The main point of the Moravcsik article is that liberal theory should be treated as its own paradigm, rather than as a subset of other paradigms or as an ideological concept (p. 515). Societal ideas, interests, and institutions influence state behavior by shaping state preferences, that is, the fundamental social purposes underlying the strategic calculations of governments. Liberals: configuration of state preferences matters most in world politics; Realists: configuration of capability matters most;
Institutionalists: information and institutions
The basic proposition of liberal IR is "that the relationship between states and the surrounding domestic and transnational society in which they are embedded critically shapes state behaviour by influencing the social purposes underlying state preferences;" Liberals have generally failed to construct liberalism in a social-scientifically rigorous manner. But Moravcsik seeks to rectify this by devising three core theoretical assumptions which define liberalism as a parsimonious and coherent theory and deriving there from the foundations for three schools of liberal thought. It is a bottom-up view of politics 1. the fundamental actors in international politics are individuals and private groups who seek to maximize their own welfare in a mostly rational, risk-averse way. They are rational, risk-averse, and promote differentiated interests (p. 516) 2. political institutions represent the domestic society and it is the preferences of the domestic citizenry that the state acts on in international relations (interest representation) (p. 518), 3. "the configuration of interdependent state preferences determines state behaviour." (520, 521) (interdependence of state preferences)
It is focused on a liberal paradigm rather than a realist paradigm. these assumptions are commonsensical and tautological (p. 521). this framework of liberalism creates an easy and clear connection between previously unrelated...
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