Liberal Internationalism and the Decline of the State: The Thought of Richard Cobden, David Mitrany, and Kenichi Ohmae (The Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought)
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This book provides a critical analysis of the liberal ideas of the decline of the state through a historical comparison. It takes special note of the implications of state failure to control economic growth and market exigencies for international relations. The book is divided into three sections. The first analyzes Cobden, Mitrany, and Ohmae's empirical claims, the second looks at their normative judgements and the third looks at their predictive assertions. It concludes that the three primarily propose normative arguments for less state involvement in economic and international relations but conceal them in empirical and predictive assertions. The liberal idea of the decline of the state is more of an ideological statement in response to political, social, and economic trends than an objective observation of an empirically verifiable fact.
contact with the American Professor James Shotwell, who asked him to become the Assistant European Editor of the Carnegie Endowment’s “Economic and Social History of the First World War.” This job lasted until 1929, by which time Mitrany went to the United States of America, where he felt he had a unique chance to experience, first hand, the development of a functional approach to government in Roosevelt’s New Deal and, in particular, the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
influenced by his surroundings, not least by the “pragmatism of English politics.”38 In addition, his close association with Woolf, who was one of the first to include functional assumptions in the study of politics and society, most likely also shaped Mitrany’s more formal expression of a functional approach.39 Sensitive to the power of governments to indoctrinate public opinion, Mitrany loathed inflexible ideologies and dogmas. However, even while criticizing others, such as Harold Laski, for
argues, most writers (excluding Bacon) have not dared to advocate the restriction of the growth of wealth through innovation and international trade, as it would involve “such a dereliction of justice, and utter absence of conscientiousness” as to “reduce us even below the level of brute animals,” “forbid all increase in knowledge,” and “interdict the growth of morality and freedom.”37 Even if upholding the balance of power does not involve preventing improvement from trade and commerce, the
regains some of his confidence in democracy already by 1849. I am anxious to see this extension of the suffrage accelerated in every possible way: . . . I do it, because I believe the extension of the franchise gives us a better guarantee not only for the safety of our institutions, but for the just administration of our public affairs; and I have latterly felt another motive for wishing for an extension of the franchise, in what I have seen going on upon the Continent within the last eighteen
relationship between the state and globalization is inherently inimical. Governments may, as “midwives” or “catalysts,” use economic globalization (or, which is more often the case, internationalization) to their advantage when initiating and controlling domestic economic innovation.4 In contrast to her state-denying opponents, but similar to, for example, Richard Rosecrance, Weiss advocates a cooperative relationship between governments and business interests in combination with regional and