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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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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

‘The fear of universal monarchy’

‘The fear of universal monarchy’

Balance of Power as an Ordering Practice of Liberty

(p.121) Chapter 6 ‘The fear of universal monarchy’
Liberal World Orders

Richard Devetak

British Academy

This chapter engages with debates in liberal political philosophy. It asserts that contemporary forms of liberalism have blinded us to alternative conceptions of liberty and seeks to recover a conception of international liberty before Kantian and Wilsonian accounts denounced the balance of power as anathema to liberal world order. The chapter returns to English debates in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries to excavate at least one intellectual context within which the balance of power became recognized as an indispensible ordering practice for maintaining the ‘liberties of Europe’. It shows that post-Restoration English debates about foreign policy remind us that historically, the balance of power has been conceived as a vital international ordering practice in the maintenance of liberty.

Keywords:   political philosophy, Kantian liberty, Wilsonian liberty, balance of power, post-Restoration England, liberty before liberalism

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