Liberalism

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Liberalism
Michael Doyle
Lecture 3
Kaisa Ellandi
Key points in liberalism

Human kind is rational:
◦ In institutional terms- ability to pursue ones
interest
◦ Ability to understand moral principles and live
according to the law

Most important thing is liberty, human
rights
Key points in liberalism
There can be conflict, but harmony is also
possible. Positive change is possible
 Cooperation is in human relations as well
as international relations
 No central power
 Governments are necessary
 Immanuel Kant – early liberal philosopher

Peace and Security
Human kind understands legal norms,
moral principles.
 Liberalist are not pacifists - states have to
defend themselves against hostile
aggression
 League of Nations – to secure peace and
security. An liberalist thought.

◦ Collective security

United Nations
Peace and Security

Peace theory
◦ people have no interest in war.
◦ tyranny must be put to an end
◦ liberal democracy

Michael Doyle – democratic peace theory
◦ The more states are democratic, the more
they are peaceful
◦ Zone of peace
Peace and Security

Harmony of Interest – between states
and people for mutual interests and
mutual benefits
State and Power



State is
◦ sovereign,
◦ autonomous
◦ has it’s territory
◦ people
◦ government
State is a „necessary evil“ for citizens to go about
one’s everyday business
Pluralism – distribution of political power through
several institutions, none of which are sovereign
State and power
States do not reflect the interests of
one/elite group.
 State is autonomous body
 State is fair and impartial, neutral arbiter
 Distinction between state and civil society
 Civil Society and the state interact

State and power
State is not the only actor
 State can give some elements to other
bodies
 NGO-s, multinational corporations,
GONGO-s
 Power is distributed.
 People can collectively influence
 Power is to act collectively for „common
good“

Institutions and world order
Institutions are linked with each other
 Governments are linked with each other
 Societies are linked with each other
 Stated cooperate more extensively as
before: in order to fulfill the needs of
their citizens

Institutions and world order
In some cases states have to give up their
sovereignty: to UN , EU
 Over the past century- new institutions
treaties, regimes.
 Governance - collective processes of
rule-making, monitoring, implementation
 Governance includes both informal and
formal organizations at national and
international level
 Richard Falk – „Humane Governance“

Inequality and justice





Human, civil and political rights is very
important to liberals
UN charter
Many states have refused to ratify conventions
and treaties
Right-leaning liberals: right of each individual
treatment, equally in the eyes of the law
Left-leaning liberals: more state intervention in
the interests of addressing social inequality and
to genuine equal opportunities
Identity and community
Community for protecting their
independence or setting our their rights
 Community of human kind) (boundaries
of state, nation, race, ethnicity, culture,
class and gender)
 Global Society – normative consensus.
Bonding people together, universal rights,
people of the world

Identity and community

Transnationalism – people engage in
numerous social interaction which tie
people together across state boundaries
Conflict and violence
War can be avoided
 Peace is possible in cooperation with
states and institutions
 Institutions play a central role in
mediating and resolving peace

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