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A How-to Manual in Eight Essays
Author: Brien Hallett
Wishing to be helpful, Nurturing the Imperial Presidency by Brien Hallett illuminates the 5,000-year-old invariant practice of executive war-making. Why has the nation's war leader always decided and declared war?

Substituting a speech act approach for the traditional "separation of powers" approach, Hallett argues that he who controls the drafting of the declaration of war also controls the decision to go to war.

Since legislated "authorization to use force" are based upon "a collective judgement and agreement" between executive and legislative branches, such legislative vetoes in no way hinder executive control of either the drafting of the declaration or the decision. Innovative ways to deny the executive its ability to draft the declaration and, hence, to decide are proposed.
Editor-in-Chief: Wei Zhang
Editors: Ruoyu LI, Chong Zhang and Hui Shi
This volume presents the concept of a Human Community with a Shared Future as a new path towards the realization of human rights. This idea tries to encourage all countries and economies to focus on a shared future and common destiny for all humankind as well as to work together to build a Human Community with a Shared Future through interdependence and joint development.
The present volume consists of a collection of texts arising from conferences organized by the China Society for Human Rights Studies. The texts centre on the concept of a Human Community with a Shared Future, reflecting the current reality and extent of human rights thinking with respect to both law and policy in establishment circles in China, and helping to demonstrate the likely direction of official policy in the near future.
Humanitarianism: Keywords is a comprehensive dictionary designed as a compass for navigating the conceptual universe of humanitarianism. It is an intuitive toolkit to map contemporary humanitarianism and to explore its current and future articulations. The dictionary serves a broad readership of practitioners, students, and researchers by providing informed access to the extensive humanitarian vocabulary.
The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law aims to publish peer-reviewed scholarly articles and reviews as well as significant developments in human rights and humanitarian law. It examines international human rights and humanitarian law with a global reach, though its particular focus is on the Asian region.

The focused theme of Volume 4 is Law, Culture and Human Rights in Asia and the Middle East.
Author: Shreya Atrey
This volume in the Brill Research Perspectives in Comparative Discrimination Law addresses intersectionality from the lens of comparative antidiscrimination law. The term ‘intersectionality’ was coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989. As a field, intersectionality has a longer history, of nearly two hundred years. Meanwhile, comparative antidiscrimination law as a field may be just over a few decades old. Thus, intersectionality’s tryst with antidiscrimination law is a fairly recent one. Developed as a critique of antidiscrimination law, intersectionality has had a significant influence on it. Yet, intersectionality’s logic does not seem to have infiltrated the logic of antidiscrimination law completely. Comparative antidiscrimination law continues to develop with intersectionality in sight, but rarely, in step. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Crenshaw’s seminal article that coined the term in the context of antidiscrimination law, Shreya Atrey explores this irony. Her article provides a meta-narrative of the development of the two fields with the purpose of showing what appear to be orthogonal trajectories.
Author: Valentina Vadi
This treatise investigates the emergence of the early modern law of nations, focusing on Alberico Gentili’s contribution to the same. A religious refugee and Regius Professor at the University of Oxford, Alberico Gentili (1552–1608) lived in difficult times of religious wars and political persecution. He discussed issues that were topical in his lifetime and remain so today, including the clash of civilizations, the conduct of war, and the maintenance of peace. His idealism and political pragmatism constitute the principal reasons for the continued interest in his work. Gentili’s work is important for historical record, but also for better analysing and critically assessing the origins of international law and its current developments, as well as for elaborating its future trajectories.
Author: Valentina Vadi

Abstract

Who was Alberico Gentili? What did he contribute to the early modern law of nations? Why does his work still matter today? What is his legacy for the future of international law? To address these questions, and to examine and critically assess Gentili’s contribution to international law, it is necessary to keep in mind his persona, i.e. his family background, education, and life experience, as well as the historical, political, and cultural context in which he lived. Gentili’s life deserves scrutiny and attention as his thought becomes intelligible only when seen against its historical, political, and cultural context.

