The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.

Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions - Conference

The Goettingen Journal of International Law is pleased to announce that we will take part in a conference in November 2018. The joint research project of the Institute of International and European Law of the University of Göttingen and the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law will be holding this conference in Göttingen, Germany under the title “Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions”. The conference is a culmination of a joint research project directed by Prof. Tomer Broude and Prof. Andreas L. Paulus and examines economic and social rights from a comparative perspective, looking at German, Israeli and European legal systems and their respective constitutional, legislative and jurisprudential experiences, as well as the universal human rights framework under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition to this call, Prof. Paulus and Prof. Broude, junior researchers of the project and associate and invited scholars will present their research at the conference.

Scholars who work on economic and social rights are invited to submit abstracts. The proceedings of the conference and papers presented will be published in one of our upcoming issues. See the call for papers and the conference website for more details.

Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 1 June 2018. Accepted proposals will be notified by 1 July 2018. Full papers due for submission by 1 November 2018.

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Francis Lieber on Public War

Rotem Giladi



This paper examines Francis Lieber's concept of modern war as "public war" - in the Code he drafted for the 1863 Union Armies and in his earlier writings. Though Lieber was not the first to engage the distinction between private and public war, his treatment of modern war as exclusively public nevertheless deserves special attention. It became, in time, a foundational concept of the 19th Century effort to modernize and humanize the laws of war. Today, it remains embedded, albeit implicit, in contemporary international humanitarian law and its paradigmatic interstate war outlook.

Yet Lieber's public war definition was driven by the ideological sensibilities of his youth in Vormärz Germany: romantic nationalism, ardent republicanism, and profound faith in modernity and progress. It took normative form but was, essentially, an ideological assertion. Lieber's public war definition sought to offer ideological justification for the modern nation State, its formation and existence. It also sought to construct and justify, again in ideological terms, the formation, existence, and preservation of an international order comprised of nation States; such order, alone, could meet the challenges of modern conditions. For Lieber, limiting war to nations and States alone was an ideological imperative of progressive civilization in the modern age.

Reflection on Lieber's public war definition suggest lines of inquiry that may produce a richer understanding of the intellectual foundations and ideological motivation of modern international law. At the same time, such inquiries compel historical, normative, and policy reconsideration of interstate paradigm of war and its costs. They also promise to enrich contemporary normative and policy debates about the regulation of privatized warfare and non-state actors. 


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