liberal world order

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State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century by Francis Fukuyama

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Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, centre right, corporate governance, demand response, Doha Development Round, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, Hernando de Soto, information asymmetry, liberal world order, Live Aid, Nick Leeson, Pareto efficiency, Potemkin village, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

The Contested Role of the State It is safe to say that politics in the twentieth century were heavily shaped by controversies over the appropriate size and strength of the state. The century began with a liberal world order presided over by the world’s leading liberal state, Great Britain. The scope of state activity was not terribly broad in Britain or any of the other leading European powers, outside of the military realm, and in the United States, it was even narrower. There were no income taxes, poverty programs, or food safety regulations. As the century proceeded through war, revolution, depression, and war again, that liberal world order crumbled, and the minimalist liberal state was replaced throughout much of the world by a much more highly centralized and active one. One stream of development lead to what Friedrich and Brzezinski (1965) labeled the “totalitarian” state, which tried to abolish the whole of civil society and subordinate the remaining atomized individuals to its own political ends.


pages: 334 words: 98,950

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

According to this history, globalization has progressed over the last three centuries in the following way:6 Britain adopted free-market and free-trade policies in the 18th century, well ahead of other countries. By the middle of the 19th century, the superiority of these policies became so obvious, thanks to Britain’s spectacular economic success, that other countries started liberalizing their trade and deregulating their domestic economies. This liberal world order, perfected around 1870 under British hegemony, was based on: laissez-faire industrial policies at home; low barriers to the international flows of goods, capital and labour; and macroeconomic stability, both nationally and internationally, guaranteed by the principles of sound money (low inflation) and balanced budgets. A period of unprecedented prosperity followed. Unfortunately, things started to go wrong after the First World War.

Countries like Germany and Japan abandoned liberal policies and erected high trade barriers and created cartels, which were intimately associated with their fascism and external aggression. The world free trade system finally ended in 1932, when Britain, hitherto the champion of free trade, succumbed to temptation and itself re-introduced tariffs. The resulting contraction and instability in the world economy, and then, finally, the Second World War, destroyed the last remnants of the first liberal world order. After the Second World War, the world economy was re-organized on a more liberal line, this time under American hegemony. In particular, some significant progress was made in trade liberalization among the rich countries through the early GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) talks. But protectionism and state intervention still persisted in most developing countries and, needless to say, in the communist countries.


pages: 347 words: 99,317

Bad Samaritans: The Guilty Secrets of Rich Nations and the Threat to Global Prosperity by Ha-Joon Chang

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

According to this history, globalization has progressed over the last three centuries in the following way.6 Britain adopted free-market and free-trade policies in the 18th century, well ahead of other countries. By the middle of the 19th century, the superiority of these policies became so obvious, thanks to Britain’s spectacular economic success, that other countries started liberalizing their trade and deregulating their domestic economies. This liberal world order, perfected around 1870 under British hegemony, was based on: laissez-faire industrial policies at home; low barriers to the international flows of goods, capital and labour; and macroeconomic stability, both nationally and internationally, guaranteed by the principles of sound money (low inflation) and balanced budgets. A period of unprecedented prosperity followed. Unfortunately, things started to go wrong after the First World War.

Countries like Germany and Japan abandoned liberal policies and erected high trade barriers and created cartels, which were intimately associated with their fascism and external aggression. The world free trade system finally ended in 1932, when Britain, hitherto the champion of free trade, succumbed to temptation and itself re-introduced tariffs. The resulting contraction and instability in the world economy, and then, finally, the Second World War, destroyed the last remnants of the first liberal world order. After the Second World War, the world economy was re-organized on a more liberal line, this time under American hegemony. In particular, some significant progress was made in trade liberalization among the rich countries through the early GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) talks. But protectionism and state intervention still persisted in most developing countries and, needless to say, in the communist countries.


pages: 708 words: 176,708

The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire by Wikileaks

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affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, energy security, energy transition, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, F. W. de Klerk, facts on the ground, failed state, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, high net worth, invisible hand, Julian Assange, liberal world order, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Nonetheless, if this behavior seems staggeringly at odds with the spaniel-eyed, apple-pie rhetoric of the Obama administration, it is clear that there is more to this posture than rhetoric. At the heart of postwar US policy-making is the doctrine of liberal internationalism. Pioneered by Woodrow Wilson, and embellished by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, this doctrine is generally understood as the justification of military and other interventions by the US if they help produce a liberal world order: a global system consisting of liberal-democratic nation-states, connected by more or less free markets and ruled by international law. In this world-view, the goal of achieving a liberal world system trumps the commitment to state sovereignty. The US sees itself as the natural vanguard of such a global order, as well as the chief bearer of any right to suppress state sovereignty in the pursuit of liberal goals.

