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The World Constitutive Process of Authoritative Decision

By Myres S McDougal, Harold D Lasswell and W. Michael Reisman

Abstract

THE frame of reference essential for discussion of the world constitutive process is the world social process. The fundamental point emerging from a survey of that process is that today the scientific observer is justified in referring to a \u22world community\u22: the level of interaction among the inhabitants of the earth has reached a degree of intensity that includes both interdetermination and widespread explicit recognition of the facts of such interdetermination. To interact is to influence and be influenced, whether the influence is recognized or unrecognized. During the centuries when there were practically no contacts between middle and South America and the other inhabitants of the globe, the peoples of the world did not maintain a level of reciprocal influencing (recognized or otherwise) sufficient to justify an observer of global affairs to speak of a world community. Similarly, it would be inappropriate to refer to an inclusive context of interaction when the empires of Rome and China were flourishing. There were few acknowledged or unacknowledged connections between them. To identify a global community today, it may be noted, does not require that one find a transnational exchange of people or goods or reciprocally amiable perspectives. The interflow of such values is not the only index of interaction. Interaction occurs at the level of full subjective awareness when participants take one another into consideration; consideration may involve weighing the other as a potential enemy and remaining aloof from all trade, travel or combat

Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 1967
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.law.yale.edu:fss_papers-1662
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