Johann Caspar BluntschliDas moderne Völkerrecht der civilisierten Staten

Johann Caspar Bluntschli, Das moderne Völkerrecht der civilisirten Staten (Nördlingen, Druck und Verlag der C.H. Beck’schen Buchhandlung, 1872) [The modern international law of civilized states].


Johann Caspar Bluntschli was a Swiss Professor of Law and later a politician who founded the liberal-conservative party of Zurich and Switzerland. Bluntschli was one of the founding members of the Institut de Droit International along with his fellow Swiss Jurist Gustave Moynier. He made a number of contributions to public international law including Das moderne Völkerrecht der civilisirten Staaten als Rechtsbuch dargestellt (1867), which is discussed below.


Johann Caspar Bluntschli’s book Das moderne Völkerrecht der civilisierten Staaten als Rechtsbuch dargestellt published in 1867 was a codification of international law rather than a mere commentary on existing treaties or customs which were already plentiful at that time. The clear and informative way the book was written made it particularly influential elsewhere in the world notably in China after William A.P. Martin, an American missionary and translator, translated the work into Chinese in 1880. Bluntschli portrayed law as a dynamic and evolving phenomenon in contrast to earlier conservative scholars who had a fixed image of the law drawn from Roman law or moral theory.


Martti Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilzer of Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002) pp. 42-43; 49-50.
Rune Svarverud, International Law as World Order in Late Imperial China: Translation, Reception and Discourse, 1847-1911 (Leiden: Brill, 2007) pp. 96-97.


You can find a scan (PDF) of the original text here: Bluntschli – Das Moderne Völkerrecht

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