Law and Power, 46 American Journal of International Law 102 (1952)
In our contemporary disillusionment it is again becoming the fashion to minimize both the role that law presently plays in the world power process and the role that, with more effective organization, it could be made to play in maintaining the values of a free, peaceful, and abundant world society. Two recent books offer perhaps the most vigorous, explicit, and articulate expression of this trend. One is Professor Hans J. Mlorgenthau's In Defense of the National Interest and the other is Mr. George F. Kenuan's American Diplomacy 1900-1950. Both of these books inveigh mightily against what is characterized as a "legalistic-moralistic" approach to foreign policy and demand a more free-wheeling use of "old-fashioned" diplomatic procedures in naked power calculations and practices. It is believed that this attitude profoundly misconceives both power and law and mistakes certain particular unfortunate attempts in policy formation and application for legal proceses in general. Such misconceptions, if influential, could generate irrational policy decisions of irretrievable harm.
Date of Authorship for this Version
McDougal, Myres S., "Law and Power" (1952). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 2476.