Liberalism & Constructivism
- does not correlate with modern liberal day policies and platforms
- as an international theory is considered as a “happier world”
They have different assumptions because of the answers they have towards the four
1) Who are the Actors?
a. NGO’s/ individuals
c. States, Domestic Governments interests**
Very different because realists think that states have a single security of thought,
however liberals see a more variable nature of states because it depends on the type of
government that they have.
Democracy is different in comparison to dictatorship, and the realist do not care about
what kind of government there is
2) What is their nature?
Domestic interests will matter on how nations will interact internationally
Liberals argue that states are determined by the self- interested, but there are
interests beyond power. Those interests are determined domestically
Liberals have common interests and are able to recognize these interests.
IGO’s are a forum for co-operation- they are there to help states to overcome
obstacles of anarchy
3) What is their context?
- Believe in the context of anarchy
- they realize that states are going to be scared but, Liberals argue that states are more
concerned about many different issues. Not all global politics is about zero sum.
- There can be mutual benefits, and because these benefits exist then anarchy cannot be
- Liberals point out that in WWII era and state that there is not many states conquering
one another. This is because that anarchy does not mean states will take over another
state. This is often more that states will seek wealth and that there are mutual gains to be
- Interdependence- there are lots of connections between the states and other actors
- Force becomes a less of an option when interdependence grows
i.e. economic interdependence- global trade
this interdependence is able to constrain conflicts (i.e. USA & China
competition will not lead to conflict)
o I.e. China’s main industry is labor and exportation which they give to the
Global North, therefore we would not go to war with them. In comparison
USA gives up governmental bonds towards China thus there would not be
a war but only competition) ability to lessen levels of anarchy
4) How do they interact?
- They expect to see competition (it is a happier world, but not “happy”) - They realize that conflict is possible and not avoidable especially because the form
of government matters (there can be aggressive states)
- Liberals to expect to see co-operation through common interests because it lessens
Liberalisms Big Points
1) Importance of Domestic Systems
- Different domestic systems lead to different conflicts
Democracy Peace Thesis democratic countries do not go to war with one
Type of government matters
2) Collective Security
- Human nature is essentially good, whereas realism is based on the complete opposite
human nature is bad
- Collective security is a liberal mechanism that shows that they can remove security
If one member gets attack then it’s a threat to all
collective security is to get to the heart of security just because one country