Liberal international relations theory holds that societies are capable of overcoming conflict through cooperative behavior and the construction of institutions which mitigate the anarchic nature of geopolitics. Adherents of this school, which is also called "liberal internationalism" or "liberal institutionalism," often attribute conflict to selfish national interests and weak national institutions which can be overcome by the work of NGOs and non-state actors, international and transnational organizations, and vectors for interstate interdependence (such as trade and collective security agreements).
Chart comparing and contrasting the two ideologies.
Paper by Andrew Moravcsik attempts to reformulate liberal international relations (IR) theory in a nonideological and nonutopian form appropriate to empirical social science. PDF file.
Bibliography of sources on liberal and neoliberal international relations theory.
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