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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 Liberalism & Constructivism .docx

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Political Science
Matthew Hoffmann

Liberalism & Constructivism Liberalism - 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 questions Questions? 1) Who are the Actors? a. NGO’s/ individuals b. IGOs** 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 as dangerous - 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 found - Interdependence- there are lots of connections between the states and other actors and states - 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 security problems 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 another  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 dilemma  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
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