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By Jill Steans, Lloyd Pettiford, Thomas Diez and Imad El-Anis

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Extra info for An Introduction to International Relations Theory Perspectives and Themes Third edition

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Economic liberalism is rooted in an intellectual tradition stretching back to the works of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. (At this point, you might like to refer back to our brief discussion of Ricardo’s work in the box in the introductory chapter). The key assumptions of nineteenth-century classical liberalism were that it is, in the long run, beneficial to all if markets are allowed to operate freely without state intervention and if countries are able to trade openly and freely with each other.

Doyle also excluded certain types of wars like civil wars. In terms of what statistics can tell us democratic peace theory can also be criticised. Even if we establish the existence of a liberal zone of peace, it may be that: a) the number of liberal states is quite small; and b) at the same time many states that are not democracies are also at peace with one another. So what, ultimately, can we read from the statistics? Today, variants of democratic peace theory exist which shift the emphasis towards understanding whether liberal democracy is ‘war inhibiting’.

Though it is not used by all writers in the field, this book employs a reasonably accepted system for talking about IR. Where we use the phrase ‘International Relations’, we are referring to an academic discipline – theory/study (we similarly capitalise other disciplines). Where we use ‘international relations’ (or ‘International relations’ at a sentence’s start) we mean the practice of world politics. While ‘IR’ can be used as an abbreviation for either, we will use this where we need to refer to both International Relations and international relations simultaneously.

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