1 Introduction: The Invention of Good Government for the Law of Nations -- 2 Vattels Droit des gens. A Transnational Bestseller from the Age of Enlightenment -- 3 The Good Government: The Constituting and Constituted Nation -- 4 The First Reception: Sicily, Corsica and the Mediterranean Islands -- 5 The Great Crisis of the Sixties and the Political Reforms Between Piedmont and Tuscany -- 6 The Lost Manuscript and the First Italian Translation of Vattels Droit des gens -- 7 The Consequences of the American Revolution: From Naples to Venice -- 8 Ships and Diamonds: Vattel Between Linguet and Casanova -- 9 From Natural Rights to the Rights of Man -- 10 Bern, the French Revolution and the Congress of Vienna -- 11 State and Nation: The Political Neutralisation of the Droit des gens in Nineteenth-Century Europe -- 12 Conclusion: Vattels Droit des gens Between Good Government and Modern Democracy.
This book explores the history of the international order in the eighteenth and nineteenth century through a new study of Emer de Vattels Droit des gens (1758). Drawing on unpublished sources from European archives and libraries, the book offers an in-depth account of the reception of Vattels chief work. Vattels focus on the myth of good government became a strong argument for republicanism, the survival of small states, drafting constitutions and reform projects and fighting everyday battles for freedom in different geographical, linguistic and social contexts. The book complicates the picture of Vattels enduring success and usefulness, showing too how the work was published and translated to criticize and denounce the dangerousness of these ideas. In doing so, it opens up new avenues of research beyond histories of international law, political and economic thought