Researchers Contact Information

The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
Faculty of Law
P.O. BOX 4
Tel: +358 (0)29 4123140


Martti Koskenniemi

Martti KoskenniemiPhoto by Veikko Somerpuro

The History of International legal Thought 1300-1870

Koskenniemi's project traces key moments in the development of modern thinking about the role of law in the international political world. Beginning with arguments connected with late medieval state-formation, Koskenniemi discusses the ideas of the Spanish 16th century scholastics, Alberico Gentili and the "Italian influences", as well as Francisco Suárez and the "Jesuit contribution" to thinking about the government of the international world. He also examines the influence of the religious wars and of colonization on ideas of lawful power. A key role is played by the traditions of "jus naturae et gentium" on the one hand, and "Droit public de l'Europe" on the other. The research ends with chapters on the 19th century transformations of natural law into the profession disciplines of diplomacy, university philosophy, and political economy.