In the preface to the original edition of this work it was indicated that three objectives had been sought in its preparation: (1) exposition of the nature of existing international institutions, (2) explanation of their establishment and evolution, and (3) appraisal of their value for the purposes for which they had professedly been created. These remain the principal aims of the present edition with a fairly even distribution of emphasis among them, and adequate care to base any judgments of value upon the effectiveness of given institutions in respect to their professed objectives rather than upon any purely personal preferences.
The difficulties encountered in the years 1920-22 in keeping account of and properly appreciating current developments in international organization have not diminished twenty-five years later. The present constitutes another of those periods of rapid growth of international institutions such as that which followed World War I.
Moreover the attitude taken at that time, namely that recent developments in international organization were by no means new in general character, and presumably by no means final, has been amply confirmed by subsequent events. The League of Nations has come and gone, and although we now have the United Nations, its ultimate fate--and perhaps its immediate future--are clearly uncertain. Meanwhile the historic institutions of international organization and the basic principles of that activity remain. This volume has always been intended not merely as a textbook for use in the college and university instruction, summarizing the facts and generally accepted conclusions concerning current phenomena, but as an analytical treatment, based largely on primary materials and contacts, of the fundamentals of the subject.
A few additional points may usefully be made concerning the approach to the subject followed in this volume. Great emphasis is placed upon the historical or evolutionary aspect of the subject. There is ample justification for this inasmuch as, in spite of the long history of international organization, that activity is still in its youth if not exactly its infancy. It is not possible to treat the subject in a strictly analytical-systematic manner, as in the case of a more mature and complete system. At the same time, and for the same reason, it is most useful to introduce general views of the subject, where they are attainable, along with the evolutionary treatment itself. This will explain the combination of general political science and the many historical references to the nineteenth century, World War 1, the inter-