Diplomacy and Law in History

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

Insight in the historical development of both diplomacy and public
international law and their connections.
Awareness of the relevance of pre-modern developments for the
understanding of present-day international relations.
Ability to do bibliographical research.
Ability to use published primary sources next to secondary literature.
Ability to write a research-based paper departing from a central
Eindtermen: 2-3, 5-6, 9-10, 15-20, 22.

Inhoud vak

International law is as old as relations between political
collectivities. The question of how these contacts evolved over time
will be central to this course. The aim is to gain insight into the
diplomatic context in which international relations, its legal aspects
in particular, developed. Special attention is given to the so-called
‘new diplomatic history’, derived from and inspired by all kinds of new
forms of diplomacy, which collectively are referred to as ‘new
diplomacy’. This new approach to diplomacy recognizes the role of
non-state actors in international relations and public international
The history of diplomacy and international law can benefit from this new
and wide-ranging approach. This applies in particular to pre-modern
times (antiquity, middle ages, early modern period) during which non-
state actors as the church, nobles, city states and cities
(associations) were actively engaged in diplomacy alongside states. It
is expected that this change of perspective will yield surprising
insights providing interesting points of departure for comparisons with
contemporary developments.


This course is part of the honours programme. This is a seminar, which
expects active participation of the students!


Course participation (active discussion) (25%), oral presentation (25%),
written paper (50%).


Literature (either available (electronically) at VU library or to be
handed out and/or posted on Canvas).
Required reading:
For the second course:
B. Fassbender and A. Peters, 'Introduction: Towards a Global History of
International Law' in: idem eds., The Oxford Handbook of the History of
International Law (Oxford 2012), 1-24.
G. Mattingly, Renaissance diplomacy (Boston 1955 or later imprint),
C.G. Roelofsen, ‘Inleiding’ in: A.C.G.M. Eyffinger, Compendium
volkenrechtsgeschiedenis (Deventer 1991), 1-9.
N.J. Schrijver, Internationaal publiekrecht als wereldrecht (The Hague
2011), 19-27.


This course is only open to honours students

Algemene informatie

Vakcode R_DipLawH
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P3
Vakniveau 300
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid
Vakcoördinator prof. dr. L.H.J. Sicking
Examinator prof. dr. L.H.J. Sicking
Docenten prof. dr. L.H.J. Sicking

Praktische informatie

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