Renewed interest in historical perspectives of international law may have diverse sources, but appear to lie in several parallel developments:
(a) An increased historical consciousness among scholars and students of international law. This new historicism has been spurred in part by a return to questions of empire and the place of international law in imperial formations in light of a new epoch of interventionism in the name of humanity, and also by the intense preoccupation with sovereignty and the nature of international society that has characterized a new period of globalization.
(b) The rise of “international history” as a loosely defined subfield of historical scholarship. Historians have begun to revisit the history of international institutions (the League of Nations, the Mandates, the foundation of the United Nations) and international political and legal movements such as human rights and the laws of war, and humanitarian intervention.
(c) The increasing interest of intellectual historians, historians of political thought and political theorists in what might be called “international political thought.”
As a consequence of these developments research in the history and theory of international law is being expanded and deepened, shedding new light on a large range of periods and topics, and recasting some of the classical questions of international legal theory and international political thought.
The Academy of European Law is contributing to this body of research through its annual scholarly meetings, conferences and workshops, the aims of which are manifold: to provide a forum for the very best of this new research; to help catalyse and encourage this exciting new scholarship which bridges international law, political theory, intellectual history and international history, and; to connect hitherto relatively insular national communities of scholars working on related themes and questions. Several of the Academy’s workshops and meetings have resulted or will result in publications, including edited volumes and special journal issues.
Recent research workshops and conferences include: