The Collectivisation of International Security through Processes of Institutionalisation in Public International Law

The Chair held by the leader of the Research Group at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) is part of the interdisciplinary research initiative “Dynamics of Security”, established together with the Philipps University Marburg in order to explore different forms of securitisations, mainly from historical perspectives. In brief, the research initiative, funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation) from April 1st, 2014 until the end of 2017 at least, covers nineteen different projects from both universities—thus involving more than 70 researchers, ranging from Ph.D. students to professors—each offering a unique approach to securitisation (i.e. law, history, sociology, politics and art history). Together these projects will reveal a coherent and all-embracing view of how securitisation entered different political processes throughout a range of epochs. The chair of Prof. Dr. Thilo Marauhn will be contributing to this overall agenda with a project that focuses on the history of public international law.


The purpose is to analyse the collectivisation of international security through processes of institutionalisation in public international law. Each research member explores if and under what circumstances the perception and characterisation of international relations as a security issue not only prompt juridification and processes of institutionalisation in international law, but also inspire the collectivisation of international security. To what extent did (selected) actors perceive the advancing institutionalisation of public international law, that began with the foundation of the first international organisations (e.g. the International Commission for Navigation on the Rhine, or the International Telecommunication Union) in the 19th century on the one hand, and the instalment of the first public international law chairs at universities on the other hand, and continued to evolve via the foundation of the League of Nations into the founding of the United Nations, as a security gain? In light of the apparent modern trend towards de-collectivisation by way of favouring bilateral and regional cooperation, why was the path of ever-growing collectivisation of security chosen during the rise of international law?

Project director:


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)