The politics of liberal internationalism

Dunne, Tim and McDonald, Matt (2013) The politics of liberal internationalism. International Politics, 50 1: 1-17. doi:10.1057/ip.2012.25

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Author Dunne, Tim
McDonald, Matt
Title The politics of liberal internationalism
Journal name International Politics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1384-5748
Publication date 2013-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1057/ip.2012.25
Volume 50
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 17
Place of publication Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
How is it that internationalism has become the dominant form of statecraft pursued by liberal states and by international organisations, and yet it has received relatively scant attention in International Relations (IR) both historically and conceptually? It is time that the field addressed the paucity of writings on an institutionalised idea that has shaped order-building for more than two centuries. The article opens with a consideration of internationalism and its status in political theory and IR, arguing that a variety of different configurations have taken hold in different historical moments. We then consider the coexistence of internationalism and imperialism as an illustration of how the ambiguities and tensions in liberal statecraft can be manifested. The article closes with a consideration of the international normative order-building that has taken place after 1945 and the critical issue of the resilience of liberal internationalism given the 'crisis' identified with it. For all its dangers and dilemmas, we make the case for engaging the politics of liberal internationalism as a site in which normative and practical concerns of global politics meet, and in which the calls to protect the interests of national communities are mediated by the imperative of 'purposes beyond ourselves'.
Keyword Internationalism
Responsibility to protect
Order building
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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