About the Topic: Re-establishing and strengthening the rule of international law in international affairs was a central Allied aim in the First World War. Revisionism in its many forms has erased this from our memory, and with it the meaning of the war. Imperial Germany’s actions and justifications for its war conduct amounted to proposing an entirely different set of international-legal principles from those that other European states recognized as public law. This talk examines what those principles were and what implications they had for the legal world order.
About the Speaker: Isabel V. Hull received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1978 and has since then been teaching at Cornell University, where she is the John Stambaugh Professor of History. A German historian, her work has reached backward to 1600 and forward to 1918 and has focused on the history of sexuality, the development of civil society, military culture, and imperial politics and governance. She has recently completed a book comparing Imperial Germany, Great Britain, and France during World War I and the impact of international law on their respective conduct of the war. It will appear in Spring 2014 under the title, A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law in the First World War. Her talk is based on this latest research.