Treaties in Declarations and Manifestos of War
By: Randall Lesaffer
Image credit: "Philippe de France proclamé roi d'Espagne" by François Pascal Simon Gérard, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
In the second half of 2017, the Yale law professors Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro published a remarkable book on the history of international law. Written with the pace and enthralment of a novel, The Internationalists and Their Plan to Outlaw War presents a breath-taking narrative of four hundred years of the laws of war and peace. The main thrust of the book is that the move towards the prohibition of force which was crystallized in the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 and the United Nations Charter of 1945 is the keystone of the new world order that arose in the middle of the 20th century. The authors argue that the movement for the ‘outlawry of war’ overhauled the old world order and set the conditions for the creation of a new international order. War lost its function as an instrument of dispute settlement between states and as a means to conquest and expansion, and was replaced by more peaceful forms of coercion, such as economic sanctions and collective pressure. At the same time, this change explains the gradual decline of the state and the rise of intra-state armed conflict...