The life of Alberico Gentili is a compelling story of success with all of the themes of a great narrative: faith, ambition, adventure, and a voyage into unknown lands, as well as conflicts, contradiction, and paradox. Born into a noble family in the Italian town of San Ginesio, Gentili studied law and graduated with a doctorate from the University of Perugia. Because of his Reformed beliefs and in order to escape the Inquisition, he fled to England, transitioning from a world of peril and fear to one of adventure and fame. He was part of an influential network and eventually became Regius Professor at the University of Oxford.

To illuminate Alberico Gentili’s contribution to international law, Chapter 2 provides a ‘thick description’ of Gentili’s life by exploring the social, cultural, and political context in which he lived and sets the scene for the subsequent legal inquiry. This chapter tries to avoid portraying Gentili’s life as a series of events unfolding in a linear fashion. Rather, particular attention is given to the elements of discontinuity in the course of his life, i.e. those crucial moments at which he faced difficult choices. The chapter uses different, albeit related, dimensional scales moving from macro- to micro-levels of analysis. At the macro-level, Gentili’s life was permeable to the major political, historical, and social events of his time. Therefore, while examining the trajectory of Gentili’s life, the chapter also briefly considers the main political, cultural, and religious processes of the sixteenth century. At the micro level, the chapter places Gentili within a transnational system of relations that changes according to chronological and geographical variables. Gentili belonged to various political, cultural, and intellectual networks and his life was shaped by his contacts with individuals, networks, and institutions. Such interpersonal linkages can offer useful units of analysis for comprehending Gentili’s complex identity.

To map Gentili’s life, the chapter relies on the combined use of literary, historical, and legal sources, as well as the Gentilian Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The chapter also takes into account recent archival discoveries. The chapter contributes to the existing literature in two ways. First, it makes use of important recently de-classified sources to provide new insights into Gentili’s life. Second, by mapping Gentili’s intellectual network it unveils previously unknown aspects of his personality, life, and work.

In: War and Peace
Author: Valentina Vadi

Abstract

Although the foundational structure of international law emerged over centuries and the discipline is the product of a combined rather than individual effort, it seems appropriate to compare Alberico Gentili and Hugo Grotius’ works systematically on a range of themes to illuminate the genesis of given international law concepts and to attribute these concepts to their respective authors. In particular the chapter considers how Gentili influenced Grotius, and the extent to which Gentili’s thought can be detected in Grotius’ writings. It also discusses how the Renaissance canons of originality differ from those of today.

The chapter compares Gentili and Grotius’ respective works on a range of themes. Such comparison does not merely have historical value; rather, it can provide a better understanding of the history and theory of international law. Juxtaposing the scholarly works of Gentili and Grotius on a range of themes can help to establish whether or not Grotius borrowed certain concepts from Gentili’s work. It also clarifies the unique and original contributions Gentili and Grotius respectively made to the early modern law of nations.

In order to analyse Gentili and Grotius works, the chapter proceeds as follows. Section 1 briefly highlights why the analysis is needed and introduces the life and work of Hugo Grotius. Section 2 illustrates the different writing styles of the two scholars. Section 3 discusses the similarities and differences in their methods of argumentation. Section 4 compares some key elements of the Gentilian and Grotian theories of the law of nations, ranging from the concepts of natural law, international community, defensive and offensive warfare, peaceful dispute settlement, prisoners of war, non-combatants and, lastly, the law of peace treaties. Section 5 critically assesses the converging divergences of their respective arguments. Finally, the chapter concludes with a critical assessment, focusing on the respective contributions of these scholars to the early modern law of nations. Gentili had a profound influence on Grotius’ thought; at the same time there remain notable differences in their legal theories.

