Role Of Liberalism In International Relations

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Liberalism lost the first debate due to being a bit too idealistic to play a role in International Relations affairs. This changed in the 1960’s and 1970’s particularly through the rise of behaviorist sciences. These science approaches studied the behavior of actors be it humans or groups of actors using statistics, technology and rational choice theory. By being able to embrace these approaches towards science, liberalism was able to return to International relations in a new way borrowing heavily from economic theory, behavioral theory while trying to leave as much as possible all associations that were previously made with Idealism.
The return of Liberalism in the eighteenth century came in three forms;
a) Democratic Peace Theory basically studies Kant’s question whether there is a strong correlation between Democracy and Peace. This however does not mean that democracies do not go to war. Democracies rarely go to war with other democracies but they do go to war with states that they perceive to be non-democracies. Hence on one hand the Democratic Peace theory confirms KANT’S perpetual Peace thesis but on the other hand complications may arise.

b) Interdependence Theory studies the way in which trade affects world peace with the underlying idea that if countries are heavily involved in trade with one another, the cost of war rises because it would also affect trade relations.
This theory came up in the 1970’s through Robert

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