Brazilian literature on international law during the empire regime. Or the diffusion of international law in the peripheries through appropriation and adaptation

Airton Ribeiro da Silva Júnior


This essay attempts to understand the profile of Brazilian textbooks on international law published during the Brazilian Empire (1822-1889), in order to comprehend which doctrines and influences can be traceable in the Brazilian legal literature. In this sense, the article focused on the entanglements between Western and Brazilian knowledge, privileging the conception of moderation between cultures rather than unilateral imposition or reproduction - interpretations that eventually prevails on the study of diffusion of knowledge in legal history. The research revealed that all of the three textbooks that had been published during the Imperial political regime (1851, 1867, 1889) shared, in general, the same characteristics: all of them had been written by professors of the Faculty of Recife, they were all prepared to serve as textbooks to the discipline of international law, and the three books followed the Droit des Gens Moderne de l’Europe written by the German jurist Johann Ludwig Klüber. In fact, the very first book of international law published in Brazil, written by Pedro Autran da Matta Albuquerque, is an abridged translation of Klüber’s book. The history of the discipline and the bibliography of international law in nineteenth-century Brazil had been neglected; the present essay modestly attempts to fulfil this gap narrating the diffusion of international law from an extra-European standpoint.


legal history – international law – Brazilian legal literature – Brazilian Empire – plagiarism

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ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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