Liberal internationalism

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Liberal internationalism is a foreign policy doctrine that argues that liberal states should intervene in other sovereign states in order to pursue liberal objectives. Such intervention can include both military invasion and humanitarian aid. This view is contrasted to isolationist, realist, or non-interventionist foreign policy doctrines; these critics characterize it as liberal interventionism.

A country's foreign policy, also called foreign relations or foreign affairs policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve goals within its international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries. The study of such strategies is called foreign policy analysis. In recent times, due to the deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, the states will also have to interact with non-state actors. The aforementioned interaction is evaluated and monitored in attempts to maximize the benefits of multilateral international cooperation. Since the national interests are paramount, foreign policies are designed by the government through high-level decision-making processes. National interests accomplishment can occur as a result of peaceful cooperation with other nations, or through exploitation. Usually, creating foreign policy is the job of the head of government and the foreign minister. In some countries, the legislature also has considerable effects. Foreign policies of countries have varying rates of change and scopes of intent, which can be affected by factors that change the perceived national interests or even affect the stability of the country itself. The foreign policy of a country can have a profound and lasting impact on many other countries and on the course of international relations as a whole, such as the Monroe Doctrine conflicting with the mercantilism policies of 19th-century European countries and the goals of independence of newly formed Central American and South American countries.

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support limited government, individual rights, capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.

An invasion is a military offensive in which large parts of combatants of one geopolitical entity aggressively enter territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering; liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a territory; forcing the partition of a country; altering the established government or gaining concessions from said government; or a combination thereof. An invasion can be the cause of a war, be a part of a larger strategy to end a war, or it can constitute an entire war in itself. Due to the large scale of the operations associated with invasions, they are usually strategic in planning and execution.

Contents

History

Liberal Internationalism emerged during the nineteenth century, notably under the auspices of British Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, and was developed in the second decade of the 20th century under U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. In this form it became known as Wilsonianism. [1]

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston British politician

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister in the mid-19th century. Palmerston dominated British foreign policy during the period 1830 to 1865, when Britain was at the height of her imperial power. He held office almost continuously from 1807 until his death in 1865. He began his parliamentary career as a Tory, defected to the Whigs in 1830, and became the first Prime Minister of the newly formed Liberal Party in 1859.

Woodrow Wilson 28th president of the United States

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was an American statesman, lawyer, and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. He also led the United States during World War I, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism."

Wilsonianism

Wilsonianism or Wilsonian are words used to describe a certain type of ideological perspective on foreign policy. The term comes from the ideology of United States President Woodrow Wilson and his famous Fourteen Points that he believed would help create world peace if implemented. Wilsonianism is a form of liberal internationalism. Wilson learned from American history and applied that knowledge to his international relations. Wilson's principles expressed the values of democracy and capitalism.

Theory

The goal of liberal internationalism is to achieve global structures within the international system that are inclined towards promoting a liberal world order. To that extent, global free trade, liberal economics and liberal political systems are all encouraged. In addition, liberal internationalists are dedicated towards encouraging democracy to emerge globally. Once realized, it will result in a 'peace dividend', as liberal states have relations that are characterized by non-violence, and that relations between democracies is characterized by the democratic peace theory.

Democratic peace theory

Democratic peace theory is a theory which posits that democracies are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other identified democracies. Among proponents of the democratic peace theory, several factors are held as motivating peace between democratic states:

Liberal internationalism states that, through multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, it is possible to avoid the worst excesses of "power politics" in relations between nations.

In international relations, multilateralism refers to an alliance of multiple countries pursuing a common goal.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.

Power politics is a theory in international relations, which contains the idea that distributions of power and interests, or changes to those distributions, are fundamental causes of war and of system stability.

