Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Aure on the German Reception of Grotius's De iure belli ac pacis

Andreas Harald Aure has published The Right to Wage War (jus ad bellum):The German reception of Grotius 50 years after De iure belli ac pacis, with Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag:
With De iure belli ac pacis libri tres (1625), the Dutch humanist and natural law philosopher Hugo Grotius (1583–1645) quickly became the greatest authority on international law (jus gentium) and on just war (bellum justum) in Europe for the next hundred years or so. By examining the theories of three largely unknown German scholars, Konrad Friedlieb, Valentin Alberti and Johann Wolfgang Textor, Andreas Harald Aure discusses dominant visions of international law and the right to go to war (jus ad bellum) in the Protestant parts of the Holy Roman Empire, two generations after Grotius wrote his magnum opus.

The authors struggled with questions such as:What may serve as right justification (cause) for war? Can an offensive war be just? Can a war be just on both sides?  Has a belligerent the right to pass through third-party territory?  Is there a right to wage war on behalf of people in foreign countries?

Two chapters discuss the conceptual development of jus gentium (the law of nations). As an adherent of Thomas Hobbes’ systematic approach to law, Samuel Pufendorf (1632–1694) realigned jus gentium as natural law (jus naturale). The main topic of this book is a detailed account of the just conditions for war (jus ad bellum) among leading German scholars in the 17th Century, based on in-depth research of primary sources.