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Law and Peace, 18 Denver Journal of International Law and Policy 1 (1989)


The establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive peace, through law rather than by arbitrary violence and coercion, is today commonly regarded as one of humankind's most urgent and difficult problems. To achieve a productive understanding of what law may contribute to peace, of the inextricable interrelations of law and peace, it is necessary that we observe the larger context of global processes of interaction that contain and condition both law and peace. We must formulate appropriate conceptions of law and peace, note the inadequacies in our inherited theories and procedures designed to serve peace and, finally, apply to the general problem, and numerous particular problems of promoting peace, certain relevant intellectual tasks. These tasks, extending beyond the unsystematic, anecdotal pursuit of random strategies in effective power, or the traditional logical derivation from allegedly autonomous legal rules, include the postulation and clarification of basic community goals, the examination of past trends in the achievement of such goals, the exploration of the factors that affect degrees in achievement, the projection of possible futures, and the recommendation of alternatives in decision process and particular decisions that promise a higher degree of success.

We proceed to explore these points of inquiry and intellectual tasks seriatim.

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