Examples

Examples of liberal internationalists include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. [2] In the US, it is often associated with the American Democratic Party; [3] however, many neo-conservative thinkers in the United States have begun using similar arguments as liberal internationalists and, to the extent that the two ideologies have become more similar, it may show liberal internationalist thinking is spreading within the Republican Party. [4] Others argue that neoconservatism and liberal internationalism are distinctly different foreign policy philosophies and neoconservatives may only employ rhetoric similar to a liberal internationalist but with far different goals and methods of foreign policy intervention. [5]

Tony Blair Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He was Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 1997. As of 2017, Blair is the last British Labour Party leader to have won a general election.

Democratic Party (United States) political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Commonly cited examples of liberal interventionism in action include NATO's intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina; their 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia; British military intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War; and the 2011 military intervention in Libya. [6]

NATO Intergovernmental military alliance of Western states

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina NATO operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992-2004

The NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina was a series of actions undertaken by NATO whose stated aim was to establish long-term peace during and after the Bosnian War. NATO's intervention began as largely political and symbolic, but gradually expanded to include large-scale air operations and the deployment of approximately 60,000 soldiers under Operation Joint Endeavor.

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia March–June 1999 NATO military operation in Yugoslavia

The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) during the Kosovo War. The air strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999. The official NATO operation code name was Operation Allied Force; the United States called it "Operation Noble Anvil", while in Yugoslavia, the operation was incorrectly called "Merciful Angel", as a result of a misunderstanding or mistranslation. The bombings continued until an agreement was reached that led to the withdrawal of Yugoslav armed forces from Kosovo, and the establishment of United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), a UN peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

See also

Related Research Articles

Foreign policy of the United States National foreign policy

The foreign policy of the United States is its interactions with foreign nations and how it sets standards of interaction for its organizations, corporations and system citizens of the United States.

Bush Doctrine US foreign policy principles of President George W. Bush promoting preventative war and unilateralism

The Bush Doctrine refers to various related foreign policy principles of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. These principles include unilateralism and the use of preventative war.

Truman Doctrine US policy to contain communism in Europe and elsewhere during the Cold War

The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy whose stated purpose was to counter Soviet geopolitical expansion during the Cold War. It was announced to Congress by President Harry S. Truman on March 12, 1947, and further developed on July 12, 1948, when he pledged to contain threats in Greece and Turkey. Direct American military force was usually not involved, but Congress appropriated financial aid to support the economies and militaries of Greece and Turkey. More generally, the Truman Doctrine implied American support for other nations allegedly threatened by Soviet communism. The Truman Doctrine became the foundation of American foreign policy, and led, in 1949, to the formation of NATO, a military alliance that is still in effect. Historians often use Truman's speech to date the start of the Cold War.

Neoconservatism Political ideology

Neoconservatism is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among liberal hawks who became disenchanted with the increasingly pacifist foreign policy of the Democratic Party, and the growing New Left and counterculture, in particular the Vietnam protests. Some also began to question their liberal beliefs regarding domestic policies such as the Great Society.

Grand strategy or high strategy comprises the "purposeful employment of all instruments of power available to a security community". Issues of grand strategy typically include the choice of primary versus secondary theaters in war, distribution of resources among the various services, the general types of armaments manufacturing to favor, and which international alliances best suit national goals. With considerable overlap with foreign policy, grand strategy focuses primarily on the military implications of policy. A country's political leadership typically directs grand strategy with input from the most senior military officials. Development of a nation's grand strategy may extend across many years or even multiple generations.

Timothy Garton Ash British historian and author

Timothy Garton Ash CMG FRSA is a British historian, author and commentator. He is Professor of European Studies at Oxford University. Much of his work has been concerned with the late modern and contemporary history of Central and Eastern Europe.

Interventionism is a policy of non-defensive (proactive) activity undertaken by a nation-state, or other geo-political jurisdiction of a lesser or greater nature, to manipulate an economy and/or society. The most common applications of the term are for economic interventionism, and foreign interventionism.

Idealism in foreign policy holds that a state should make its internal political philosophy the goal of its foreign policy. For example, an idealist might believe that ending poverty at home should be coupled with tackling poverty abroad. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was an early advocate of idealism. Wilson's idealism was a precursor to liberal international relations theory, which would arise amongst the "institution-builders" after World War II. It particularly emphasized the ideal of American exceptionalism.

