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Theories of Dynamic Cosmopolitanism in Modern European History


Georg Cavallar

It is often assumed that cosmopolitan thinkers since the Renaissance have simply adopted and refined concepts from classical antiquity. This study argues that modern European cosmopolitanism should be perceived as a unique phenomenon, distinct from Greek and Roman forms of cosmopolitan thinking. One key feature is its dynamism, or the idea of change built into modern theories of cosmopolitanism.

Covering the period from the 1530s to the 1920s, this book investigates various manifestations of cosmopolitanism, including normative individualism, the dawn of historical thinking, and the dynamic conceptions of law and rights and of the international community. It analyses the international legal theories of selected authors from Francisco de Vitoria to Austrian lawyers Heinrich Lammasch and Alfred Verdross. The author focuses in particular on the development of hospitality rights and the right to immigration, republicanism and cosmopolitanism, and cosmopolitan education.

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Chapter 6 Dynamic international legal theory: Heinrich Lammasch and the confederation of neutral states, 1899–1920


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Dynamic international legal theory: Heinrich Lammasch and the confederation of neutral states, 1899–1920

I have argued throughout this book that dynamic cosmopolitanism is a version of cosmopolitanism that can be found in some authors of early European modernity from 1500 to 1800. Chapter 3 claimed that the cosmopolitan school was actually a marginal group in the past, especially among a group later termed “international lawyers”. Chapter 2 outlined the disappearance and modified return of the “international community school” (Bardo Fassbender) in international legal theory. Contemporary representatives have weakened nineteenth-century emphasis on state sovereignty and the will and consent of states. They stress the international community and “certain common values” irrespective of state consent. The Austrian international lawyer Heinrich Lammasch (1853–1920) can be seen as an early example of this group of professional international lawyers. He is one of the neglected figures of the history of international legal theory, and even as a politician, he is known only to a very small number of experts. He is left out in Karl-Heinz Ziegler’s Völkerrechtsgeschichte and in Martti Koskenniemi’s The Gentle Civilizer of Nations. A recent publication is symptomatic: Lammasch gets a two-page entry with basic information.1 His legal pacifism was based on a moral philosophy rooted in a liberal version of humanism. As an ← 175 | 176 → Austrian intellectual, Lammasch tried to replace Austrian power politics (Großmachtpolitik) with a pacifist, neutral identity, and the orientation towards Germany with an...

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