Book Review-‘The Law of Nations and Britain’s Quest for Naval Security International Law and Arms Control, 1898–1914’ by S. Keefer

By Richard Dunley, published November 2020


Historians and practitioners have long acknowledged the importance of international law to the actions of navies and others operating in the maritime sphere. Recent works focusing on the prewar and First World War period by historians such as Isabel Hull, in A Scrap of Paper (2014), Nicholas Lambert, in 2012’s Planning Armageddon, and John Coogan (‘The Short-War Illusion Resurrected: The Myth of Economic Warfare as the British Schlieffen Plan’, Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 38, No. 7, pp. 1045–64) have served to reinforce the centrality of law in the discussions of naval policy in the era. Despite this, it is fair to say that few historians have focused in detail on the legal aspects of naval policy, and fewer still would be able to claim a comprehensive grounding in the subject. This book by Scott Andrew Keefer, which adopts an interdisciplinary approach to address issues of international law and their relations with diplomatic and naval policy, is thus timely…

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Filed under: WW1 | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Administration | Strategy & Diplomacy

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