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V Methodology and Theory, 39 A History of International Law Histories

Martti Koskenniemi

From: The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

Edited By: Bardo Fassbender, Anne Peters

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 May 2023

History of international law
Ernest Nys (1851–1920), the first professional historian of international law, expressed in his Les origines du droit international of 1893 confidence that international law was developing in a beneficial direction. The Hegelian dialectic between the national and the universal would be resolved in favour of the latter. The three great ideas that had dominated world history—progress, freedom, and the ‘idea of humanity’—may not immediately lead to a world State, but they did allow the hope that war would soon be extinct as an instrument of politics.1 Nys began his...
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