The World Community: A Planetary Social Process

Myres S. McDougal, Yale Law School
W. Michael Reisman, Yale Law School
Andrew R. Willard, Yale Law School


The specialized process of interaction commonly designated international law is part of a larger world social process that comprehends all the interpenetrating and interstimulating communities on the planet. In the aggregate, these lesser communities comprise a planetary community. We use the expression "world community" here not in a metaphoric or wistfully aspirational sense but as a descriptive term. "Community" designates interactions in which interdetermination or interdependence in the shaping and sharing of all values attain an intensity at which participants in pursuit of their own objectives must regularly take account of the activities and demands of others. It is this "taking into account" which generates claims perforce resolved by decision processes.