Michael Doyle is one of the most outstanding scholar international relations. In his famous work on liberalism and international politics, Doyle seeks to re-examine the belief that authorities or government founded on individual liberty formulate and implement foreign policies that are restraint and peaceful (Fearon 577). In efforts to give a theoretical explanation of the world politics, Doyle examines three types of liberalism, that is, liberal pacificism as attributed by Schumpeter, liberal imperialism by Machiavelli and liberal internationalism as developed by Immanuel Kant (Doyle 1152).
Liberalism and International Politics
Liberal pacificism lacks a canonical description. Hence, the theory is resembled to a family which is identified through certain principles and characteristics such as private property, individual freedom and equality in sharing of opportunities available. The theory focuses on the international effects of capitalism and democracy. Schumpeter in his Sociology of Imperialism argues on the importance of pacifying the effects of the principles and institutions found based on liberalism (Doyle 1153). He identified the foundation of liberal pacificism as the interaction between capitalism and democracy. He further argues that under imperialism, states are disposed to unlimited forcible expansions. The imperialism is born by combination of the export monopolist, ‘war machines’ and warlike instincts. The war- like machines later develops and takes over the control of the nation’s foreign policy. In modern capitalism, export monopolies force an imperialist expansion in order to extend their markets to other parts (Kant and Wood 59).
Capitalism and democracy are the forces of peace that resist modern imperialism. Development in capitalism and democracy leads into the disappearance of imperialism. It produces a democratized, individualized and rationalized society with energies that are directed towards production (Fearon 579). A rational community demands for democratic governance. The capitalist world under this theory has developed means of preventing wars such as through International Criminal Court based in Hague Netherlands. Under liberal pacifism, war only benefits military aristocrats and profiteers. Therefore, free trade enables countries to benefit from goods even if they do not originate from within their territories.
Liberal pacificism is associated with democracy and sustainable development (Doyle p1154). Some scholars like Small and Singer have discovered that there is no correlation between democracy and war. However, Schumpeter in his further studies notes that most bourgeois commonwealth countries exert some aggressiveness towards less powerful countries. However, he sticks to his idea in which he sees democratic nations as against the use of military powers rather opt for peaceful means in solving differences.
Under liberal imperialism, Machiavelli argues that republics are the best form of state in order to experience imperial expansion. Imperial expansion increases the chances of the state surviving in future. Machiavelli argues based on a classical mixed republic, which is characterized with political participation, social equality and popular liberty (Fearon 579). Consuls act like the kings, senate as the aristocracy governing the state and people in the assembly as their source of strength. Liberty in this case is obtained from competition and the need for compromise among the ruling class. They also derive liberty from popular veto. The ruling class understands the different characters of people, and therefore, it employs all the possible ways gathering leadership skills including consulting from oracles and religious (Doyle 1154).
The strength of an imperial state is derived from impacts of liberty on the increase in property and population. In most occasions, this is brought about by the knowledge of citizens that their properties and lives are safe from any form of seizure. In a free state, citizens are motivated to provide soldiers who fight in maintain the glory of the state. A good example is the State of Rome that was ruled through mixed imperialism. Necessity that can be termed as political survival can be done through expansion of the territory. In an aristocratic state, any pressure from outside to expand the territory can lead to the collapse of the state. In addition to that, prevailing of internal security can also lead to the ruining of the aristocratic state due to continued tranquility. These are the two beliefs on which imperial liberalism is found (Kant and Wood 85).
Machiavelli further states that people are all lovers of power and glory. Therefore, in this case no one wishes to be oppressed in any way by the leadership of the state. We always want to rule our countries and obtain more material welfare. Many people engage in internal expansion to deal with the ambitions and energies of other people from within the country. The same case applies to the international politics where a state embarks on expansions to curb the threats posed by other expanding states (Doyle 1155).
United States made numerous interventions during postwar. This supports the argument of Machiavelli. However, in a mixed republic as expressed by Machiavelli, people enjoy liberty and social equity which they may use to curb the agonies caused by the ruling elites. Therefore, we conclude that while this theory may apply in some countries in the past, it lacks any basis in the modern world (Fearon 592).
Liberal internationalism contains two legacies that affect liberal states simultaneously regardless of whether they are pacifistic or imperialistic. The first legacy is the pacification of foreign relations among the liberal countries. This is evidenced by the settling of disputes between Great Britain and the United States in the 19th century through the Reform Act of 1832. Before the World War I, the liberal states of Britain and France joined forces to fight against Germans despite their colonial rivalry. The Liberal state of Italy later joined the Britain and France to fight against Germany and Austria. Despite the British restrictions in US, the Americans joined their side during World War I (Doyle 1156).
