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Liberal internationalism: from ideology to empirical theory - and back again
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:41 authored by Beate Jahn
This article shows that Andrew Moravcsik's 'nonideological' formulation of a liberal theory of international relations is itself deeply ideological both in terms of his own criteria and in terms of a broader conception of ideology. The source of this outcome lies in Moravcsik's mistaken conception of ideology. While ideological knowledge is indeed particular rather than general, it shares this feature with all political knowledge. In the political sphere, it is therefore not general knowledge that transcends the limits of ideology but rather an explicit engagement with these limits. A nonideological study of liberalism would thus require an historical account of the origins and development of liberalism in the context of its struggle with internal and external competitors. While such a study would not constitute a liberal theory of international relations in general, it would provide a general theory of liberal international relations and would thus be highly relevant in the context of a liberal world order.
PublisherCambridge University Press
Department affiliated with
- International Relations Publications
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