Professor em. Dr. Harald Kleinschmidt

Alfried Krupp Senior Fellow
(Oktober 2016 - September 2017) 

      • Born at Göttingen, 1949
      • Studies of History and English at Göttingen University and at Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA
      • Professor of the History of international Relations at the (state) University of Tsukuba, Japan (1989 – 2015)

          Fellow project: "New Dimensions of Global History"

          International, world and global historiography is dominated by the perception hat the world ss an anarchical political system, and the expectation that this system will remain stable only as long as it remains anarchical. In this context, anarchy is a term not only meaning lack of rule but also lack of rules. However, this theory militates against empirical evidence showing that more than 95 per cent of all treaties are abided by, everywhere in the world, almost under all circimstances and throughout four and a half millennia, that is, as long as written records have existed. Notably, treaties belong to the oldest charters featuring statements about international relations, and rest on the expectation by the contracting parties that agreements should be honoured as legally binding. The project examines the genesis of the lack of compatibility between these theoretical postulates and empirical findings. The project approaches this issue at two levels, one of manifest actions, the other of historiographical reporting about these actions. At the first level, the project focuses on the question, what kind of legal norms can regulate actions of worldwide effects or indended to entail such effects. Specifically, it investigates the general law of hospitality together with its specifications, the law of diplomatic envoys and the law of emergency at sea. Whereas, up to the turn towards the nineteenth century, natural law was held to be the main source of legal norms regulating worldwide effective actions and actions intended to trigger such effects, since then, problems have arisen concerning the universalisability and legitimacy of these norms, once they have been enforced through purposeful legal acts. At the second level, the transformation of historiographical attitudes towards worldwide effective actions or actions intended to have such effects, are analysed, with this latter transformation also having taken place around 1800 and having resulted in the current perception of the world. In fine, the project specifies interdependencies between both levels. 

          Fellow report in the academic year 2016/17 (in German)