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SCRIPTS Working Paper No. 36 by Arie M. Kacowicz

Before and After the Liberal International Order. Overlapping and Diverging Trajectories of the International Society and the Liberal Order

News from Mar 05, 2024

In this paper, Arie M. Kacowicz emphasises the need to disaggregate the rise and current decline of the Liberal International Order (LIO) from the emergence, evolution, and changing dynamics of international society (IS). The differentiation between the IS and the LIO has caused confusion yet holds significant normative and policy implications regarding the current and future international order. Kacowicz starts with a conceptual distinction between the IS and the LIO, emphasising their commonalities and differences, followed by a brief historical review of their emergence and evolution over the last two centuries. A discussion of the contemporary challenges posed to both the IS and the LIO addresses both challenges that overlap and are distinctive in each domain. Finally, Kacowicz speculates about the practical and policy implications of drawing this distinction by referring to the role of China, the role of the Global South, and the future of the international order.

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