In the study of international relations, neoliberalism refers to a school of thought which believes that states are, or at least should be, concerned first and foremost with absolute gains rather than relative gains to other states. Neoliberalism is a revised version of liberalism.

Humanitarian Intervention has been defined as a state's use of military force against another state, with publicly stating its goal is to end human rights violations in that state." This definition may be too narrow as it precludes non-military forms of intervention such as humanitarian aid and international sanctions. On this broader understanding, "Humanitarian intervention should be understood to encompass… non-forcible methods, namely intervention undertaken without military force to alleviate mass human suffering within sovereign borders."

Non-interventionism or non-intervention is a foreign policy that holds that political rulers should minimize relations with other nations but still retain diplomacy and trade, while avoiding wars unless related to direct self-defense. A 1915 definition is that non-interventionism is a policy characterized by the absence of "interference by a state or states in the external affairs of another state without its consent, or in its internal affairs with or without its consent".

Westphalian sovereignty, or state sovereignty, is the principle in international law that each state has exclusive sovereignty over its territory. The principle underlies the modern international system of sovereign states and is enshrined in the United Nations Charter, which states that "nothing should authorise intervention in matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state." According to the idea, every state, no matter how large or small, has an equal right to sovereignty. Political scientists have traced the concept to the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which ended the Thirty Years' War. The principle of non-interference was further developed in the 18th century. The Westphalian system reached its peak in the 19th and 20th centuries, but it has faced recent challenges from advocates of humanitarian intervention.

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British neoconservatism is more socially liberal than its US counterpart, but shares a world view of threats and opportunities. British neoconservatives are strong proponents of foreign intervention in the Arab world and beyond, the role of the private sector in military contracts and an alliance with Israel.

Beginning on March 19, 2011 and continuing through the 2011 military intervention in Libya, anti-war protests against military intervention in Libya were held in many cities worldwide.

The international reactions to the 2011 military intervention in Libya were the responses to the military intervention in Libya by NATO and allied forces to impose a no-fly zone. The intervention was authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, approved in New York on 17 March, in response to the Libyan Civil War, though some governments allege participants in the operation exceeded their mandate.

The domestic reactions in the United States after the 2011 military intervention in Libya ranged from criticism to support. Unlike the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, which were carried out largely without external intervention, the brutal reaction of the Gaddafi regime to the protests that began in January and February 2011 quickly made it clear that the Libyan opposition forces would not be able to achieve political progress or to overthrow their government by themselves. In light of ongoing serious human rights violations, the United Nations Security Council established a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized the member states of the UN to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack. Two days later, a coalition of states—including the United States, the United Kingdom, and France—began to carry out air strikes against military targets in Libya. By the end of March 2011, NATO had taken over the international military operation in Libya. With the support of NATO, the insurgents successively took power in Libya, gaining control over the capital, Tripoli, in August and over Sirte, the last city held by the Gaddafi regime, in October 2011. During the fights over Sirte, Gaddafi was killed. With the insurgents taking control over most of the country and being recognized as the legitimate (transitional) government of Libya by much of the international community, a change in the Libyan regime has taken place.

Internationalism (politics) movement which advocates a greater economic and political cooperation among nations

Internationalism is a political principle which transcends nationalism and advocates a greater political or economic cooperation among nations and people.

Proletarian internationalism Marxist social class concept

Proletarian internationalism, sometimes referred to as international socialism, is the perception of all communist revolutions as being part of a single global class struggle rather than separate localized events. It is based on the theory that capitalism is a world-system and therefore the working classes of all nations must act in concert if they are to replace it with communism. Proponents of proletarian internationalism often argued that the objectives of a given revolution should be global rather than local in scope—for example, triggering or perpetuating revolutions elsewhere.

References

  1. "Stanley Hoffmann, "The Crisis of Liberal Internationalism, Foreign Policy, No. 98 (Spring, 1995), pp. 159–177.