Enemies of Mankind

Vattel’s Theory of Collective Security


In Enemies of Mankind Walter Rech offers a contextual history of the collective security doctrine articulated by Swiss international lawyer Emer de Vattel (1714-67) in the authoritative treatise Droit des gens of 1758. With reference to Vattel’s writings and to early modern international history and legal thought more generally, Rech explores the meanings and functions of the enemy of mankind concept and its ramifications for collective security. This account complicates the canonical portrayal of Vattel as an advocate of state sovereignty and a critic of law enforcement in the international society, thus reappraising his place in the history of international law.

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Walter Rech, PhD (2012), University of Melbourne, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. He has published articles in the history of philosophy and international law, including ‘Rightless Enemies: Schmitt and Lauterpacht on Political Piracy’ (2012 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 32/2, 235-63).
Introduction; Literature review; Main arguments; Structure of the book;
Vattel’s Life
Part One
Enemies of Mankind outside Europe
1 Pirates and Robber Nations
2 The Barbary Issue in Early-Modern Legal Doctrine
3 Universalising the European Law of Nations: Vattel’s Rejection of the International Legal Pluralism of the Laws of War
Part Two
Enemies of Mankind within Europe
4 Guilty Sovereigns: Warmongers and Violators of the Law of Nations
5 Disturbers of the Balance of Power
6 Tyrants
Conclusion; Bibliography.
All interested in the history of international law and early modern legal and political philosophy, and those searching for a historical perspective on current debates on international crimes.
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