The IUP Journal of International Relations
The Crisis and Durability of the Liberal International Order: A Theoretical Account

Article Details
Pub. Date : Oct, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of International Relations
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJIR21020
Author Name : Johnson Singh Chandam
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 18



The Liberal International Order (LIO) is facing enormous challenges in the wake of growing populism in western democracies, rise of non-western powers, institutional hurdles, relative decline of the US hegemony, and numerous other inherent problems. This scenario throws an intellectual debate on the viability of liberal order. Amidst the debate, this paper tries to claim the perpetual endurance of the order. Drawing on structural liberalism, this commentary justifies the arguments on liberal order's durability-solidity of the foundations of liberal order, viability of rising powers' accommodation, universal appeal for liberal values, legitimacy of liberal order, and the relative primacy of the US' position. The paper assumes that the crisis of the order is inevitable but manageable. In order to rectify the flaws and meet the growing challenges, certain realities and policy directives need to be accepted, particularly on the part of the US. These are in respect of accepting and accommodating rising powers, avoiding flawed US hegemonic role such as democracy promotion, reforming existing institutions, ensuring regulated economy, checking uncontrolled surrender of sovereignty to institutions, and keeping provisions of social protection. Nevertheless, the underlying structure, foundations, principles and values of LIO remain resilient.


Under the leadership of the US, a new world order was built after the end of the Second World War. The order, the so-called Liberal International Order (LIO), was chiefly of American creation and founded on the structure and principles of liberal democratic states, open market economy, international institutions, and hegemonic leadership of the US. During the Cold War, the order was a bounded order with no global scope for participation of member states as well as competing with the Soviet-led order.1 That is, it was merely an order of the US, Western European countries, and some Asian countries like Japan. However. the end of the Cold War widened its horizon, expanding its scope to the rest of the world. Since its existence, the liberal order has been the guiding framework of world governance.


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