In: War and Peace
Author: Valentina Vadi

Abstract

This book contributes to current debates on the history and theory of international law by focusing on the life and work of the sixteenth-century Italian émigré, legal scholar, and practicing lawyer, Alberico Gentili (1552–1608). A Protestant who lived in exile and Regius Professor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford, Gentili contributed substantially to the development of the law of nations. Although he lived in an age of religious wars, clashes of cultures, struggles for hegemony and religious intolerance, Gentili sketched out fundamental concepts of international law while also separating international law from both theology and municipal law. Not only is his work historically relevant, but it is crucial to understand contemporary issues and ongoing debates regarding the maintenance of international peace, the safeguarding of cultural diversity, and international justice.

This book aims to develop a solid understanding of, and position on, Alberico Gentili’s contribution to international law. As Gentili’s work has been characterized by some ambiguities, this book combines both textual and contextual analysis. Not only does it carefully examine the text of the Gentilian works, but it also contextualizes the works in the political, cultural, and legal environment in which Gentili lived, in order to shed some light on this enigmatic scholar, and to map and critically assess the seminal contribution he made to the theory of the law of nations.

By unveiling the dialectical oscillations of the Gentilian thought between opposing poles, this work provides the reader with the critical tools necessary to appreciate the complexity of the Gentilian opus against the lights and shadows of the sixteenth century. It also provides the reader with a complete analytical framework of Gentili’s major theoretical contributions to international law, which may be of use to both practitioners and scholars with an interest in the past, present, and future of international law.

In: War and Peace
Author: Valentina Vadi

Abstract

In the early modern period, empire was a complex, ambiguous, and elusive notion, reflecting a wide spectrum of both theories and practices of power. Three parallel notions of empire could be identified in state practice. First, the concept of empire (imperium) increasingly referred to external sovereignty (supremitas). No longer were states mere parts of a greater political entity; rather, they were perfect communities, complete in and of themselves (communitates perfectae). Such an idea of empire was a by-product of state formation. Second, the concept of empire increasingly referred to internal sovereignty, that is the capacity of the nation to govern itself, regardless of form, and pursue the achievement of its own destiny. In the attempt to overcome civil strife, monarchs increasingly centralized power and adopted forms of political absolutism. Third, as states consolidated their internal power, they sought to increase their external power. Empire started to indicate any form of political, economic or military power of one nation over another. These different conceptualizations of empire reflected the emergence of modern states, the transformation of international relations, and the European expansion.

What role did Alberico Gentili play in the debate on the legitimacy of empire and European expansion? Certainly, Gentili participated in the debate about the (il)legitimacy of conquest, highlighting the necessity of resisting the Spanish Empire. In his works, Gentili considered war and peace, power and justice, empire and resistance to imperialism. At first sight, the Gentilian system presents some normative ambivalence. While some of the elements of his system, such as humanitarian intervention and preventive defence could seem to be used to advance imperial claims, other elements, including the condemnation of wars based on religion or cultural diversity, the criticism of the terra nullius argument, could be used to oppose empire. The ambivalence of the Gentilian language could allow it to serve imperial and non-imperial purposes alike. Was he ‘celebrating policies of empire’? Or was he formulating a theory of anti-hegemonic resistance within international law?

Chapter 6 focuses on Gentili and the injustice of empire and proceeds as follows. First, the chapter examines how Gentili dealt with the challenge of cultural diversity and tried to give coherence to the new reality of cultural and legal pluralism. Second, it briefly discusses the legal debate over the (il)legitimacy of European expansion and conquest. Third, it discusses how early modern scholars relied on the Roman model to debate the (il)legitimacy of the European expansion. In particular, it examines and critically assesses Gentili’s De armis Romanis addressing the question of whether Gentili supported or opposed hegemonic expansion. Divided into two books, De armis Romanis remains an ambiguous work. The first book constitutes a fierce indictment of the injustice of the Roman Empire while the second book provides a wordy defence of its justice. Because Gentili does not explicitly clarify his stance, the true meaning of this work has remained controversial: did Gentili endorse an imperialist stance or support an anti-hegemonic position? Finally, after having examined themes of external sovereignty and imperial expansion, the chapter illuminates Gentili’s theory of internal sovereignty. This theory complements the Gentilian theory on external sovereignty and can shed further light on the enigmatic scholar.

In: War and Peace