Free Custom «Liberal Arguments for Cooperative International Relations» Essay Sample

Free Custom «Liberal Arguments for Cooperative International Relations» Essay Sample


For the twenty-first century international relations, the idea of freedom is paramount. The current world order is built on liberal thought and ideas such as recognizing individual liberty, private property, and universal rights. Today, all aspects of public life are intertwined; political, cultural, economic, and social areas have become inseparable. That is why, every individual state has the responsibility for implementation of equality and freedom not only toward its citizens but also toward the international community. Thus, within the international scope, liberalism is a way to avoid confusion and conflict. This reflection paper aims to analyze such liberal arguments for cooperative international relations as sociological liberalism, interdependence liberalism, institutional liberalism, and republican liberalism.

Sociological Liberalism

International relations cover not only the relationship between the state and government but also between international organizations, groups, societies, and individuals. The supporters of sociological liberalism believe that transnational relations and pluralism can create a new type of human society. Recently, the transnational idea has gained great popularity. According to this approach, under modern conditions, the role of the state is falling while the role of other factors (transnational corporations, international governmental and non-governmental organizations) increases. Significant interaction between companies from different countries, not amenable to the state control, plays a substantial political role. For example, in the relationship between the major Western countries, this interaction involves trade, personal contacts, and exchange of information (Jackson & Sørensen, 2015).


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Interdependence Liberalism

Growing interdependence of the modern world is one of the main features of contemporary international relations. Supporters of the concept of interdependence account for the process of strengthening relationships in the modern world as a result of consensus of human nature. Some supporters of this concept focus on modern technology as the main driving force of the process of interdependence. In this context, John Rosenau observes that modern science and technology have undermined the space and time, thus strengthening the interdependence of the world politics (Jackson & Sørensen, 2015). Another well-known political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski believes that interdependence leads to the formation of a new model of international relations (Jackson & Sørensen, 2015). In the framework of interdependence, state sovereignty will lose value, and the trend of global political process will gain strength. The concept of interdependence in the context of transnationalism is a kind of innovation of the so-called theory of convergence which was particularly prevalent in the Western world during the Cold War. The contents of the theory lay in an effort to prove that, in the period of scientific revolution, there were more similarities than differences between sociopolitically different countries. Relationships between the main Western states are an example of interdependence today. Thus, the main focus is put on possible dangerous consequences of a nuclear war leading to the need of unification and consolidation which can be reached by creating interdependence of countries and societies.

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Institutional Liberalism

A key challenge for the researchers of international institutions is understanding of interaction rules and actions, including explanation of rules and their changes. For liberals, the central problem is to understand the differences in the behavior of liberal democracies and nondemocratic countries in international politics. Liberal institutionalists, combining both approaches, focus on understanding of the value of democratic politics and international institutions. Liberal institutionalism, like realism, can benefit from a consistent formalization in the form of rational choice when the historical and comparative contexts of actions are taken into account, and assumptions are tested empirically (Jackson & Sørensen, 2015). The great advantage of association is facilitation of communication, international forums, and the opportunity to obtain the necessary expertise and information. The states can build relationships based on trust and mutual benefit to seek compromise and negotiate under the supervision of respected institutions. For this purpose, there were created such well-known international organizations as the UN, the World Trade Organization, and non-governmental groups like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International (Jackson & Sørensen, 2015). However, the limitation of the effectiveness of international organizations hinders successful implementation of institutionalism.

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Republican Liberalism

Republican liberalism argues that the republics are more inclined to peace than to despotism. For Kant, republics exist in the constitutional states, based on the principles of human freedom, the rule of law, and the equality of citizens (Jackson & Sørensen, 2015). In the republics, legislature may limit the actions of the executive power; moreover, consent of the citizens is required to decide whether or not there should be a war. People who make the decision entailing losses in a war would hesitate before starting it. However, as it has already been pointed out by Michael Doyle, from Kant's point of view, republicanism gives only carefulness and does not give any guarantee of peace (Jackson & Sørensen, 2015). To avoid war, actions are needed at both international and national levels. Nonetheless, the belief that republics are associated with peace, is often criticized, as it was proved by the Crimean War, the Spanish-American War, and the First World War, in which the citizens of democracies greeted war with enthusiasm. Throughout the history and even today, republics are involved in brutal wars. Even the republics with a stable constitution can be aggressive in cases when international relations are not organized properly. Therefore, it is necessary to heed liberal ideas in international relations.

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To sum up, the development of liberalism is related to the emergence of modern constitutional state. Today, liberalism is more important than any other ideology or political movement because the world is consolidated. Nowadays, the extent of independence in trade and communications is far from what it used to be. Humanity is learning to be responsible for any decision and appreciate every chance and freedom. It is recognized that, in the mutually dependent world, the conflict between two parties is global concern. The problem of one state becomes a problem of the entire world. International groups and institutions play an important role in maintaining peace and regulating order. The international community finally realizes that collective security is required in order to prevent conflicts of any kind. 

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