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Liberalism

The document discusses several key aspects of liberal theories in international relations. It covers: 1) Early liberal thinkers like Kant who argued that states could cooperate through international organizations and that democracies are more peaceful. 2) 19th century liberalism focused on free trade increasing interdependence and making war less likely. 3) Wilsonian idealism promoted collective security and international law to prevent war. 4) Neoliberal institutionalism sees states cooperating through international regimes when it is in their self-interest to do so and institutions help address collective action problems. 5) Concepts like collective security, international regimes, and the democratic peace theory are discussed as key aspects of modern liberal

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Liberal Theories
The Waning/Declining of War
• In recent years, a strong trend toward fewer wars has
become evident.
– For the world as a whole, the current period is one of the
least warlike ever, with fewer and smaller wars than in the
past.
– World wars killed tens of millions and left whole
continents in ruin.
– Cold War – proxy wars killed millions and the world feared
a nuclear war that could have wiped out our species.
– Iraq and Sudan and wars like these kill hundreds of
thousands.
• We fear terrorist attacks, but we do not fear that life on the planet
will be destroyed.
2
The Waning/Declining of War
• Events in the post-Cold War era continue this long-
term trend toward smaller wars.
• Today’s most serious conflicts consist mainly of
clashing rather than all-out battles.
• In 2009, war decreased in Iraq and worsened in
Afghanistan – serious fighting continued in Sudan
and Sri Lanka.
– Democratic Congo – small scale but brutal fighting among factions
since war ended in 1999.
– Today there are 13 wars in progress; down from 20 ten years ago.
• Consistent trend downward.
3
Figure 3.1
4
Liberal Theories
• Realism offers mostly dominance solutions to the
collective goods problems of IR.
• Alternative theoretical approaches that draw mostly
on the reciprocity or identity principles are called
liberal theories.
• Significant Scholars: Montesquieu, Kant, Wilson,
Keohane, Mueller
• These approaches are generally more optimistic than
realism about the prospects for peace.
– Evolution: build up of international organizations and
mutual cooperation (reciprocity) and changes in norms
and public opinion (identity)
5
CLASSICAL LIBERALISM
• The originals of Liberal Theory are found in; (Mingst 2004: 62)
- Enlightenment optimism
- The Nineteenth-Century political and economic Liberalism
- The Twentieth-Century Wilsonian Idealism
1. Enlightenment Optimism
• In the writing the writing of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
• According to Kant: International anarchy can be overcome through some
kind of collective action
• A federation of states in which sovereignties would be left unharmed
6

