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Liberalism

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Max Dietz

on 2 March 2014

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Transcript of Liberalism

Liberalism
What is Liberalism?
Liberal? Economic Liberalism? Neoliberalism?
Economic Liberalism
Liberalism in IR/IPE
Discussion
Is there a liberal tradition in IPE?
Stefano Conci
Max Dietz

"... the broad term liberalism means 'liberty under the law'. Liberalism focuses on the side of human nature that is competitive in a constructive way and is guided by reason, not emotion" (Balaam and Dillman 2011, 38).
"Liberalism as an approach to international relations emphasizes individuals,
seeks to understand collective decisions
, and, in an ethical sense, promotes human rights and validates attempts to ameliorate the human condition" (Keohane 2002, 10).
Roots of economic liberalism
Quesnay: "laissez-faire, laisser-passer"
Smith: individual freedom of the marketplace but framework, the "invisible hand"
Limited role of the state <> Mercantilism
Liberal view of IR
Ricardo: positive sum game, cooperation, accumulation of wealth
limited role of the state
selective state action in some areas consistent with reasonable efficiency
Mill: social progress, market could fail
Evolution of liberal perspective
Keynes: individual self-interest <> irrational collective result
free markets but regulation trough state important
Conservatism
Hayek & Friedman: resurgence of classical economic liberalism
limited role of the state, trust in efficiency of markets
Reagan & Thatcher: Neoliberalism
Privatization, deregulation and tax cuts lead to economic growth
> Globalization
Realism, Marxism & Liberalism
Realism <> Liberalism
Marxism <> Liberalism
Commonalities
self-interested units of action
Differences
actors
military power vs. economic efficiency
status quo vs. cumulative progress
Commonalities
both look behind the state > social groups
possibility of progress
Differences
class struggle vs. individual action
revolution vs. cumulative progress

Republican Liberalism
Commercial Liberalism
Regulatory Liberalism
Sophisticated Liberalism
"the consent of the citizens is required in order to decide whether there should be war or not"
republics are more peacefully inclined
"the natural effect of commerce is to lead to peace" (Montesquieu)
Critics
Utopian perspective
Reductionist approach: politics is determined by economics
"emphasize importance for peace of the rules governing patterns of exchange among nations"
International rules and institutions to promote cooperation
facilitate governments' interest, but don't enforce rules
Commercial + Regulatory Liberalism
> Evolution
framework of rules and institutions that guarantees trade openness
international institutions reduce transitional costs and increase credibility and transparency among states
" Power and Governance in a Partially Globalized World "
Robert O. Keohane
Limits of Liberalism
Liberalism may need to apply military force in order to protect itself as a system
Liberalism may force countries to pursue economic policies which maximize its efficiency but which are at the expense of social welfare
"It's time to drop the fantasy that a purely free markets exists in the world of global trade. [...] In the real world our private enterprises are pitted against an array of competitors that are often government-owned, -protected, -subsidised, -sponsored or all of the above."

(Mr. Hochberg, head of America's government-backed Export-Import bank)
trade cooperation>mutually dependence>peace
"... more state intervention in the flow of money and goods, more renationalisation of trade as countries gravitate towards like-minded neighbours, and more friction as national self-interest wins out over international co-operation"

(Greg Ip, The Economist)
Is the "gated globalisation", as we see it today, compatible with the theory of liberalism?
Doesn't the theory of realism provide a better understanding?
Full transcript