Two law professors from Yale argue that a now-obscure treaty, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, marked a major turning point in world history; prior to its ratification in 1928, war and territorial conquest were entirely legal. Their book, “The Internationalists” has been hailed as one of the books of the year by, among others, The Economist. In a re-run of one of our favorite episodes of Truth Politics and Power, they tell host Neal Conan how an agreement to outlaw war transformed the world conflagration that erupted only a few years later into a war between the Old World Order and the new. The pact also enabled the Allies to try German and Japanese leaders for an unprecedented crime – waging aggressive war. Since then, wars between states and territorial conquest have declined dramatically. “When the World Outlawed War” on Truth Politics and Power.
Oona A. Hathaway
Scott J. Shapiro
Oona Hathaway is the Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law and Founder and Director, Center for Global Legal Challenges. She is also is a professor of Political Science and International Studies at Yale. From 2014 – 2015, Hathaway was Special Counsel for National Security Law at the Department of Defense and she is a former Law Clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She has written for a various publications, including Foreign Policy, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Scott Shapiro is theCharles F. Southmayd Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at Yale Law School. He’s also taught at Univesity College in London and Columbia Law School and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Among his areas of expertise are international law, criminal law and constitutional law and theory. He is the author of Legality and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law.
August 27, 1928 Briand-Kellogg Treaty, with signatures of Gustav Stresemann, Paul Kellogg, Paul Hymans, Aristide Briand, Lord Cushendun, William Lyon Mackenzie King, John McLachlan, Sir Christopher James Parr, Jacobus Stephanus Smit, William Thomas Cosgrave, Count Gaetano Manzoni, Count Uchida, A. Zaleski, Eduard Benes.
July 24, 1929 Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Frank B. Kellogg, standing, with representatives of the governments who have ratified the Treaty for Renunciation of War (Kellogg-Briand Pact), in the East Room of the White House.
A bold and provocative history of the men who fought to outlaw war and how an often overlooked treaty signed in 1928 was among the most transformative events in modern history.
On a hot summer afternoon in 1928, the leaders of the world assembled in Paris to outlaw war. Within the year, the treaty signed that day, known as the Peace Pact, had been ratified by nearly every state in the world. War, for the first time in history, had become illegal the world over. But the promise of that summer day was fleeting. Within a decade of its signing, each state that had gathered in Paris to renounce war was at war. And in the century that followed, the Peace Pact was dismissed as an act of folly and an unmistakable failure. This book argues that that understanding is inaccurate, and that the Peace Pact ushered in a sustained march toward peace that lasts to this day.
The Internationalists tells the story of the Peace Pact by placing it in the long history of international law from the seventeenth century through the present, tracing this rich history through a fascinating and diverse array of lawyers, politicians and intellectuals—Hugo Grotius, Nishi Amane, Salmon Levinson, James Shotwell, Sumner Welles, Carl Schmitt, Hersch Lauterpacht, and Sayyid Qutb. It tells of a centuries-long struggle of ideas over the role of war in a just world order. It details the brutal world of conflict the Peace Pact helped extinguish, and the subsequent era where tariffs and sanctions take the place of tanks and gunships.
The Internationalists examines with renewed appreciation an international system that has outlawed wars of aggression and brought unprecedented stability to the world map. Accessible and gripping, this book will change the way we view the history of the twentieth century—and how we must work together to protect the global order the internationalists fought to make possible.