Nijman on Seeking Change By Doing History

Janne Elisabeth Nijman, T. M. C. Asser Institut, Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam, has published Seeking Change by Doing History (2018). Here is the abstract. In her Inaugural Lecture Janne E. Nijman explores the so-called ‘Turn to History’ in international legal scholarship. Interest in the intellectual history or ‘history of ideas’ of international law has surged around the last turn of the century. A new sub-field has thus emerged: ‘History and Theory of International Law’. Nijman contextualises this development and stages three possible approaches of why and how to study ideas and theories of the past. A central proposition is that the field of ‘History and Theory of international Law’ ultimately aims to establish a dialogue between international legal thought then and now. In this way (and by employment of e.g. the Cambridge School method) a critical distance emerges with respect to our own…

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