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Liberal World Orders$
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Tim Dunne and Trine Flockhart

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265529

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265529.001.0001

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Liberal International Order

Liberal International Order

(p.247) Chapter 13 Liberal International Order
Liberal World Orders

Stefano Guzzini

British Academy

This chapter shows that current IR (International Relations) theorizing finds liberal order a difficult topic. It confirms the concern voiced at the beginning of the volume that the IR academy in its use of liberalism as a label for theorizing the international has at once endowed liberal internationalism with more idealism than it can rightfully claim whilst at the same time has shorn liberalism of its normative and value-based foundations. It suggests that, paradoxically, when going back to ‘liberal basics’, some versions of realism are in fact based upon a specific vision of politics, which gives rise to liberal order. Liberal orders are not, and cannot be based on an ahistorical ‘view from nowhere’, but have to face an ever-changing historical setting. As result the philosophy cannot provide a final foundation, but nor can liberals — or for that matter realists — do without it.

Keywords:   IR Theory, IR academy, realism, idealism, neoliberalism, vision of politics

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