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International Relations Theory A New Introduction. Chapter 3 The Liberal International Theory Tradition. Introduction. Five characteristics of liberal thought: Strong faith in human reason Belief in possibility of historical progress & reforming international relations

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international relations theory a new introduction
International Relations TheoryA New Introduction

Chapter 3

The Liberal International Theory Tradition

introduction
Introduction

Five characteristics of liberal thought:

  • Strong faith in human reason
  • Belief in possibility of historical progress & reforming international relations
  • Focus on state-society linkages & the claim of a close connection between domestic institutions & politics/ international politics
  • Claim: Increasing economic interdependence among states reduces occurrence of conflict & war
  • Arguments about the positive effect of processes of institutionalizing international relations
genealogy
Genealogy

Early 20th century – key concepts and arguments:

  • War does not benefit anybody – N. Angell (1913)
  • International anarchy - G.L. Dickinson (1916)
  • First major instances of liberal institutionalism  League of Nations
  • Collective Security

Since Second World War

  • D. Mitrany (1943) A Working Peace System
  • Regional integration; multilateral institutions; cooperation under anarchy
  • Theorizing non-material structures thoroughly
currents of liberal thought
Currents of Liberal Thought
  • Interdependence Liberalism
    • R. Keohane and J. Nye (1977) Power and Interdependence
  • Republican Liberalism
    • I. Kant (1795/ 1983) The Perpetual Peace
  • Neoliberal Institutionalism
    • R. Keohane
kinds of liberal theory
Kinds of Liberal Theory
  • Underpinned by normative engagement
  • American liberals: Behavioural revolution & claim scientific status for their own perspective
  • In 1980s liberal thinking & game theory
    • R. Axelrod (1984) The Evolution of Cooperation
    • R. Keohane (1984) After Hegemony
  • Rationalist underpinnings
    • A. Moravcsik´s liberal intergovernmentalism (1998)
  • Combination of constructivist meta-theory & liberal substantive theory
    • A. Wendt (1999) Social Theory of International Politics
main variants of theories
Democratic Peace Theory

Democracies do not fight wars among themselves ( I. Kant - 18th century)

F. Fukuyama (1992) : The End of History and the Last Man

Transnational Theory

Look beyond state-state relations  society-society relations are equally important to world politics

K. Kaiser (1969)

R. Keohane and J. Nye (1971)

J. Rosenau (1980, 1990), K. Deutsch (1957), J. Burton (1972)

T. Risse-Kappen (1995)

Main Variants of Theories
main variants of theories1
Theory of Cooperation

A. Wendt (1999) Social Theory of International Politics

Wendt´s ambition to build a systemic theory  emphasizing social rather than material structures

Liberal Intergovernmentalism

A. Moravcsik´s (1998) theoretical framework synthesizing theories of domestic preference formation, strategic bargaining & institutional design

Main Variants of Theories
main intra tradition debates
Main Intra-Tradition Debates
  • Neoliberal Institutionalism vs. Liberal Democratic Peace Theory & versions of Commercial Liberalism
  • Liberalism/ Adherents of Democratic Peace Theory vs. Idealism
  • Liberal version of Rationalism vs. Constructivism
research agenda
Research Agenda
  • International institutions & organizations, see F. Kratochwil, J.Ruggie (1986); R.Keohane (1989)
  • Multilateralism, see J.Ruggie (1993)
  • Democratic Peace Theory & democratization processes
  • International cooperation  international regimes
  • Merger between transnationalist perspective with studies of globalization/ studies of economic and political processes of globalization
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Very rich tradition of thought
  • The liberal vision to establish a new academic discipline = International Relation
  • Three major strands
  • Some liberals = strongly state-centric
  • Liberalism has its ups and downs