Key Liberal Thinkers
Robert Keohane, After Hegemony (2005)
Keohane has been characterized as a key figure in the development of a discipline of International Political Economy in the United States. Along with Joseph Nye, Keohane coined the concept of complex interdependence to capture the ways in which power had been fragmented and diffused in economic affairs.
Keohane was one of the proponents of the idea of complex interdependence, which argues that states and their individual fortunes are inextricably linked. He challenges the idea that realists will always reject international cooperation because of their preference for protecting their national interest, arguing that it is more rational and indeed increasingly in states’ national interests to find more ways of cooperating with each other. Keohane agrees that states are inherently egoistical. But international law and institutions that try to persuade and enable states to reach shared solutions, rather than enforce decisions on states, can still be successful. Robert Keohane coined the term Hegemonic stability theory in a 1980 article for the notion that the international system is more likely to remain stable when a single nation-state is the dominant world power, or hegemon. Keohane's 1984 book After Hegemony used insights from the new institutional economics to argue that the international system could remain stable in the absence of a hegemon, thus rebutting hegemonic stability theory
Kenichi Ohmae, The End of the Nation State (1995)
Globalisation has brought about a deep and revolutionary set of economic, cultural, technological and political shifts that have dramatic implications for state sovereignty. Ohmae argues that states are losing their economic power and are no longer the main participants in the global economy.According to Ohmae (1994) political boarders are becoming less and less important, as countries increasingly form a giant, interlinked economy – this is especially true of the most developing countries, such as America, Europe and Japan, and these being joined by rapidly developing countries such as Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Ohmae argues that in the Interlinked Economy, corporations and consumers are more closely connected across boarders than ever, and politicians, bureaucrats and the military are declining in importance.
Global Citizens and Regional Links
Governments and Consumers
Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (1992)
Fukuyama argues that, with the end of the Cold War and the defeat of the Communist Soviet Union, liberal democracy would become the undisputed form of human government, which he calls the ‘endpoint of mankind’s ideological development’.When first published in 1989, it triggered a vigorous debate about the future of the post-Cold War world order. Elaborating his thesis in The End of History and the Last Man in 1992, Fukuyama suggested that liberal democracy was the teleological endpoint of man’s political organisation. Though some democracies might struggle and some authoritarian regimes prosper, these were mere roadblocks in the evolutionary path of mankind – a path that would inevitably lead to free markets, universal suffrage, and liberal social values.