The Might of Nations: World Politics in Our Time

The Might of Nations: World Politics in Our Time

The Might of Nations: World Politics in Our Time

The Might of Nations: World Politics in Our Time

Excerpt

In a rapidly changing world the study of international politics calls for fresh treatment at frequent intervals. For instance, the United Nations, the most outstanding international organization, is not what it was in 1945, when it was founded at San Francisco, or in 1950, when it met its first great challenge in Korea--or even in 1955, when a long step was taken in the slow process of development from a league of victors in World War II to a genuine worldwide organization. Today, the operations of the United Nations in the Congo, like the development of spatial aeronautics and world-wide television, are harbingers of new patterns of world politics which require systematic and purposeful analysis and interpretation.

The essential elements in the pattern of world politics, according to Professor Stoessinger's analysis, are, on the one hand, the striving for better order in world affairs and, on the other, that for greater power. Indeed, our time is witness to an unprecedented conflict between these two forces. "Communist" and "capitalist" nations have produced through their clashing attitudes the "cold war" which seems to obsess the minds of peoples in great parts of the world. But in other areas peoples' minds seem equally obsessed with another "cold war" between the forces of colonialism and self-determination. The interaction between these two struggles gives to the world politics of our time a complexity which up to now has defied the efforts of the ablest statesmen to gain peace and security for their peoples.

Contemplation of the vexatious problems confronting the leading actors in international politics provokes the author into asking some baffling questions: in view of the negligible role played by professional diplomats in recent disastrous "summit conferences," has diplomacy--long regarded as a major order-building instrument--now become obsolete? What is the role of ethics in a world of power? What is the relationship between "personal" and "political" morality? What is the connection between politics and law in international relations? These, of course, are not new questions . . .

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