Carlo Nitsch

Law and peace in Hans Kelsen’s thinking

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In the early 1940s, while war was raging in the world, the theme of peace burst into the thinking of Hans Kelsen, who was in exile in the United States. This theme, essentially new in the context of Kelsen’s legal theory, immediately took centre stage in his meditation on international law, also gaining an unexpected significance in the overall articulation of his thought. The essay reconstructs the genesis of this thinking and analyses its fundamental concepts; it then follows its progressive development up to the moment when, in the second edition of Reine Rechtslehre (1960), Kelsen envisaged a deep rethinking of his own conception of the relationship between law and peace.


  • Hans Kelsen
  • Peace
  • War
  • International Law
  • Concept of Law


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