Research in International Law since the War: A Report to the International Relations Committee of the Social Science Research Council

Research in International Law since the War: A Report to the International Relations Committee of the Social Science Research Council

Research in International Law since the War: A Report to the International Relations Committee of the Social Science Research Council

Research in International Law since the War: A Report to the International Relations Committee of the Social Science Research Council

Excerpt

For the purpose of this report the writer has used a report on Research in International Relations by Professor Pitman B. Potter, prepared for the Policy Committee of the Political Science Association in 1929, and a report on Research in the Humanistic and Social Sciences by Professor F. A. Ogg, prepared for the American Council of Learned Societies in 1928. These were both confined to the United States and thus are narrower in scope than the present investigation, though at the same time broader in that they deal with much besides international law.

He has also been assisted by the opinions of twenty international lawyers in the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland, who kindly replied to inquiries with respect to significant contributions to and significant tendencies in international law writing in recent years. In addition to this, he has done considerable investigation with the assistance of Miss R. Hasse in the materials in the excellent international law library of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

The value of research depends on its consequences, and the judgment of experts after these have had an opportunity to develop. It is too early to say whether the work done in international law since the war has instituted methods, emphasized points of view or proposed formulations of permanent value, or of relatively more or less value than that done at other periods of equal length. A judgment on these questions would necessarily be largely subjective, though in the course of this report the opinions offered by some prominent international lawyers will be given. A mere description of the tendencies of the present, especially in comparison with those before the war, would be less subjective, but in view of the size of the literature of international law, the difficulty of precisely defining its scope and the importance of considering the quality as well as quantity of the effort devoted to any one topic, any judgment is far from objective. First it may be well to devote attention to certain conditions which affect research in this field at present.

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CONDITIONS AFFECTING RESEARCH IN INTERNATIONAL LAW

Among unfavorable conditions may be mentioned (1) the general distrust which pervaded international relations as a natural conse-

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