POL 208 Liberalism textbook notes.docx

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Department
Politics and Public Administration
Course
POL 208
Professor
Abbas Gnamo
Semester
Winter

Description
Liberalism Key Points- Textbook Pg. 103 Liberalism is a theory of both government within states and good governance between states and peoples worldwide. Unlike realism, which regards the international as an anarchic realm, liberalism seeks to project values of order, liberty, justice, and toleration into international relations The high water mark of liberal thinking in international relations was reached in the inter war period in the work of idealists, who believed that warfare was an unnecessary and outmoded way of settling disputes between states. Domestic and international institutions are required to protect and nurture these values Liberals disagree on the fundamental issues such as the causes of war and what kind of institutions are required to deliver liberal values in a decentralized, multi-cultural international system. An important cleavage within liberalism, which has become more pronounce in our globalized world, is between those operating with a positive conception of liberalism, who advocate interventionist foreign policies and stronger international institutions, and those who incline towards a negative conception, which places a priority on toleration and non-intervention. Pg. 108 Early liberal though on international relations took the view that natural order had been corrupted by undemocratic state leaders and out-dated policies such as the balance of power. Enlightenment liberals believed that a latent cosmopolitan morality could be achieved through the exercise of reason and through the creation of constitutional states. In addition, the unfettered movement of people and goods could further facilitate more peaceful international relations Although there are important continuities between enlightenment liberal though and twentieth century ideas, such as the belief in the power of world public opinion to tame the interest of states, liberal idealism was more programmatic. For idealists, persuasion was more important than abstract moral reasoning Liberal though at the end of the twentieth century became grounded in social scientific theories of state behaviour. Cooperation among rational egoists was possible to achieve is properly coordinated by regimes and institutions. Pg. 111 The victor states in the wartime alliance against Nazi Germany pushed for a new international institution to be created the United Nations charter was signed in San Francisco in June 1945 by 50 states. It represented a departure from the league in two important respects. Membership was near universal and the great powers were able to prevent and enforcement action from taking place that might be contrary to their interests In the late twentieth century, the embedded liberalism of the post-1945 order has come under challenge. The ability of the USA to steer world order is diminishing, rising powers want a greater share of spoils, and new security challenges (weapons of mass destruction [WMD], climate change) have heightened the vulnerability of all peoples In the context of globalization, there is merit in contrasting a liberalism of privilege with radical liberalism. The former seeks to restore the authority of western states and the privileges they enjoy, while the latter believes that the liberal order can be sustainable only if it responds to the just demands of the excluded and the improvised. Lecture Notes Liberalism and Globalization  Liberalism focuses on a much wider set of interactions between states and non-state actors  For liberals, globalization is the end point of the transformation of world politics  Liberals are particularly interested in the revolution in technology and communication represented by globalization Elements of liberalism  Individual as primary unit of analysis  Rational actor model  Primary objective of economic activity is to improve human welfare  Role of market  Mutual benefit distribution  Politics and economics operate in separate autonomous spheres  Minimal role of state Basic tenets of liber
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