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Author: Johannes Socher

Today, the prohibition of the use of force is universally accepted as a norm of customary international law. Nevertheless, several exceptions are discussed in international law scholarship. One of them, wars of national liberation, originates in Lenin’s socialist war theory and was subsequently maintained by the former Soviet doctrine of international law. Little known in western academia, this Soviet argument of national liberation struggles to be ‘just wars’ is still alive in Russian international law scholarship today, and, therefore, a lasting legacy of Lenin’s theory of wars of national liberation in international legal discourse as developed around the time of the Russian Revolution (even if sometimes ignored) may be conceded.

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In: Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international