International Relations Paper on Liberalism
Liberalism basically refers to institutionalism of individual freedoms. It is a political philosophy which mainly emphasizes on social liberty and equality. Through liberalism, individuals are given the opportunity to freely assemble, associate and form institutions. These institutions empower people to protect their freedoms. These freedoms include mostly trade freedoms whereby people from different regions sharing the same ideas can come together and transact trade freely. The philosophy was first actualized during the age of enlightenment. This happened in the 17th century and the aim was to understand nature and the role of man, that is, how man fits in the universe. Liberalism helps people to overcome limitations and fully exploit their potential. It helps people to diverge from the traditional thinking that man is arrogant and evil but rather to appreciate that man is a peaceful being. It is the society that makes people become evil. Therefore, the society needs to be organized so as to enable people to come together and share ideas together. Once people come together, they should ensure they avoid external interference so as to achieve their goals. Institutions, therefore, need to be set up to give room for being savage and also to remake their norms.
There’s need to push for new life and this can only be made possible through the formation of new liberal norms. This can only be realized if there’s individual freedom. Individual freedom means respecting the freedom of others and therefore not hurting them. Individual freedom means responsibility and with responsibility comes hard work which enables us to be accountable for our responsibilities. With hard work comes prosperity and a common interest which is objective. A common interest in this may involve trade and commerce amongst others. There’s need to spread these norms so that as many people as possible are brought on board to share a common interest. The idea to spread the norms is to foster unity among different communities and as a result, minimize conflicts. People who share a common interest find it useless to get into conflicts. Peace allows people to transact trade and as a result improve lives and therefore a situation of peace is profitable. War only brings loss and suffering and should be avoided at all costs. This logic of peace has created a world view of a similar nature which is observed by both liberal and conservative members of the society.
Theory of liberal institutionalism refers to the state of systems remaining anarchic. The state, groups, and individuals are brought together. States determine their own goals but they are not unitary actors. Winning coalitions is a theory that explains how a society is divided into different groups. These groups explain how leadership is determined and the form of leadership that a certain society adopts. The electorate in a democratic society vote for those people that they feel is qualified enough to lead them. In a dictatorial society or authoritarian regime, selectorate (those with vested interests) pick their leaders. Such leaders have only one aim, to remain in power rather than to serve and deliver. These leaders will, therefore, have to reward those who put them in power instead of working for national development. Leaders should balance their goes as they are a symbol of unity.