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Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

Introduction  

Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield, and Tim Dunne

This text examines the dynamics that shape foreign policy using international relations (IR) theory. Combining theories and case studies with actors, it explores the grand principles at work in foreign policy, both as a form of state behaviour and as an intellectual field. Chapters illustrate the complementarity between individual, state, and structural dynamics of IR, and levels of analysis found in foreign policy analysis. They discuss the relevance to foreign policy of the main IR theories: realism, liberalism, and constructivism, alongside the tool of discourse analysis. This introduction provides an overview of the contemporary relevance of the study of foreign policy; some of the definitional issues concerning the study of foreign policy; and the book’s updated organization.

Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

10. The role of media and public opinion  

Piers Robinson

This chapter examines the relevance of media and public opinion to our understanding of foreign policy and international politics. It first considers whether public opinion influences foreign policy formulation, as argued by the pluralist model, or whether the public are politically impotent, as argued by the elite model. It then explores whether the media can influence foreign policy formulation, as argued by the pluralist model, or whether the media are fundamentally subservient to the foreign policy process, as argued by the elite model. It also integrates these competing arguments with theoretical frames used in the study of international relations: namely, realism, liberalism, and critical approaches (including constructivism and post-structuralism). The chapter concludes by discussing contemporary debates concerning organized persuasive communication and the ‘war on terror’.

Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

6. Actors, structures, and foreign policy analysis  

Walter Carlsnaes

This chapter examines how actors and structures make foreign policy an extremely complicated field of study and how, in view of this complexity, these actors and structures have been treated in the literature on foreign policy analysis. It first provides a historical background on the field of foreign policy before discussing the role of actors and structures in ‘process’ and ‘policy’ approaches to foreign policy. In particular, it describes approaches to foreign policy based on a structural perspective, namely: realism, neoliberal institutionalism, and social constructivism. It then considers evaluates approaches from an actor-based perspective: cognitive and psychological approaches, bureaucratic politics approach, new liberalism, and interpretative actor perspective. The chapter also looks at the agency–structure problem and asks whether an integrated framework is feasible before concluding with a recommendation of how to resolve the former in terms of a constructive answer to the latter.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

4. Liberalism  

This chapter examines the liberal tradition in international relations (IR). It first considers the basic liberal assumptions, including a positive view of human nature and the belief that IR can be cooperative rather than conflictual. In their conceptions of international cooperation, liberal theorists emphasize different features of world politics. The chapter explores the ideas associated with four strands of liberal thought, namely: sociological liberalism, interdependence liberalism, institutional liberalism, and republican liberalism. It also discusses the debate between proponents of liberalism and neorealism, and it identifies a general distinction between weak liberal theories that are close to neorealism and strong liberal theories that challenge neorealism. Finally, it reviews the liberal view of world order and the notion that there is a ‘dark’ side of democracy.

Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

3. Liberalism and foreign policy  

Michael W. Doyle

This chapter examines the implications of liberalism for foreign policy and foreign policy analysis. Liberal countries have long been known to maintain peaceful relations with each other. Liberal democracies tend to respect and accommodate other democratic countries and negotiate rather than escalate their inter-liberal disputes. However, liberalism can also exacerbate tensions with non-liberal states. The chapter first considers what scholars have meant by liberalism before describing the major features of liberal foreign relations and the three schools of liberal foreign policy analysis: individualist, commercial, and republican. It then explores the effects of liberalism on the international relations of liberal states: incentives for a separate zone of peace among liberal states, imprudent aggression against nonliberals, and complaisance in vital matters of security and economic cooperation. It concludes with reflections on preserving and expanding the liberal peace — while avoiding war with the wider non-liberal world.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

3. Liberalism and Liberal Internationalism  

Patrick Morgan and Alan Collins

This chapter presents the liberalism approach to the theory and practice of international politics. As one of the two classic conceptions, along with realism, of international politics, its chief characteristics are identified and the major liberalist schools of thought are described and briefly examined, particularly with reference to how they overlap with, yet depart in significant ways from, the realist perspective. The concluding sections explore how contemporary liberal internationalism has lost significant power and appeal because the major Western states of the world system are experiencing serious international and domestic difficulties. It closes by indicating that the Western liberal internationalist order will likely lose a sizeable portion of its long-standing international dominance, resulting in a more widely spread global security management arrangement among a larger number of major states.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

6. International Political Economy: Marxism, Mercantilism, Liberalism  

This chapter examines the three most important classical theories within the field of International Political Economy (IPE): mercantilism, economic liberalism, and neo-Marxism. It considers the relationship between politics and economics, and between states and markets in world affairs, that IR has to be able to grasp. It suggests that IPE is about wealth, poverty, and power, about who gets what in the international economic and political system. The outlook of mercantilism has much in common with realism, while economic liberalism is an addition to liberalism. Mercantilism and economic liberalism thus represent views on IPE that are basically realist and liberal. The chapter concludes with a discussion about the original theoretical position of Marxism and how this has inspired neo-Marxist IPE theories.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

