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Note that this event has been cancelled /\/\/\/\ In her lecture Doreen Lustig (Tel Aviv University) will challenge the canonical narrative about civil society’s efforts to discipline warfare during the mid-nineteenth century — a narrative of progressive evolution of Enlightenment-inspired laws of war, later to be termed international humanitarian law (IHL).

Detail Summary
Date 27 May 2020
Time 15:30 - 17:00

Abstract

This article challenges the canonical narrative about civil society’s efforts to discipline warfare during the mid-nineteenth century—a narrative of progressive evolution of Enlightenment-inspired laws of war, later to be termed international humanitarian law (IHL). While the multifaceted influence of civil society was an important catalyst for the inter-governmental codification of the laws of war, the content of that codification did not simply reflect humanitarian sensibilities. Rather, as civil society posed a threat to the governmental monopoly over the regulation of war, the turn to inter-state codification of IHL also assisted governments in securing their authority as the sole regulators in the international terrain. We argue that, in codifying the laws of war, the main concern of key European governments was not to protect civilians from combatants’ fire, but rather to protect combatants from civilians eager to take up arms to defend their nation—even against their own governments’ wishes. We further argue that the concern with placing “a gun on the shoulder of every socialist” extended far beyond the battlefield. Monarchs and emperors turned to international law to put the dreaded nationalist and revolutionary genies back in the bottle. Specifically, we contend that it was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 and the subsequent short-lived, but violent, rise of the Paris Commune that prompted governments to adopt the Brussels Declaration of 1874, the first comprehensive text on the laws of war. The new law not only exposed civilians to war's harms, but also supported the growing capitalist economy by ensuring that market interests would be protected from the scourge of war and the consequences of defeat. This interpretation of the codification of the laws of war exposes how international law functioned as an elite-driven project, preserving the political and economic order of Europe.

The Speaker

Doreen Lustig is an Associate Professor at Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law. She is a graduate of Tel Aviv University (B.A.Sociology and Anthropology `04, LL.B. Law `04) and NYU Law School (LL.M. `06, J.S.D. `12). In 2004-2005, she clerked for The Honorable Eliezer Rivlin, Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel. She is a winner of the 2005 Hauser Research Scholar Fellowship, a former IILJ (Institute of International Law and Justice) Fellow and a winner of the 2019 Zeltner Prize in the category of junior legal scholar. Lustig is the Chief Editor of the Tel Aviv U. Law Review and a Member of the Editorial Board of the European Journal of International Law.

Lustig’s primary research and teaching interests include the history and theory of international law, political economy and the law of democracy. Her other areas of interests are comparative constitutional history, regulation and global governance.  Representative publications are: Veiled Power: The History of International Law and the Private Business Corporation, 1886 – 1980 (OUP, forthcoming, 2019);  Judicial Review in the Contemporary World: Retrospective and Prospective 16 ICON 315-372 (2018) (w/ J.H.H Weiler); Monopolizing War: Codifying the Laws of War to Reassert Governmental Authority, 1856–1874 (forthcoming, w/ Eyal Benvenisti).

Registration

Attending this lecture is free of charge, but registration is required.