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Idealizmus ako integrálna súčasť liberálnej teórie medzinárodných vzťahov


Lucia Husenicová


Politické vedy, Volume 20, Number 3/2017, pages 70-94

Odporúčaná forma citácie článku / Recommended form for quotation of the article:

HUSENICOVÁ, L. 2017.Idealizmus ako integrálna súčasť liberálnej teórie medzinárodných vzťahov. In Politické vedy. [online]. Roč. 20, č. 3, 2017. ISSN 1335–2741, s. 70-94. Dostupné na internete: <>.



The liberal theory of international relations is one of the three paradigms that are considered to dominate the science on international relations. However, the critique of liberalism and discussions on its nature as an IRT are constantly reappearing in academic discourse. When criticized from a realist perspective, liberalism is dubbed to lack continuity and core features, to be considered as a full-fledged theory. Although this critique is based on a relatively narrow perception of the evolution of liberalism in international relations that started no late then 1950s.The dominate discourse in international relations almost completely ignores the important and formative face of the science on IR that could be dated to the beginning of 20thCentury and it is called idealism.. The main aim of this article is therefore to look at this specific period, re-read books and studies of three selected authors published mainly in Great Britain and introduce arguments explaining the important position of idealism in liberal paradigm proving that concepts analysed by late 20thCentury liberal scholars could be found and were analysed already before the WWI. Depending on the scope and aim, the article uses mainly critical analysis of existing rather biased evaluation of idealist period. In drawing the connections and conclusions deductive as well as inductive reasoning are applied. If the international relations paradigm is based on well elaborated concepts and features used to explain and understand processesthat are happening, then we can conclude that idealism represents an important feature of liberal paradigm. Concepts dominating the current research in liberalism such as interdependency, democratic peace, cooperation in multiple areas, institutionalization of international relations, etc. they all have appeared and were elaborated into a certain extend in the books and studies published well before, throughout, and after the WWI. Therefore the idealist period could be seen as a stepping stone of liberal international relations theory, which has now over a hundred years long continuity.

Key words: idealism, liberalism, paradigm, theory, world order, cooperation, peace, war, interdependence


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