2. American exceptionalism  

Daniel Deudney and Jeffrey Meiser

This chapter examines how America can be described as different and exceptional. The belief in American exceptionalism is based upon a number of core realities, including American military primacy, economic dynamism, and political diversity. Understanding understanding American exceptionalism is essential for understanding not only U.S. foreign policy but also major aspects of contemporary world politics. The chapter first considers the meaning of exceptionalism, the critics of American exceptionalism, and the roots of American success. It then discusses the liberalism that makes the United States exceptional, along with peculiar American identity formations of ethnicity, religion, and ‘race’. It also explores the role of American exceptionality across the five major epochs of American foreign policy, from the nation’s founding to the present. It concludes by reflecting on the significance of the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008 to the story of American exceptionalism, difference, and peculiar Americanism.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

7. Liberal internationalism  

Tim Dunne

This chapter examines the core assumptions of liberalism regarding world politics. It explores why liberals believe in progress, what explains the ascendancy of liberal ideas in world politics since 1945, and whether liberal solutions to global problems are hard to achieve and difficult to sustain. The chapter also considers central ideas in liberal thinking on international relations, including internationalism, idealism, and institutionalism. It concludes with an assessment of the challenges confronting liberalism. Two case studies are presented. The first case study looks at the rise and fall of what it terms ‘the indispensable nation’, in other words the old liberal world order, lead by the United States. The other case study examines the African concept of sovereignty: sovereignty as responsibility.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

4. Liberalism  

Bruce Russett

This chapter examines the expansion of three central phenomena associated with liberalism and its emphasis on the potentially peace-promoting effects of domestic and transnational institutions: the spread of democracy throughout most of the world; globalization; and the proliferation of intergovernmental organizations, especially those composed primarily of democratic governments. Each of these assumptions supports and extends the other in a powerful feedback system envisioned by Immanuel Kant. The chapter first considers four major changes in the world over the last century and particularly over recent decades before discussing the ‘epidemiology’ of international conflict. It then explores constraints on war from the perspective of realism vs. liberal institutionalism, whether democracies are peaceful in general, and how order is nurtured within anarchy. It also presents a case study of the European Union and concludes with some reflections on power, hegemony, and liberalism.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

1. Introduction Myth-Making  

This chapter introduces the concept of myth-making and global politics. It begins by explaining how myths about global politics disempower us because they rest on convention, established power relations, and particular interests that should be questioned. One way of overcoming limiting myths about global politics is to adopt a similar critical orientation towards the academic disciplines and theories we use to study global politics. These include the ‘traditional’ and ‘critical’ theories of International Relations, such as Liberalism, Realism, Constructivism, Marxism, Feminism, Postcolonial Theory, and Poststructuralism. The chapter then outlines specific myths and mysteries, before introducing the idea of ‘everyday global politics’. It also explores theoretical thinking, asks why students should be encouraged to theorise from the start of their studies, and why the myths upon which intuitive understandings of politics are based are a good place to start this theorising.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

1. Introduction: from international politics to world politics  

John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens

This chapter introduces the text which offers a comprehensive analysis of world politics in a global era. The text examines the main theories of world politics— realism, liberalism, Marxism, social constructivism, poststructuralism, post-colonialism, and feminism. It reviews the main structures and processes that shape contemporary world politics, such as global political economy, international security, war, gender, and race. Furthermore, it addresses some of the main policy issues in the globalized world, including poverty, human rights, health (with particular emphasis on the recent global pandemic), and the environment. This introduction offers some arguments both for and against seeing globalization as an important new development in world politics. It also explains the various terms used to describe world politics and the academic field, particularly the use of ‘world politics’ rather than ‘international politics’ or ‘international relations’. Finally, it summarizes the main assumptions underlying realism, liberalism, Marxism, social constructivism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, and feminism.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

3. Traditional Theories in Global Politics  

This chapter examines traditional theories in global politics. Although much of the explicit theorizing about international politics did not begin until the twentieth century, both liberalism and realism have drawn on long-standing ideas in the history of political thought to address basic problems of international order. So too has the English School which, while encompassing aspects of both liberalism and realism, has focused much more attention on the social character of international or global relations, elaborating in particular the notion of international society and its normative underpinnings. While most theorizing has been carried out largely, but not exclusively, on the basis of Western philosophical ideas, a new Chinese school of moral realism draws from ancient Chinese thought. Ultimately, both liberalism and realism have been modified over the years with competing strands developing within them, so neither can be taken as a single body of theory.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

1. Theories of US foreign policy  

Brian Schmidt

This chapter examines some of the competing theories that have been advanced to explain U.S. foreign policy. In trying to explain the foreign policy of the United States, a number of competing theories have been developed by International Relations scholars. Some theories focus on the role of the international system in shaping American foreign policy while others argue that various domestic factors are the driving force. The chapter first considers some of the obstacles to constructing a theory of foreign policy before discussing some of the competing theories of American foreign policy, including defensive realism, offensive realism, liberalism, Marxism, neoclassical realism, and constructivism. The chapter proceeds by reviewing the theoretical debate over the origins of the Cold War and the debate over the most appropriate grand strategy that the United States should follow in the post-Cold War era.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

