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Deriving from a series of lectures delivered as the ""general course"" at the Hague Academy of International Law in July 1989, this volume - like those lectures - does not pretend to provide a complete treatise covering all international law. Rather, it offers a particular perspective on the principal subjects of traditional international law, elaborates new developments, and re-examines assumptions and premises.;The book addresses law as politics, and international law as the law of a political system, now comprised of more than 180 separate, independent states. The essential autonomy of states accounts for the political (as well as economic and cultural) heterogeneity in a pluralist and fragmented system, and international law as its common denominator of normative expression. There is also an exploration of change in international law as reflecting change in the values and purposes of the international political system.