The Changing Structure of International Law: Unchanging Theory for Inquiry

Myres S. McDougal, Yale Law School
W. Michael Reisman, Yale Law School


In recent decades the demand has become increasingly insistent among scholars and others for development of a more comprehensive theory of inquiry about international law, drawing upon all relevant areas of knowledge and especially upon the social sciences. Early in his very ambitious book Professor Friedmann states that:

The changes in the dimensions of international law require a corresponding reorientation in its study; neither the international lawyer trained in the classical methods of international law and diplomacy nor the corporation, tax, or constitutional lawyer are equipped to handle this subject without cooperation with each other, and with economists and political scientists. International law is becoming a more and more complex and many-sided subject.

In bringing the book to a close, he reaffirms that basic changes in the "structure of international society" make necessary a "far-reaching reorientation in the science and study of contemporary international law."