Liberal hierarchy and the license to use force

Reus-Smit, Christian (2005). Liberal hierarchy and the license to use force. In James David Armstrong, Theo Farrell and Bice Maiguashca (Ed.), Force and Legitimacy in World Politics (pp. 71-92) Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/S0260210505006790

Author Reus-Smit, Christian
Title of chapter Liberal hierarchy and the license to use force
Title of book Force and Legitimacy in World Politics
Place of Publication Cambridge, UK
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication Year 2005
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0260210505006790
Open Access Status
Series Review of International Studies
ISBN 0521691648
ISSN 0260-2105
Editor James David Armstrong
Theo Farrell
Bice Maiguashca
Volume number 31 Supp. 1
Chapter number 4
Start page 71
End page 92
Total pages 22
Total chapters 13
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
This article explores and critiques the liberal argument for the rehierarchisation of international society and its attendant prescriptions for the legitimate use of force. After explaining the philosophical foundations of the equalitarian regime and its tortuous construction over the past century, I detail a range of factors that have, over the past decade, gnawed away at the regime’s foundations. The article then turns to the exposition and critique of the new liberal argument. My critique has three nested layers. I begin by outlining a series of practical concerns about operationalising the new liberal argument. These practical concerns are reinforced by a series of prudential objections, objections that stress the harmful consequences for international order of replacing the equalitarian regime with a new hierarchy. Granting democracies special rights, especially in decisions to use force, can only exacerbate already widespread feelings about the inequities of the present international order, reduce the sense of investment of many states in the institutional architecture and rules of international society, and, as a consequence, heighten rather than diminish conflict and discord. The final layer of my critique turns liberalism itself against the case for renewed hierarchy.
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

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Created: Thu, 14 Nov 2013, 16:29:12 EST by Bronwyn Clare Crook on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies