At this stage in the development of international society there is a need for the systematic study of world order. Systematic in the sense of bringing all relevant intellectual skills to bear and of using all the accumulated knowledge on the subject. In particular, advantage is sought to be taken of the disciplined inquiry associated with work in the fields of international law, international organization, arms control and disarmament, and economic development. This set of materials is offered as a step toward the creation of an autonomous academic discipline of world order.
Within the subject of world order primary attention is given to the avoidance of war through the creation of a war prevention system in international society. War is studied from a special point of view -- its prevention -- but in the spirit of social science rather than in the manner of a moralist or millenarian. As a potential academic discipline it is synthetic, cutting across such established educational divisions as law, political science, sociology, economics, history.
These materials adopt as a guiding method or organization and conception the orientation provided by what has come to be called "international system theory." We propose study of the existing international system, of a postulated alternative system designed to achive the objectives of war prevention , and the means available to tranform the one into the other, which process we refer to as "the transition."It is the emphasis on achieving transition that gives a problem-emphasis to these readings. The postulated alternative system selected to illustrate the attributes of war prevention is the world projected by Grenville Clark and Louis B. Sohn in World Peace through World Law. It is not selected as an expression of the ideological preference of the editors so much as to provide a model, specified in some detail, of what an alternative international system might be like. Such a model of one future for the international political system facilitates our understanding of international society as it exists and operates at present and informs us more clearly about the kind of changes that must be made to fulfill the objectives of war prevention. (A fuller account of this endeavor is to be found in the selection by Mendlovitz at the end of Chapter 4.)
To conceive of world order as the strategy by which one system is transformed into another more in accord with a posited set of human values (e.g. . . .