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Liberalism

  • 2. The Waning/Declining of War • In recent years, a strong trend toward fewer wars has become evident. – For the world as a whole, the current period is one of the least warlike ever, with fewer and smaller wars than in the past. – World wars killed tens of millions and left whole continents in ruin. – Cold War – proxy wars killed millions and the world feared a nuclear war that could have wiped out our species. – Iraq and Sudan and wars like these kill hundreds of thousands. • We fear terrorist attacks, but we do not fear that life on the planet will be destroyed. 2
  • 3. The Waning/Declining of War • Events in the post-Cold War era continue this long- term trend toward smaller wars. • Today’s most serious conflicts consist mainly of clashing rather than all-out battles. • In 2009, war decreased in Iraq and worsened in Afghanistan – serious fighting continued in Sudan and Sri Lanka. – Democratic Congo – small scale but brutal fighting among factions since war ended in 1999. – Today there are 13 wars in progress; down from 20 ten years ago. • Consistent trend downward. 3
  • 5. Liberal Theories • Realism offers mostly dominance solutions to the collective goods problems of IR. • Alternative theoretical approaches that draw mostly on the reciprocity or identity principles are called liberal theories. • Significant Scholars: Montesquieu, Kant, Wilson, Keohane, Mueller • These approaches are generally more optimistic than realism about the prospects for peace. – Evolution: build up of international organizations and mutual cooperation (reciprocity) and changes in norms and public opinion (identity) 5
  • 6. CLASSICAL LIBERALISM • The originals of Liberal Theory are found in; (Mingst 2004: 62) - Enlightenment optimism - The Nineteenth-Century political and economic Liberalism - The Twentieth-Century Wilsonian Idealism 1. Enlightenment Optimism • In the writing the writing of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) • According to Kant: International anarchy can be overcome through some kind of collective action • A federation of states in which sovereignties would be left unharmed 6
  • 7. Kant and Peace • What explains this positive trend toward peace? • Kant gave 3 answers over 200 years ago: 1. States could develop the organizations and rules to facilitate cooperation, specifically by forming a world federation resembling today’s United Nations (reciprocity). 2. Peace depends on the internal character of governments-- specifically that republics, with a legislative branch that can hold the monarch in check, will be more peaceful than autocrats (identity principle). 3. Trade promotes peace, relies on the presumption that trade increases wealth, cooperation, and global well-being -- all making conflict less likely in the long term because governments will not want to disrupt any process that adds to the wealth of their state. 7
  • 8. 2. The Nineteenth-Century political and economic Liberalism (in Great Britain & the United States) • In the works of : - Adam Smith and David Ricardo in economics - David Hume – the importance of the individual as the unit of analysis - Jeremy Bentham – people as rational, capable of deciding what best for themselves without much government interference 8
  • 9. • Continued from Kant that saw man as capable of satisfying his natural needs and wants in rational ways. • Liberal thought individual freedom and autonomy can best be realized in a democratic state free from excessive governmental restrictions. • Political freedoms are most easily achieved in capitalists states where rational and materialistic human beings can improve their own conditions, maximizing both individual and collective economic growth and economic welfare. • They believe that free trade and commerce create interdependencies between states, thus raising the cost of war. 9
  • 10. 3. The Twentieth-Century Wilsonion Idealism • Also contributed to Liberalism • According to greatest supporter is US president Woodrow Wilson who formed the League of Nations – WILSONIAN IDEALISM i. The basic assumption of this Idealism is that war is preventable. • Example: The League of Nations was proposing collective security, wherein aggression by one state would be countered by collective action. • Problem solving in MULTILATERALISM. ii. They have faith in international laws & legal instruments - Mediations, negotiations and international court. 10
  • 11. iii. The basis of Liberalism remains strongly rooted in the belief of the RATIONALITY OF HUMAN BEINGS and the uncontrolled optimism that through the learning and education, human can develop institutions to bring out their best characteristic. COOPERATION • Emerges from man’s establishing and reforming institutions that allow cooperative interaction and prohibit coercive actions. 11
  • 12. NEO-LIBERALISM/NEO-LIBERAL INSTITUTIONALISM • Developed in the 1970s & 1980s some what parallel to Neo-Realism (Rourke 2006: 24). • Liberal Institution is considered by many scholars to present the most convincing challenge to Realist and Neo-Realist (Baylis, Smith & Owen 2008: 131). 12
  • 13. The core assumptions of Neo-Liberal Institutions included: i. States are the key actor in IR, but not the only significant actor. States are rational or instrumental actors, always seeking to maximize their interest in all issue-areas. ii. In this competitive surrounding, states seek to maximize absolute gains through cooperation. Rational behavior leads states to see value in cooperative behavior. iii. The greatest obstacle to successful cooperation is non compliance or cheating states. 13
  • 14. COOPERATION (Mingst 2004) • Emerges because for actors having continuous interactions with each other, it is in the self-interest of each to cooperate. • Institutions may be established affecting the possibilities for cooperation, BUT they do not guarantee cooperation. 14
  • 15. Liberal Institutionalism • Reciprocity • Kant argued that states could join a worldwide federation and respect its principles. – Remain independent – But forego certain short-term individual gains • Kant: International cooperation more rational option than going to war. – To realists, war is a rational option; to liberal theorists, war is an irrational deviation that results from defective reasoning and that harms the interests of warring states. 15
  • 16. • Neoliberal approach differs from earlier liberal approaches in that it admit to realism several important assumptions: – States are unitary actors rationally pursuing their self- interests, but they say states cooperate because it is in their self-interest. – Mutual gains better than cheating or taking advantage of each other. – Claim that neorealists’ pessimism is unjustified. States cooperate MOST of the time. – Positive reciprocity 16
  • 17. International Regimes • Set of rules, norms, and procedures around which the expectations of actors come together in a certain issue area - (trade, monetary, exchange, navigation on the high sea and in the air, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, etc) – Participants have similar ideas about what rules will govern their mutual participation. • Regimes can help solve collective goods problems by increasing transparency – everyone knows what everyone else is doing, cheating is riskier 17
  • 18. • Conception of regime – Combines elements of realism and liberalism – Come into existence to overcome collective goods dilemmas by coordinating the behaviors of individual states. – States continue to seek their own interests, but create frameworks to coordinate their actions with those of other states if and when this is necessary to realize self-interest 18
  • 19. International Regimes • Enforcement and survival of regimes – Rely on state power; role of hegemons; but may survive when hegemons that created them decline Eg: In 1970s, when the American hegemony declined of following the decades of U.S hegemony since 1945, the economic regimes somewhat adjusted and survived. – Role of permanent institutions such as the UN, NATO, and the IMF 19
  • 20. • The result of liberal institutionalism to date is the European Union (EU) – Stable peace with strong international institutions to bind them – The EU is the most advanced case of integration – 27 member states have given considerable power to the EU in economic decision making, but the national power still be more important than supranational power 20
  • 21. Collective Security • Concept grows out of liberal institutionalism. • Refers to the formation of a broad alliance of most major actors in an international system for the purpose of jointly opposing aggression by any actor. – Kant , proposed a federation of the world’s states – League of Nations, to promote collective security – Organization of America States, Arab League, and the African Union, International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) 21
  • 22. Collective Security • Success of collective security depends on two points: – Members must keep their alliance commitments to the group. – Enough members must agree on what constitutes aggression. • Ex: 1990-91 – Iraq’s aggression against Kuwait – All the great powers willing to bear the cost of confronting Iraq 22
  • 23. • Concept of collective security has broadened in recent years. – Failed states – weak control over territory – implications for their neighbors and the international system (potential for drug trafficking, terrorist bases, human trafficking) – Domestic politics as international anarchy – need for intervention (like in Libya today) – The duty of International community to intervene in order to restore law and peace 23
  • 24. The Democratic Peace • IR scholars have linked democracy with a kind of foreign policy fundamentally different from that of authoritarianism. – Theory: Democracies are more peaceful than authoritarian regimes. • Not true: Democracies fight as many wars as do authoritarian states. – Democratic Peace: • What is true about democracies is that although they fight wars against authoritarian states, democracies almost never fight each other. • Trend is toward democratization in most of the world’s regions. 24
  • 25. Assumptions of Liberalism ISSUE LIBERALISM Human Nature Most Important Actor Causes of State Behavior Nature of International System Humane/kind/unselfish States and other individuals Psychological motives of decision makers Community 25