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Liberalism

International Foundations Programme
by

Matthew Funaiole

on 6 April 2015

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Transcript of Liberalism

IR Theories: Liberalism
ET1005

Dr. Matthew P. Funaiole
mf375@st-andrews.ac.uk

Introduction
Liberalism Overview
Lecture 1: The Tradition of Realism
Lecture 2: Liberalism and the Democratic Peace
Lecture 3: Norms, Identity, and Constructivism
Recap From Previous Weeks
Having reviewed some core IR concepts and international history, we will begin a 3 week discussion of theoretical approaches within international relations.
Theory and Ideology
Overview of Today
Key items that will be discussed:
Theory and Ideology Cont'd
Key Elements of Liberalism, I
The Liberal Tradition I
Other Historical Figures
Expand our discussion of theory in IR
Political
ideologies
are conceptualizations of the political world that focus on political action or agency.
Politicians.
Touches on a number of key political ideas, some of which we've already reviewed. More on this in a minute.
Rooted in the works of historical political thinkers like
John Locke
and
Immanuel Kant
.
Multiple types of liberalism. We are going to focus on liberalism in IR.
Increasingly utilized in post-Cold War research.
John Locke (1632-1704)
:
British philosopher and empiricist. Empiricism is a theory that knowledge comes from sensory experience.
Tabula Rasa
. Influenced by the English Civil War (1642-1651).
http://goo.gl/STO1gP
Adam Smith
: Scottish Enlightenment philosopher. Father of modern economics. Intersection of liberalism and the economy.
Jeremy Bentham:
Founder of utilitarianism. Moral action is the one that maximizes utility. Consequentialism. Also explored ways of bringing prolonged peace.
John Stuart Mill
: Student of Bentham. Explored notions of liberty and freedom in relation to social and political theory.
"A theory in politics and IR is a set of assumptions about knowledge, human nature, social life, and the conditions and organizing principles of a particular order that guide research questions and investigations into important political dilemmas."
-Dr. Tony Lang
In IR, theory helps us study the various interactions among various political actors including states, organizations, entities, and individuals. Think about the
levels of analysis
.
Political
theory
seeks to understand the political world, focusing on structure.
Political scientists
.
Overlap between theory and ideology, although ideologies are often derived out of theories.
Use of a theory isn't a reflection on your personal ideology! You ≠ theory. Unless...
What is
a
liberal
?
Defining terms is key!
Is a theoretical or ideological question? Both?
Context matters!
What is the level of analysis? Individual? Domestic? International?
Liberty
: Absence of coercive control but a recognition that authority is necessary. Not the same as freedom (anarchy).
The Liberal Tradition II
Immanuel Kant (1724 -1804) :
German philosopher during the Enlightenment. Impacted by the 'lawless state of savagery' within international relations.
Rights
: Normative rules about what is allowed of people according to a theory of ethics, legal system, or accepted social convention. Negative and Positive.
Social Contact
: Legitimacy of the government is derived from the consent of the governed. Hobbes vs Locke. Absolute vs relative authority.
Key Elements of Liberalism, II
Equality
: Political life/rights should be equal. Does not extend to all aspects of life (economics, land ownership, etc). Requires some level of authority and/or "positive" coercion. Cf. liberty vs freedom.
Toleration
: Non-interference with beliefs or practices that are contrary to one's own, but are still considered acceptable. Eg. Religious differences.
Pluralism: affirmation of diversity within a political body. Coexistence of different beliefs.
Father of classical liberalism.
Wrote extensively about the role and function of government. Two
Treatises of Government
(1689) refutes
patriarchalism
and advocates for government to be based around
natural/negative

rights
and the
social contract
. Cf. Hobbes.
His 1795 essay "Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch" and later works sought to design a international system of 'perpetual peace'.
Reason could deliver liberty and justice to international relations. Wished to transform the international system through
republican constitutionalism
(representative governments with separation of powers) and a
federal contract
between states to abolish war. This federation would act as a supra-state or world government.
International Liberalism
Just like the realist tradition, these notions of political liberalism formed a basis of international liberalism.
Woodrow Wilson
(1856-1924). "Wilsonian" internationalism was driven by a sense of moral obligation. US should promote global democracy. Fourteen Points moralized WWI, called for peace in postwar Europe, and League of Nations.
Andrew Carnegie
(1835-1919). Steel magnate & billionaire. Philanthropist. Sought global peace. Optimist. Forwarded notions of human progress. Believed people were fundamentally good/charitable. Economic power -> political power (domestically).
Norman Angell
(1872-1967). English author and politician. Awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1933. Believed that economic integration in Europe made war entirely futile, making militaries obsolete.
International Liberalism, Cont'd
(1)
Domestic structure of states explains international relations. Consider levels of analysis and political liberalism -> international liberalism.
General Principles. Much harder to define than realism.
(2)
Democratic domestic structures will result in a more peaceful the international system.
(3)
International institutions will emerge and promote peace.
(4)
An international economic order based on global capitalism will benefit the international system.
Sound too good to be true?
Idealism vs Realism
Remember E.H. Carr?
He thought all this international liberalism sounded like an impossible utopia. Believed that "idealism" had failed. Noted economic crises, global health disasters, growing political unrest in Germany and Russia.
Set out to develop a more "realistic" theory of international politics.
He's this grumpy looking dude.
Emergence of Neoliberalism
The Second World War and Cold War forced liberals and realists to adjust their theories to suit the international system.
Robert Keohane
(b1941) and
Joseph Nye
(b1937): Challenged realist assumptions in
Power and Interdependence
(1977) by arguing that self-interested behavior needn't be selfish and could result in cooperation.

Both authors continued to explore this notion of
interdependence
or mutual dependence in which the actions and interests of actors are intertwined. Eg.
Economic integration (mutual gains).

Keohane's
After Hegemony
(1984) looked at
liberalism institutionalism
. Institutions can enhance cooperation between states.

Nye developed a notion of
soft power
to describe American power. Persuasion over coercion that using economic or cultural influence to improve cooperation. Influence vs coercion.
Democratic Peace Thesis
Michael Doyle (b1948) applied Kant's essay Perpetual Peace to contemporary international relations. "Liberalism and World Politics" 1986.
Correlation does not imply causation.
US vs UK in 1812
Structural & ideological considerations?
pre-WWI integration
India vs Pakistan in 1999
Neoliberalism vs Neorealism
NB
: Neorealism = structural realism.
Both agree the international system is
anarchic
. Neoliberals claim neorealists minimize the importance of
interdependence
, globalization, and regimes in managing the restrictions of anarchy. Neorealists respond by stating that neoliberals
overemphasize
the impact of regimes or institutions.
Neorealists believe states must force international cooperation (
power/balancing
) Neoliberals believe mutual interests of states will result in
cooperation/interdependence.
Neorealists focus on
relative gains
- with a particular interest in power, security, and survival. Neoliberals focus on
absolute gains
- with a particular interest in economic welfare and non-security concerns like the environment.
Introduction to political liberalism
Review of liberalism within IR
Key liberal thinkers
Comparison of liberalism and realism
http://goo.gl/tAJc9y
Full transcript