In all these, Kant notes that there has slowly developed a zone of peace that he calls pacific union. This zone contains more than forty liberal states. These States exist in peace and exercise peaceful restraints (Kant and Wood 87). The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) focuses on solving the quarrels between the liberal states and offering crucial alliance to USA in dealing with non-liberal States. The alliance focuses on increasing its members to attain global peace. The liberal states whether singular or plural, feudal or communist have little chances of war occurring between them. In the cases of the war, the alignment of one member to a particular side forces all the other liberal members to join the side (Fearon 582).
The second legacy of international liberalism is the international imprudence. In this case, peaceful restraints only work through liberal relations among liberal states. Liberal states have been forced to engage in war with non- liberal states in some instances to defend themselves from foreign aggression. In most cases, the authoritarian rulers resolve to engage in wars in order to gain the control of other states and also prestige. International wars mostly break out due to misunderstandings, common interest and mutual suspicion as was the case in the First World War (Doyle 1157). However, war out of aggression was also common in the 19th century even among the liberal states. The liberal states of Britain and France engaged in colonial wars for the whole century to expand their colonies. Between 1846 and 1848, United States fought with Mexico. Thereafter, United States has continued to engage in wars even after the Second World War. This scenario has been common where powerful liberal states attack other countries that are non- liberal and less powerful (Fearon 590).
The international liberalism theory is appreciated because of its focus on the international politics. Immanuel Kant helps us in understanding the interactive nature of the international relations. Some States interact based on the legacy on pacification of international relation among liberal states and others on international imprudence (Hegre 26). We can study systemic relations of states and the variety of their behaviors together. The formation of North Atlantic Treaty Organization which comprises of only liberal states which operate based on the two legacies of liberal internationalism indicates further the relevance of this theory. It explains the specific nature of nature of states, and reasons why it is hard for liberal countries to express this ideology to non-liberal states (Kant and Wood 89).
The theory on the liberal internationalism by Immanuel Kant applies to the reality in the world today. The simultaneous occurrence the two legacies of pacification of international relations among the liberal states and internal prudence can be seen in the modern world. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization comprises of countries majorly in North America and Europe and they are served with role of solving disputes between the liberal states and often undertakes military operation against non-liberal states proves the reality of this theory in dealing with international politics. The attack of less powerful non-liberal states like Mexico further confirms. In his work, toward perpetual peace, Kant emphasizes on the sovereignty of the state (Kant, n.d). He emphasizes that no independent state can be acquired by another one through whichever way even if it small or weak. In the many cases, where states attack others, under the international laws they are obligated to their rebuild up (Fearon 592).
The theory has so far succeeded in offering an explanation on international politics. The formation of North Atlantic Trade Organization that comprises only the liberal states proves this (Kant and Wood 124). Statistically, there have been no recorded cases of war between liberal states for a long period of time. This is because the liberal nations through the first legacy aim at maintaining cordial foreign relations with the member states. Under this theory, international laws have been set which forces countries compensate other states in the case of violation of treaties (James, p579).
In conclusion, Doyle presents three types of liberalism. These are liberal pacificism, liberal imperialism and liberal internationalism. Liberal pacificism focuses on the capitalism and democracy and their role in development and countering modern imperialism. Liberal imperialism by Machiavelli argues for a mixed republic which focuses on the expansion for survival. It emphasizes on the internal urge by individuals and states to control others. The liberal internationalism provides two legacies; pacification of international relations and international imprudence. The theory by Kant bests explains the international politics and it proved by the presence of NATO, which comprise of liberal states that operate on the two legacies.
Doyle, Michael. Liberalism and World Politics. The American Political Science Review, 1986.80(4):1151-1169. Print
Fearon, James. Domestic Political Audiences and the Escalation of International Disputes. The American Political Science Review, 1994.88(3):577-592. Print.
Hegre, Havard. “Development and the Liberal Peace: What does it Take to Be a Trading State?” Journal of Peace Research 2000.37 (1):5–30. Print.
Kant, Immanuel and Wood, Allen. Toward Perpetual Peace and Other Writings on Politics, Peace, and History. New York: Yale University Press, 2006. Print