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Pärtel Piirimäe

Visiting Scholar 2016-2017

Residency Dates: September 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017


Pärtel Piirimäe

After studying history at the University of Tartu and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Pärtel Piirimäe received an M.Phil. in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History in 1999 and a Ph.D. in History in 2007, both from the University of Cambridge. Between 2003 and 2006, he worked as a Research Fellow in European History at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and since 2006, he has been working as Senior Researcher and Associate Professor at the University of Tartu. His research field covers early modern political and legal ideas, propaganda and the public sphere, regional identities and intellectual history in the Baltic area. He is the Editor of Ajalooline Ajakiri: The Estonian Historical Journal.

During his stay at CES, Pärtel Piirimäe intends to study the discourses of law of nations, natural law and civilisation from Hugo Grotius to Emer de Vattel. His project focuses on the origins of the Euro-centric concept ‘the law of civilized nations’ that replaced the aspirations of seventeenth-century natural jurists to developed a universalist doctrine of international law.

This information is accurate for the time period that the scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study
  • Associate Professor of History, University of Tartu


  • Pärtel Piirimäe, Friedenthal, “Philosophical Disputations at the University of Tartu: Boundaries of a Discipline” in: Studia Philosophia, 8:2, 65-90 (2015).
  • Pärtel Piirimäe, “Sweden” In: Olaf Asbach; Peter Schröder (Ed.). The Ashgate Research Companion to the Thirty Years' War, 77−86. (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing 2015).
  • Pärtel Piirimäe, “Swedish or Livonian patria? On the identities of Livonian nobility in the seventeenth century”, in: Ajalooline Ajakiri, 139-140, (2012).
  • Pärtel Piirimäe, “Alberico Gentili’s Doctrine of Defensive War and its Impact on Seventeenth-Century Normative Views,” in: Kingsbury, Straumann (Ed.). The Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations: Alberico Gentili and the Justice of Empire 187−209. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).
  • Pärtel Piirimäe, “The Westphalian Myth and the Idea of External Sovereignty.” In: Kalmo, Skinner (Ed.) Sovereignty in Fragments: The Past, Present and Future of a Contested Concept 64−80. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Pärtel Piirimäe, “War and Polemics in Early Modern Europe.” In: Calaresu, de Vivo, Rubies (Ed.) Exploring Cultural History. Essays in Honour of Peter Burke 133−149. (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2010).
  • Pärtel Piirimäe, Baltic Regionalism (2010)
  • Pärtel Piirimäe, “Russia, The Turks and Europe: Legitimations of War and the Formation of European Identity in the Early Modern Period.” In: Journal of Early Modern History, 11, 63−86. (2007).

Other Material


Areas of Expertise:
Early modern political thought
Early modern legal history
Baltic history

Research Topic:
Law of Nations between Natural Law and a Code of Civility: Discourses of International Morality in Early Modern Europe