"The 'International Community' Facing the Challenge of Globalization"

Michigan Law Authors
Publish Date
European Journal of International Law
Publication Type
Journal Article

The article seeks to analyse the current state of the 'international community' in the light of different traditions of thought It finds the distinctive element of 'community' in the priorithation of community interests as against the egoistic interests of Individual states. Whereas factual interdependence undeniably exists in the contemporary state system, several traditions of thought shed a different light on the existence of common values and institutions. Modifying a classification coined by Hedley Bull the article distinguishes four views of the international system: a 'Hobbesian' or 'realist' tradition, a 'Vattelian' or internationalist tradition, a 'Grotian' or 'communitarian' tradition, and a 'Kantian' or unlversalist tradition. In an analysis of the current state of affairs, the article claims that the classical 'Lotus principle' is giving way to a more communitarian, more highly institutionalized international law, in which states 'channel' the pursuit of most of their individual Interests through multilateral institutions. Nevertheless, the authors do not deny the aspiratlonal element of the 'community' concept.

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