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Author: Raphaël Cahen


Some month after the treaty of Paris that marked the end of the Crimean war and a turning point in international law, a dispute between the Bey of Tunis and Mahmoud Ben Ayad (a Tunisian civil servant who made a fortune with the national treasury before escaping to France and becoming a French Citizens in 1852) was resolved.

In November 1856, Napoleon iii was asked to arbitrate the dispute after nearly two years of work of the litigation committee of the French minister of Foreign Affairs led by Portalis.

This paper recalls the context and the actors of the Mahmoud ben Ayad Case and analyses the impact of the case on the transformation of international law as well as on the juridification of international relations around 1856.

In: International Law in the Long Nineteenth Century (1776-1914)
Following the publication of Isaiah Berlin's essay on Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821), the Savoyard philosopher has been known primarily in the English-speaking world as a precursor of fascism. The essays in this volume challenge this view. Disclosing the inaccuracies and limitations of Berlin's account, they illustrate Maistre's colossally diverse European posterity. Far from an inflexible ideologist, Maistre was a versatile and deeply modern thinker who attracted interpreters across the political spectrum.

Through the centuries, Maistre's passionate Europeanism has contributed to his popularity from Madrid to Moscow. And in our times, when religion is re-asserting itself as a source of public reason, his theorization of the encounter between tradition and modernity is lending his work ever more urgent relevance.

Cover illustration by Matthieu Manche