The Strategy of World Order - Vol. 2

The Strategy of World Order - Vol. 2

The Strategy of World Order - Vol. 2

The Strategy of World Order - Vol. 2

Excerpt

This volume is devoted primarily to an examination of law as a basis for world order. The dominant theme running through it is the idea of "system change." International law is explained variously as: a source of order in the existing international system, a source of order to maintain an alternative international system derived from the Clark-Sohn plan, as detailed in World Peace through World Law (Harvard University Press, 1964), and a transitional process by which to move from one to the other. Law is looked upon both as a body of rules and standards regulating the behavior of nation-states, and also as a set of' procedures for generating, applying and transforming such rules and standards. In this latter less familiar sense, international law is treated as an aspect of the international social and political process of' regular, continuing transactions among governmental officials who act on behalf of states, international institutions, and other actors capable of shaping legally relevant events.

International law -- and the great jurists who have been a part of its long tradition -- have always mingled a concern for the attainment of actual order with a quest for a system of ideal order. In fact, the occasional failure of international legal thought to show where effective existing international law ends and mere wishful thinking begins has been one of the criticisms levelled against it. The development of systems analysis helps, however, to clarify the distinction between the actual and the ideal. It does so by calling attention to the characteristics of the law that is and the manner in which these characteristics differ from the characteristics of the law that ought to be. This distinction is further sharpened by the emphasis on transition, for it then becomes essential to be aware of what can and should be changed, and by what means.

International law is studied as a source of order, but not without an awareness of its role as an instrument of conflict in international relations. It is increasingly important to appreciate this dual role of international law: first, its ordering role in those areas where nations collaborate and cooperate with one another; and second, its provocative role in those areas where . . .

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