Friday, February 15, 2013

LECTURE NOTE: Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs



Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs

o   What difference do liberal principles and institutions make to the conduct of the foreign affairs of liberal states?
o   They judge that international relations are governed by perceptions of national security and the balance of power; liberal principles and institutions, when they do intrude, confused and disrupt the pursuit of balance-of-power politics
o   Liberalism is a distinct ideology and set of institutions that has shaped the perceptions of and capacities for, foreign relations of political societies that range from social welfare or social democratic to laissez faire (liberal nationalism)
§  Cannot be reliance of the balance of power
§  Not peace-loving
o   Yet the peaceful intent and restraint that liberalism does manifest in limited aspects of its foreign affairs announces the possibility of a world peace this side of the grave or of the world conquest. It has strengthened the prospects for a world peace established by the steady expansion of a separate peace among liberal societies
-        II
o   Liberal has been identified with an essential principle—the importance of the freedom of the individual
§  Moral freedom, the right to be treated, and a duty to treat others as ethical subjects, and not as objects or means only
o   Negative freedom – includes freedom of conscience, a free press and free speech, equality under the law, and the right to hold, and therefore to exchange, property without fear of arbitrary seizure
§  Calls for freedom from arbitrary authority
o   Positive freedom –
§  Right necessary to protect and promote the capacity and opportunity for freedom
§  Social and economic rights as equality of opportunity in education and healthcare and employment necessary for effective self-expression and participation, and thus are among liberal rights
o   Third liberal right, democratic participation or representation is necessary to guarantee the other two
§  To ensure that morally autonomous individuals remain free in those areas of social action where public authority is needed, public legislation has to express the will of the citizens making laws for their own community
o   Political order of laissez-faire and social welfare liberals is marked by a shared commitment to four essential institutions
§  Citizens possess juridical equality and other fundamental civil rights such as freedom of religion and the press
§  Effective sovereigns of the state are representative legislatures deriving their authority from the consent of the electorate and exercising  their authority free from all restraint apart from the requirement that basic civil rights be preserved
·        The impact of liberalism on foreign affairs, the state is subject to neither the external authority of other states nor to the internal authority of special prerogatives held
§  The economy rests on the recognition of the rights of private property including the ownership of means of production
·        Property is justified by individual acquisition or by social agreement or social utility
·        Exclude state socialism and state capitalism, but need not exclude market socialism and various form of mixed economy
·        Economic decisions are predominantly shaped by the forces of supply and demand, domestically and internationally, and are free from strict control by bureaucracies
-        III
o   Unlike liberalisms domestic realm, its foreign affairs have experienced startling but less than fully appreciated success. Together they shape an unrecognized dilemma, for both these successes and weaknesses in large part spring from the same cause: international implications of liberal principles and institutions
o   Mutual respect for sovereign right then becomes the touchstone of international liberal theory. When states respect each other’s rights, individuals are free to establish private international ties without state interference
§  Profitable exchange between merchants and educational exchanges among scholars then create a web of mutual advantages and commitments that bolsters sentiments of public respect
§  Even though liberal states have become involved in numerous wars with nonliberal states, constitutionally secure liberal states have yet to engage in war with one another.
o   Realism, in its classical formation holds that the state is and should be formally sovereign, effectively unbounded by individual rights nationally and thus capable of determining its own scope of authority
§  State of war
§  International Anarchy
§  Geography—“insular security” and “continental insecurity”—may affect foreign policy attitudes; but it does not appear to determine behavior
§  Belief, expectations and attitudes of leaders and masses should influence strategic behavior
o   Recent additions to game theory specify some circumstances under which prudence could lead to peace. Experience; geography; expectation of cooperation and belief patterns; and the differing payoffs to cooperation (peace) or conflict associated with various types of military technology all appear to influence the calculus
o   Second, at the level of social determinants, some might argue that relations among any group of states with similar social structures or with compatible values would be peaceful (communist, feudal or socialist don’t support the conclusion)
o   Third, at the level of interstate relations, neither specific regional attributes nor historic alliances or friendships can account for wide reach of liberal peace
§  Raymond Aron has identified three types of interstate peace: empire, hegemony (dominant of US as a peacekeeper enforcer), and equilibrium
o   Some realists might suggest that liberal peace simply reflects the absence of deep conflicts of interest among liberal states
-        IV
o   Some have argued that democratic states would be inherently peaceful simply and solely because in these states citizens rule the polity and bear the cost of wars
o   Other liberals have argues that laissez-faire capitalism contains an inherent tendency toward rationalism, and that since war is irrational, liberal capitalisms will be pacifistic
o   Montesquieu argued that “Peace is the natural effect of trade”
o   Kant offers “Perpetual Peace”
§  Shows how republics, once established, lead to peaceful relations. He argues that once the aggressive interests of absolutist monarchies are tamed an once the habit of respect for individual rights is engrained by republican government, wars would appear as the disaster to the people’s welfare that he and the other liberals thought them to be
·        People are against war because of its cost (calamities of war)
·        One could add to Kant’s list another source of pacification specific to liberal constitutions. The regular rotation of office in liberal democratic polities is a nontrivial device that helps ensure that personal animosities among heads of government provide no lasting, escalating source of tension
§  Complementing the constitutional guarantee of caution, international law adds a second source—a guarantee of respect
·        “as culture progresses and men gradually come closer together toward a greater agreement on principles for peace and understanding
·        The experience of cooperation helps engender further cooperative behavior when the consequences of state policy are unclear but (potentially) mutually beneficial
§  Cosmopolitan law adds material incentives to moral commitment. The cosmopolitan right to hospitality permits the “spirit of commerce” sooner or later to take hold of every nation, thus impelling states to promote peace and try to avert war
·        International labor division/ free trade according to comparative advantage
·        Each economy is said to be better off than it would have been under autarky; each thus acquires an incentive to avoid policies that would lead the other to break these economic ties
·        A further cosmopolitan source of liberal peace is that the international market removes difficult decisions of production and distribution from the direct sphere of state policy
o   No one of these constitutional, international or cosmopolitan sources is alone sufficient, but together they plausibly connect the characteristics of liberal politics and economies with sustained liberal peace





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