Doyle - Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs

Doyle - Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs -...

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Summary – Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs by Michael W Doyle By Tais McNeill October 26, 2009 This reading examines the role of liberalism in international affairs, particularly the concept of peace among liberal states. Introduction 1. Liberalism does not fit neatly into the “balance-of-power” scenario usually employed in international relations, and so the foreign affairs of liberal states cannot be explained by this scenario. 2. Liberalism has strengthened the possibility of world peace based on liberal societies a. However this is not to say that it is inherently peaceful Liberalism 1. Liberalism is based o one essential principle: the freedom of the individual a. This can be broken down into three sets of rights i. Freedom from arbitrary authority ii. Positive freedom (rights that protect and promote freedom, such as education and employment) iii. Democratic participation b. These three sets of rights are important because they meet a challenge identified by the philosopher Immanuel Kant i. “To organize a group of rational beings who demand general laws for their survival, but of whom each inclines toward exempting himself, and to establish their constitution in such a way that, in spite of the fact their private attitudes are opposed, these private attitudes mutually impede each other in such a manner that [their] public behaviour is the same as if they did not have such evil attitudes” 2. The dilemma within liberalism is to reconcile the three sets of rights, as it can be argued that promoting one could conflict with the others (e.g. democratic
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This note was uploaded on 08/26/2010 for the course POLI 244 taught by Professor Saideman during the Fall '07 term at McGill.

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Doyle - Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs -...

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