A World Political Process without World Government?
World government, to repeat the conclusion of the last chapter, seems out of reach in the immediate future. But the reason war has been virtually abolished within well-established states is not only that a state has the legal monopoly on the use of violence but because a state provides alternative ways of accomplishing social and political change: through law and politics. Even though a world state seems an impossible goal in the short run, is it possible for humankind to develop legal and political processes for bringing about social and political change for the whole of humankind without the structure of a world state? If so, even if war cannot be abolished some of the causes of war might be eliminated and war made much, much less frequent. What humankind might work toward is a global political process similar to what exists in individual states today but without an actual government, a political process in which certain features are much more prominent and certain others are considerably less prominent. 1
Presumably, law and legal processes would be among the less prominent. Law comes about as the result of formal legislation and through precedent set by the courts. Since the global political process we visualize would lack the structure of a state and hence lack the state's monopoly of legal force, it would presumably also lack not only the formal legislative institutions but also the more formal enforcement powers by which a state implements its laws. But this is not necessarily a fatal lack. In its essence, law is the outcome of the kind of political process that exists in the individual state, not a rival or a substitute for it.
Similarly, if states had to enforce all their laws, rules, regulations, and agreements with the formal institutions of police and armed forces, no state would be effectively governed. The reason states can successfully govern is that the great