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A focus on Liberalism

Updated on May 17, 2015

Liberalism was developed back in 1970s as several scholars started arguing that realism is outdated. The rapid rise of communication technology, increase in international trade and the increasing globalization meant that the states could not depend on simple power politics for deciding matters. Liberalism claims that the world is a dangerous and harsh place, but consequences of using the power of military often outweigh the benefits (Raymond, 2006). Therefore, the international corporation is in the interest of every single state. It also claims that military power is not the only form of power. Social and economic power does matter a great deal too, and exercising economic power proves to be more effectual than exercising military power. It goes on to outline that different states tend to have their own different primary interests. Liberalism also states that organizations and international rules can assist in fostering corporation, prosperity and trust. For instance, the major powers in the west fit well in the complex interdependence theory. The United States of America usually has significant disagreements with its allies in Asia and Europe over policy and trade. However, it is extremely hard to imagine of a situation where the United States uses military power against these allies. It instead relies on incentives and economic pressure to achieve its policy claims (Lebow, 2003, p. 34).

According to my perspective, liberalism offers the possibility of peace and stability in unstable contexts. This is more relevant in the current perspective where states amass power. Nonetheless, power has now taken a less destructive form, from guns to bank notes and exports. Further, there need not be an overarching stress on the frailties of humanity even if world peace seems too lofty of an ideal. This shift creates the need for greater linkage (therefore, the new emphasis on globalization), as well as increased cooperation.

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