'Hugo Grotius: The Making of a Founding Father of International Law

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    Abstract

    This essay chapter explains how the myths surrounding Hugo Grotius (1583–1645) came into being and whose interests have been served by it. It was a combination of Dutch nationalism and the rise of modern international law that turned Grotius into a ‘founding father’ of modern international law, with a little help, it should be said, from the American delegates at the 1899 Hague Peace Conference. The myth is based on a highly selective reading of De Jure Belli ac Pacis (1625) and completely ignores the larger historical context of Grotius’ work, particularly his hands-on involvement in Western imperialism and colonialism. The chapter aims to properly contextualize Grotius’ life and work, rather than to focus on just one aspect of it and use that to justify modern-day arrangements for the resolution of conflicts between states.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law
    EditorsAnne Orford, Florian Hoffmann
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Print)9780198701958
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

    Publication series

    NameOxford Handbooks in Law
    PublisherOxford University Press

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    Van Ittersum, Martine

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    Cite this

    Van Ittersum, M. J. (2016). 'Hugo Grotius: The Making of a Founding Father of International Law. In A. Orford, & F. Hoffmann (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law (Oxford Handbooks in Law). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/law/9780198701958.003.0005