Third, by excluding pain or suffering arising from “lawful sanctions,” the convention opens up significant leeway for states to legitimize forms of torture as legal penalties. The vagueness of this definition of torture is not simply a matter of unfortunate phrasing in the convention, but derives from two facts external to the text. The first is that “torture” is inherently a prescriptive, normative term and, like any term in political language, is contested. The second is to do with the legal system itself. The US empire is based on a liberal world order under law. But these norms pull in opposing directions. The right to be free from torture comes into conflict here with the right of states to punish. This partially explains why, even though the American empire has always tortured, it has never had a coherent position on torture—those who torture have always had to confront those for whom torture is anathema by America’s own standards. Many polls find that most Americans view torture as an acceptable way of treating “those people,” believing that it generates actionable intelligence—a fact that the historian Greg Grandin relates to the long tradition of demonology that begins with the origins of the United States as a settler-colonial state based on slavery, always threatened by racial “others.”76 But even in the highly charged atmosphere of the “war on terror,” many CIA staff found the infliction of torture intolerable.

Indeed, one of the reasons why so much information has been disclosed is a struggle between factions of the US state, in which many argued that torture was counterproductive. But there has been no final resolution of this struggle, and the United States has still not ceased to torture: it seems likely that, as long as America is an empire, it will torture again.118 But that bind, between the normative claims attached to America’s stewardship of a liberal world order and the harsh realities of military domination, is one that has repeatedly caught its leaders out. Even as they authorize torture, they must seek to define it out of existence. This eBook is licensed to Edward Betts, edward@4angle.com on 04/01/2016 3. War and Terrorism Armies march, but they must have a destination. Empires go to war, but they must have a purpose. It is natural that when we think of empire, we think blood.

Global Governance and Financial Crises by Meghnad Desai, Yahia Said

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Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, central bank independence, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency peg, deglobalization, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, frictionless, frictionless market, German hyperinflation, information asymmetry, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Nick Leeson, oil shock, open economy, price mechanism, price stability, Real Time Gross Settlement, rent-seeking, short selling, special drawing rights, structural adjustment programs, Tobin tax, transaction costs, Washington Consensus

The supporters of new forms of regulation believe, however, that the neo-liberal view of regulation and state action, which has been dominant in the last three decades, is far too pessimistic about the possibilities of building on co-operation between states to create transnational regimes which can effectively regulate financial markets. They argue that unless steps are taken to control the effects of deregulated financial markets on employment and investment in those countries most susceptible to financial crisis, the future of a liberal world order will be put at risk, because pressure for protectionist and isolationist economic policies will revive, with grave consequences for world prosperity and world peace (Smith 2000). Without minimising the difficulties of securing the required co-operation from states to establish effective regulatory agencies, some economists believe that the past performance of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) gives some grounds for optimism that its remit could be extended (Eatwell 1999).


pages: 414 words: 121,243

What's Left?: How Liberals Lost Their Way by Nick Cohen

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, centre right, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, haute couture, kremlinology, liberal world order, light touch regulation, mass immigration, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, profit motive, Ralph Nader, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sensible shoes, the scientific method, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Yom Kippur War

You no more have to think of what they have suffered than an angry customer has to think of the hard life of a shop girl. You no more have to suggest how to improve their lives, than an angry customer has to suggest ways to repair faulty goods. We no longer believe in internationalism and fraternity. Sticking by your comrades is as absurd a notion as staying loyal to Microsoft when Apple has a better product. Join us, and revel in the righteousness of your solipsistic anger. Nothing the neo-liberal world order produced suited the consumer society as well as the thinkers who purported to oppose it. It took one more war and one more professor for protest’s new brand to go global. CHAPTER FIVE Tories Against the War Douglas, Douglas, you would make Neville Chamberlain look like a warmonger. Margaret Thatcher, 1993 BY THE WINTER OF 1991, the Baath’s slaughters of the Kurds and the Shia Arabs had ended – not least because there was hardly anyone left standing who could fight back.