3. American exceptionalism  

Daniel Deudney and Jeffrey W. Meiser

This chapter argues why we must think of the United States as an exceptional kind of nation with a very distinct past and an equally distinct set of capabilities. It first considers American difference and exceptionality before discussing the meaning of exceptionalism, the critics of American exceptionalism, and the roots of American success. It then examines the liberalism that makes the United States exceptional, along with peculiar American identity formations of ethnicity, religion, and ‘race’ and how they interact with — and often subvert — American liberalism. It also analyses the role of American exceptionality across the five major epochs of US foreign policy, from the nation’s founding to the present day. Along the way, the chapter explores notions of American liberal republicanism, anti-statism, state-building, militarism, capitalism and prosperity, immigration, federal internationalism, unipolarity, war on terrorism, and unilateralism.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

3. Human Rights in International Relations  

Tim Dunne and Marianne Hanson

This chapter examines the role of human rights in international relations. It first considers the theoretical issues and context that are relevant to the link between human rights and the discipline of international relations, focusing on such concepts as realism, liberalism, and constructivism. It then explores key controversies over human rights as understood in international relations as a field of study: one is the question of state sovereignty; another is the mismatch between the importance attached to human rights at the declaratory level and the prevalence of human rights abuses in reality. The chapter also discusses two dimensions of international responsibility: the duty to protect their citizens that is incumbent on all states in light of their obligations under the various human rights covenants; and the duty of states to act as humanitarian rescuers in instances where a state is collapsing or a regime is committing gross human rights violations.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of International Law

2. International law and international relations theory  

This chapter discusses international law (IL) and international relations (IR) theory. It studies legal theory in order to better understand what law is, and how IL compares with domestic law. The chapter then introduces the major schools of IR theory, with a focus on how they conceptualize IL and its role in enabling and constraining the conduct of international politics. The disciplinary estrangement between IR and IL began to ease at the end of the 1980s. By that time there were already important strands within IR, including the English School, that were seeking to explain the prevalence of cooperation in an anarchical international system. New generations of IR scholars began theorizing the role of IL in structuring international politics, particularly from the perspectives of liberalism and constructivism, as well as from a range of critical approaches.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

2. Theories of US foreign policy  

Brian Schmidt

This chapter considers some of the competing theories that have been proposed to explain US foreign policy. It first provides an overview of some of the obstacles to constructing a theory of foreign policy before discussing some of the competing theories of US foreign policy, including systemic theories such as defensive realism and offensive realism, theories that accentuate domestic factors like liberalism and Marxism, and a theory that combines systemic and domestic factors, such as neoclassical realism and constructivism. The chapter also revisits the theoretical debate over the origins of the Cold War and concludes by analysing the debate on the most appropriate grand strategy that the United States should follow in the post-Cold War era, with particular emphasis on, primacy, liberal internationalism, and offshore balancing.

Book

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

Georg Sørensen, Jørgen Møller, and Robert Jackson

Introduction to International Relations provides a concise introduction to the principal international relations theories and approaches, and explores how theory can be used to analyse contemporary issues. Throughout the text, the chapters encourage readers to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the theories presented, and the major points of contention between them. In so doing, the text helps the reader to build a clear understanding of how major theoretical debates link up with each other, and how the structure of the discipline of international relations is established. The book places a strong emphasis throughout on the relationship between theory and practice, carefully explaining how theories organize and shape our view of the world. It also shows how a historical perspective can often refine theories and provide a frame of reference for contemporary problems of international relations. Topics include realism, liberalism, International Society, International Political Economy, social constructivism, post-positivism in international relations, major issues in IPE and IR, foreign policy, and world order. Each chapter ends by discussing how different theories have attempted to integrate or combine international and domfactors in their explanatory frameworks. The final part of the book is dedicated to major global issues and how theory can be used as a tool to analyse and interpret these issues. The text is accompanied by online resources, which include: short case studies, review questions, annotated web links, and a flashcard glossary.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

1. Introduction: What is Security Studies?  

Alan Collins

This chapter provides an introduction to Security Studies, the sub-discipline of International Relations that deals with the study of security. War and the threat to use force are part of the security equation, but the prevalence of threats is far-reaching for Security Studies. They encompass dangers ranging from pandemic and environmental degradation to terrorism and inter-state armed conflict. The latter is actually a sub-field of Security Studies and is known as Strategic Studies. This edition examines differing approaches to the study of security, such as realism, liberalism, social constructivism, and postcolonialism. It also investigates the deepening and broadening of security to include military security, regime security, societal security, environmental security, and economic security. Finally, it discusses a range of traditional and non-traditional issues that have emerged on the security agenda, including weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, energy security, and health.