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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 Imaginations

Liberal Imaginations

Transformative Logics of Liberal Order

(p.69) Chapter 3 Liberal Imaginations
Liberal World Orders

Trine Flockhart

British Academy

This chapter outlines a historical conceptual framework for understanding how liberal order came to be what it is today and how it has been imagined under different conditions and contexts across four centuries of intermingled liberal ordering practices and liberal ideas about world order. It asks ‘what is “the liberal” in liberal world order?’ and points to the use of narrativity and shared knowledge for constituting otherwise neutral concepts as liberal concepts. The aim is to increase our understanding of the political present by imbuing the past with historical meaning and political interpretation. For this purpose the chapter incorporates insights from constructivist and critical thinking, as well as from historical sociology and practice theory.

Keywords:   change, transformation, historical sociology, constructivism, narrative, liberal vision

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