Liberalism Central Assumptions and Propositions

Report
Liberalism
Central Assumptions and Propositions
• View of history: progressive change possible
– Material: prosperity through technological
progress, economic interdependence (free trade),
globalization
– Moral/social justice: abolition of slave trade &
apartheid, human rights, ICC, etc.
• Peace: End of the cold war / liberal democratic peace /
obsolescence of great power war
Liberalism
Central Assumptions and Propositions
• View of history: progress
• Key actors: International Society
– State interests as product of domestic actor’s preferences
(not balance of capabilities) & international norms
– Transnational Networks including non-state transnational
actors:
• IOs (UN, WTO, ICC)
• NGOs (Medecins Sans Frontiers, Greenpeace, Amnesty
International)
– = Global civil society?
• Individuals / Moral Entrepreneurs
Liberalism
Central Assumptions and Propositions
• View of history - progressive change possible
• Key actors - Pluralist / International Society:
Transnational Networks
• Behavior
– Benign / Cooperative / Humanitarian
• E.g.: How to explain foreign aid / Canada and WTO
waiver of patent protections for AIDS drugs, human
rights, WTO, etc?
• Sources of cooperative behavior
International Society
• What were the last several times you obeyed
the law?
• Why did you do it?
• Why comply in world politics?
• Coercion (“forced to”):
– Realism / critical theories
• Self-interested gain (“voluntarily for benefits/costs”):
– (Neo-) liberalism / rational choice
• Legitimacy (“because it was right”) / socialization:
– (liberal) constructivism
Liberalism
Central Assumptions and Propositions
• Sources of Cooperation:
– I) (Enlightened) self-interest
• Absolute gains from cooperation
• Reciprocity
• International trade as positive sum game
(liberal economic / trade theory): all gain
Liberalism
Central Assumptions and Propositions
• Sources of Cooperation:
– I) Enlightened (material) self-interest
• Reciprocity
• Learning
– II) Communication, Information & Verification
• Overcome problems of distrust and cheating (Prisoner’s
Dilemma, Collective Action Problems)
• International Institutions: Monitoring & verification for
compliance
– CWC / NPT & IAEA
Liberalism
Central Assumptions and Propositions
• Implications:
– World Politics as interdependent global society with
international institutions facilitating cooperation
Liberalism: Policy Prescriptions
• Institutions Matter: Multilateralism - IOs & International Law
– vs. isolationism, balancing, unilateralism
• Ideas Matter:
– Stability requires justice: ICC
• vs. amnesties for stability (realism)
– “Enlargement”: Encourage democracies - Liberal Democratic
peace theory
• “There are no clear cut cases of sovereign stable
democracies waging war with each other in the modern
international system”
Bruce Russett
• Reassurance & Bargaining Incentives (vs deterrence)
– Iran / North Korea
Liberalism
Criticisms
• Too optimistic / Naïve (realism):
– Reassurance / negotiation: subject to blackmail / cheating
– Cooperation problems: Persistence of self-interest &
conflict
To what extent can we cooperate for our mutual
advantage?
• Collective goods: A benefit available to all that can be
enjoyed even if you lower your own individual
contribution, but if too many “free ride”, the good
won’t be provided.
• Example: Clean environment and air pollution
– Collective action problems as explanation for failing to deal
adequately with global climate change
Liberalism
Criticisms
• Too optimistic / Naïve (realism):
– Reassurance / negotiation: subject to blackmail / cheating
– Cooperation problems: Persistence of self-interest &
conflict
• Moral crusades / Cultural imperialism
• Injustice & Inequalities (critical theory)

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