.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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