Pier Paolo Portinaro

The Revival of Hugo Grotius in the Crisis of Humanitarian Law

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The article builds on the recent Italian translation of the book De iure belli ac pacis to propose a critical review of the Grotian literature, of which this edition provides a comprehensive and rigorous map. The reconstruction revolves around some fundamental questions: the relationship between biography and work in an age of civil wars, the reasons and limits of Grotian systematization of international law, the problematic aspects of his syncretism (both from a juridical and theological point of view), the orientation of the most recent interpreters to consider Grotius a theorist of colonial governance, the reasons for the renewed interest in De iure belli ac pacis in the age of the crisis of the Westphalian order and of humanitarian law.


  • Hugo Grotius
  • De iure belli ac pacis
  • International Law
  • Humanitarian Law


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