This research handbook affords an excellent introduction to the history of international law and an understanding of its theory from a historical perspective. It is one of the handbooks in Edward Elgar’s series on Research Handbooks in International Law. The Yale Law Library comprehensively collects the titles in this series which bear on international human rights, international environmental law, international financial regulation, and international criminal law among other topics.
The work covers the period from the origins of international law until now. The editor intends the work “as a useful starting point for identifying and examining the relevant issues of theory and history,” recognizing the multiplicity of legal theories, the myriad detail of international legal history, and the richness of approaches and methods. The work is divided into three parts, 1) The Essence and Developments of International Legal Theory, focusing on major theoretical developments, 2) Thematic Aspects of International Legal Theory, including international human rights, international criminal law, international law and EU law, and international law and international politics, and 3) the History of International Law, covering from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century.
The editor, Alexander Orakhelashvili, Lecturer at the University of Birmingham http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/law/staff/profile.aspx?ReferenceId=3817 , has also authored four of the volume’s seventeen articles. Philip Allott, Professor Emeritus of Trinity College, the University of Cambridge, http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=1057 has written the foreward, and one of the articles is intriguingly entitled “ ‘The holiness of the heart’s affection’: Philip Allot’s Theory of Social Idealism.” The work was inspired by the editor having participated in Professor Allott and James Crawford’s LLM course “the History and Theory of International Law” during the 2000/2001 academic year.
Most of the other contributors have English or Continental academic affiliations. The work ends with an index.