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Liberalism and World Politics
Michael W. Doyle
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 80, No. 4 (Dec., 1986), pp. 1151-1169
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1960861
Page Count: 19
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Liberalism, Peacetime, War, Capitalism, Imperialism, Democracy, International politics, Pacifism, World wars
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Building on a growing literature in international political science, I reexamine the traditional liberal claim that governments founded on a respect for individual liberty exercise "restraint" and "peaceful intentions" in their foreign policy. I look at three distinct theoretical traditions of liberalism, attributable to three theorists: Schumpeter, a democratic capitalist whose explanation of liberal pacifism we often invoke; Machiavelli, a classical republican whose glory is an imperialism we often practice; and Kant, a liberal republican whose theory of internationalism best accounts for what we are. Despite the contradictions of liberal pacifism and liberal imperialism, I find, with Kant and other democratic republicans, that liberalism does leave a coherent legacy on foreign affairs. Liberal states are different. They are indeed peaceful. They are also prone to make war. Liberal states have created a separated peace as Kant argued they would, and have also discovered liberal reasons for aggression, as he feared they might. I conclude by arguing that the differences among liberal pacifism, liberal imperialism, and Kant's internationalism are not arbitrary. They are rooted in differing conceptions of the citizen and the state.
The American Political Science Review © 1986 American Political Science Association