Publication by Radoslaw Szymanski in the edited volume The Legacy of Vattel’s Droit Des Gens, K. Stapelbroek & A. Trampus (eds.), Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Radoslaw Szymanski has contributed a chapter entitled ‘Vattel as an Intermediary Between the Economic Society of Berne and Poland’ to a recently published edited volume The Legacy of Vattel’s Droit Des Gens. The collective work edited by Koen Stapelbroek and Antonio Trampus was published with Palgrave Macmillan.

In the chapter Szymanski discusses Emer de Vattel’s relatively unknown three-year stay in Poland (1760-1763). He first focuses on Vattel’s role in establishing a network of Swiss and Polish reform thinkers; then on the imprint which he left on Polish late eighteenth-century authors. Significantly, while in Warsaw Vattel aligned himself with the Economic Society of Bern and its French secretary Elie Bertrand (1713-1797), whose economic reform agenda can be seen as complementary to his own vision of an international order. Simultaneously, his stance on the question of international intervention, also based on a nuanced understanding of modern commerce, inspired Polish thinkers attempting to delegitimise the first partition of Poland.

Link to the ebook version:


Auguste Bertholet at the 10th Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought, UCL, 20-21 June 2019

Auguste Bertholet spoke at the 10th Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought, whose theme was ‘Progress and Decline in the History of Political Thought’. The conference was held at the UCL in London

Auguste gave a talk entitled ‘Depopulation as benchmark of progress and decline. The judgement of Vaudois economic reform debates on a European obsession’, where he discussed the theme of depopulation as it was analysed in the Spirit of Legislation.


Bela Kapossy at the International Conference ‘La Liberté des anciens et des modernes’ in honour of Biancamaria Fontana, Lausanne 27 VI 2019

Bela Kapossy spoke at a two-day conference organised in honour of Biancamaria Fontana in Lausanne on the 27th and 28th of June 2019. The conference revolved around Biancamaria Fontana’s wide-ranging research and, more specifically about Benjamin Constant. Bela Kapossy delivered a paper entitled ‘Ancient and modern liberty before Constant’ where he discussed Germanophone near-contemporaries of Constant who theorised the problem of political liberty differently, albeit informed by a similar historical context.

Upcoming: Panel at the ISECS International Congress on the Enlightenment at the University of Edinburgh on 14–19 July 2019 with the theme ‘Enlightenment Identities’

At this year’s ISECS International Congress we will hold a panel entitled Between Town and Country: The Spirit of Legislation and the Eighteenth-Century Swiss Debates on Urbanisation and Manufacturing. The panel will be presided by Graham Clure. Auguste Bertholet and Radek Szymanski will be joined by Aris de la Fontana (Scuola Normale Superiore de Pisa).

The congress will be held at the University of Edinburgh on 14–19 July 2019 with the overarching theme ‘Enlightenment Identities’. Our panel will be convened as one of the first ones, on Monday at 11am.

Farmers working on Hemp- or Flax-spinning, Lafond, Simon Daniel, 1791, Gugelmann Collection at Swiss National Library

The Wealth of Republics, Monarchies and Nations after the Seven Years’ War, our panel at the 2019 Swiss Congress of Historical Sciences in Zurich, 6th June 2019

Our research group presented the most recent advancements in the ongoing Enlightenment Agrarian Republics project at a panel entitled ‘The Wealth of Republics, Monarchies and Nations after the Seven Years’ War’, convened during the Swiss Congress of Historical Sciences held at the University of Zurich. The panel was chaired by Graham Clure and commented by Nadir Weber, from University of Lausanne and University of Berne. Alongside the papers by Auguste Bertholet and Radek Szymanski, we had the pleasure of hearing a presentation by Christoph Oelmann from the University of Jena, whose research on the Saxon retablissement intersects with the research of the group.

Papers delivered at the panel:

Auguste Bertholet (UNIL) ‘The Vaudois Spirit of Legislation’
Radek Szymanski (UNIL) ‘The Economic Grand Tour of the Counts Mniszech’
Christoph Oelmann (Jena) ‘Rétablissement and agricultural policy in Electoral Saxony 1763-1773′

The papers, framed by an introduction by Graham Clure who put emphasis on the broader, geopolitical context of the period after the Seven Years’ War, was followed by a stimulating discussion opened by insightful commentary by Nadir Weber.