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Louis Sicking is the Aemilius Papinianus professor of History of Public International Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since 1 September 2013. Since 2001 he lectures Medieval and Early Modern History at Leiden University. Previously he worked at the European Parliament in Brussels, Luxemburg and Strasbourg. Sicking did a research master in overseas history at the University of Aix-en-Provence (Aix-Marseille I) and took his doctoral thesis in 1996 at Leiden University. He was a visiting fellow at Columbia University in New York City, NTNU Trondheim and at IMF-CSIC Barcelona, and held fellowships from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Netherlands Institute for Advances Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) and the Norwegian government.

Medieval and early modern history, maritime and overseas history, history of international public law, and the history of diplomacy and international relations in the medieval and early modern periods.


Geschiedenis van het volkenrecht

History of Public International Law


Louis Sicking conducts research in the programme Boundaries of Law. Some of his current projects:

  • Risk management, interest groups and legislation. Local, regional and international dynamics in the maritime transport sector of the Low Countries, c. 1550-1650
  • Information Management and Diplomatic Culture: Cornelis de Schepper (Scepperus) as Ambassador of Emperor Charles V
  • European expansion in the Indian Ocean and Pacific, 1450-1850’, in: D. Parrot and A. Waldron eds., The Cambridge history of warfare III
  • 'The Law of the Sea in Renaissance Europe' in: R. Lesaffer ed., The Cambridge History of International Law VI
  • Louis Sicking receives NWO grant for Maritime Conflict Management in Atlantic Europe

Main publications

  • Sicking, Louis, Neptune and the Netherlands. State, Economy and War at Sea in the Renaissance (Leiden and Boston: Brill 2004) 
  • Sicking, Louis, Colonial Borderlands. France and the Netherlands in the Atlantic in the 19th century (Leiden and Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 2008)
  • Sicking, L.H.J., and C.H. van Rhee eds., Briève instruction en causes civiles. Filips Wielant verzameld werk II (Brussels: Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Wetenschappen van België 2009)
  • Sicking, Louis, La naissance d'une thalassocratie. Les Pays-Bas et la mer à l'aube du siècle d'Or (Paris 2015)
  • Sicking, Louis, 'The Pirate and the Admiral. Europeanisation and Globalisation of Maritime Conflict Management', Journal of the History of International Law 20 no. 4 (2018) 429-470.
  • Sicking, Louis & Nimwegen, Olaf, van & Prud'Homme van Reine, Ronald & Vliet, Adri, van & Groen, Petra, The Eigthy Years War. From Revolt tot Regular War, 1568-1648 (Leiden 2019)
  • Sicking, Louis, 'The Medieval Origin of the Factory or the Institutional Foundations of Overseas Trade: Toward a Model for Global Comparison', Journal of World History 31 no. 2 (2020) 295-326.
  • Sicking, Louis and Alain Wijffels eds., Conflict Management in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, 1000-1800. Studies in the History of International Law 15 (Leiden and Boston 2020)
  • Sicking, Louis, and Maurits Ebben eds., Beyond Ambassadors. Consuls, Missionaries, and Spies in premodern Diplomacy (Leiden and Boston 2021)

Ancillary activities

  • Universiteit Leiden | Leiden | Universitair docent Geschiedenis | 2013-09-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily


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