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This article discusses the well-known verdict of Vattel's legal positivism in relation to concepts of modernity and the European State System (Schmitt, Remec) and aims at a re-interpretation of Vattel's understanding of the modern state, just war and the international order. It wants to show that even though States and individuals do not obey the same logic and reason, Vattel was neiter a Hobbesian thinker nor, as Kant claimed, a 'sorry comforter'. The main reason for this is that Vattel's doctrine of the war en forme does not imply a break with the tradition of just war. Instead, it should be read as a reformulation of the inegalitarian notion of the enemy as proposed by just war doctrines. Pointing out to the persistance of a jusnaturalistic framework, the article shows that Vattel's concept of justus hostis is built on the same conceptual framework as the concept of the enemy of the human race.

In: Grotiana
In: Grotiana
The open access publication of this book was financially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

This volume sheds new light on modern theories of natural law through the lens of the fragmented political contexts of Italy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the dramatic changes of the times. From the age of reforms, through revolution and the ‘Risorgimento’, the unification movement which ended with the creation of the unified Kingdom of Italy in 1861, we see a move from natural law and the law of nations to international law, whose teaching was introduced in Italian universities of the newly created Kingdom. The essays collected here show that natural law was not only the subject of a highly codified academic teaching, but also provided a broader conceptual and philosophical frame underlying the ‘science of man’. Natural law is also a language wherein reform programmes of education and of politics have taken form, affecting a variety of discourses and literary genres.

Contributors are: Alberto Clerici, Vittor Ivo Comparato, Giuseppina De Giudici, Frédéric Ieva, Girolamo Imbruglia, Francesca Iurlaro, Serena Luzzi, Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina, Emanuele Salerno, Gabriella Silvestrini, Antonio Trampus.
In: Natural Law and the Law of Nations in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Italy