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Tag Archives: liberalism

Up with international relations theory, down with the -isms, and down with the certainty

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has rekindled another, potentially more bitter conflict: the long-running war between international relations school of thought. You may have read the Mearshimer interview in the New Yorker that roiled so many, defending his version of realism. Maybe you read Stathis Kalyvas’ defense of constructivism. Or one of a thousand tweets, raging against or loving an IR take. If you’re like most people, however, you’re just confused. If so, forgive yourself. I spent years...

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Don’t Buy the “Marketplace of Ideas” — Terry Hathaway

Economic imagery pervades societal discourse. Part of this imagery projects markets as existing everywhere; the common societal parlance sees talk of the car market, the grocery market, the computer market, or, simply, the market. Yet, excepting traditional marketplaces or medinas, these markets have no physical manifestation. Unlike with other major social institutions there is no where to visit; there is no headquarters. Instead, markets are said to exist when there are competitors in...

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The West’s Arrested Social Development — Helmut K. Anheier

In 1995, the sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf argued that developed countries’ “overriding task” for the subsequent decade was to "square the circle of wealth creation, social cohesion, and political freedom.” More than two decades later, most have not even attempted that feat.... The paradoxes of liberalism involve the incompatibility of social liberalism, political liberalism, and economic liberalism, in particular, a fundamental tension between accumulation and democracy. Enlightenment...

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Bound to Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Liberal International Order — John J. Mearsheimer

AbstractThe liberal international order, erected after the Cold War, was crumbling by 2019. It was flawed from the start and thus destined to fail. The spread of liberal democracy around the globe—essential for building that order—faced strong resistance because of nationalism, which emphasizes self-determination. Some targeted states also resisted U.S. efforts to promote liberal democracy for security-related reasons. Additionally, problems arose because a liberal order calls for states to...

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Capitalism vs democracy: Europe’s hard problem — Mark Mazower

Modern Europe’s political structure is based on the supposition that capitalism and democracy can be compatible – so the most urgent challenge of our times is reconciling the two. In short, economic liberalism and political liberal generate paradoxes that require a comprehensive worldview (systematic set of presumptions) that balances social, economic and political liberalism for Western liberalism to survive. New StatesmanCapitalism vs democracy: Europe’s hard problem Mark...

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On Demagogues and Democracy — Eric Schliesser

Some social & political theory. Focuses on Walter Lippmann, The Good Society. Although Eric Schliesser doesn't mention it in this post, Aristotle discussed these issues in detail in his Politics.Digressions&ImpressionsOn Demagogues and DemocracyEric Schliesser | Professor of Political Science, University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

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The road to serfdom before Hayek (Knight, Lippmann, and a note on Weber today) — Eric Schliesser

So, here's my hypothesis. The road to serfdom thesis was if not inspired by Lippmann, at least prompted, in part, by him. But Lippmann did not hold the thesis; it is articulated by Knight in his review of Lippmann and (mistakenly) ascribed to Lippmann. Knight, however, thinks there is nothing inevitable about the thesis because he thinks the future is still very much open. I cannot prove that Hayek read Knight's review of Lippmann. (Knight was later a somewhat ambivalent referee for The...

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