Jan Schneider

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It is today becoming widely recognized that the planet earth--or, more expansively, the entire earth-space system--is an ecological unity both In a basic scientific sense and in the sense of interdependencies of the social processes by which mankind uses it. The plants, animals (including homo sapiens) and micro-organisms that inhabit the planet are united with each other and with their nonliving surroundings in a network of complex, interrelated natural and cultural components known as the planetary "ecosystem." While there is this increasing realization of inextricable ecological interrelatedness, the world public order today remains essentially a loosely organized decision- making system in which some one hundred and fifty different territorial communities seek to promote and aggrandize their own particular interests. Although the states-as-sole-actors approach to international politics has long been discredited, the primacy of the state in contemporary international law and politics seems to remain unchallenged for the foreseeable future.

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