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Law and Empire

Instructor(s): Jennifer Pitts
Spring 2022

This course will consider the entangled histories of international law and European imperialism from the early modern period to the present. Some of the earliest texts of modern international law were written to grapple with questions about the justifiability of European imperial and commercial practices. Later arguments that that states are equal and independent under international law were used both to justify and to obscure imperial relations as well as to criticize it, as, arguably, were human rights arguments in the twentieth century. We will read authors including Vitoria, Montesquieu, Vattel, Bentham, Mill, Du Bois, and Mohammed Bedjaoui as well as recent writings on the history of empire and international law.

PLSC 22805 | PLSC 42805 | SCTH 42805 | CCCT 22805 | CCCT 42805