The Historical Foundations of World Order

The Historical Foundations of World Order : The Tower and the Arena

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In The Historical Foundations of World Order: the Tower and the Arena, Douglas M. Johnston has drawn on a 45 year career as one of the world's most prolific academics in the development of international law and public policy and 5 years of exhaustive research to produce a comprehensive and highly nuanced examination of the historical precursors, intellectual developments, and philosophical frameworks that have guided the progress of world order through recorded history and across the globe, from pre-classical antiquity to the present day. By illuminating the personalities and identifying the controversies behind the great advancements in international legal thought and weaving this into the context of more conventionally known history, Johnston presents a unique understanding of how peoples and nations have sought regularity, justice and order across the ages. This book will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers, from lawyers interested in the historical background of familiar concepts, to curriculum developers for law schools and history faculties, to general interest readers wanting a wider perspective on the history of civilization.

Winner 2009 ASIL Certificate of Merit for a Preeminent Contribution to Creative Scholarship
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Product details

  • Hardback | 878 pages
  • 160 x 240 x 50.8mm | 1,590g
  • Martinus Nijhoff
  • Leiden, Netherlands, Netherlands
  • English
  • 9004161678
  • 9789004161672

Table of contents

Introduction: The Quest for World Order;

Part One - The System;
1 International Law in Action;
2 Images of International Law;

Part Two - Out of the Mists;
3 Primitive Order;
4 Universal Order in Classical Antiquity;
5 Universal Authority in Pre-modern History;

Part Three - Into Clear View;
6 Shaping of the Modern World (1492-1645);
7 Constructing the Imperial World-system (1618-1815);
8 The Ruling of the Modern World (1815-1905);
9 Contemporary World Order in Profile;

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Review quote

'..., Douglas Johnston has written an historical account of a dynamic international law and made it accessible to every intelligent reader. [...]"The Historical Foundations of World Order" is a magnificent achievement. Other historical accounts of international law pale in comparison. The general reader, no less than the international lawyer, will find here the most detailed account of the history of international law. [ ...] This is a book which every international lawyer and student of international law can read profitably: it is worth emphasizing the words "can read", for, for all of its sophistication, it is readable and delightful throughout.'

From the Preface by W. Michael Reisman
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About Douglas Johnston

Professor Douglas M. Johnston was considered by many to be one of the most creative scholarly minds in international law during the latter half of the 20th Century. He passed away on May 6th, 2006, six days after his 75th birthday and after having just completed the five-year project of research and writing that has culminated in this book.
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