Classic Liberalism

976 Words 4 Pages
Classic liberalism, which originates from the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, assumes that the international system is anarchic but also believes that peace is possible for peace through cooperation. Liberals believe that the international law "is a way of structuring "patterns of individual and group interaction in transnational society, patterns which, in turn, create interests that make up and constrain state action," (Burly, 1993-230). Liberals also stress the importance of liberal values, such as democracy, within the international system. In light of the current level of civilian abuse in conflict, the liberal theory could argue that the level of civilian abuse stems from the ineffective structuring capability of the law. However, it could …show more content…
The first explanation indicates that the institutions themselves, which are seen as legitimate enforcers, may have failed at promoting the civilian immunity principle in adequate manner despite the readiness and willingness of states to cooperate and abide by the law. There is another flip side of that argument which argues that the international system has been unreceptive to the cooperation and enforcement tactics the institutions have showed. Either way, the neoliberal institutionalists believe that the law is ineffective because, for one reason or another, institutions were unable to establish enough cooperation on the issue of human rights during conflict. Once again, the major weakness of the law is the lack of …show more content…
In recent years, the international law has seen its importance growing precisely because of the work exerted by international institutions, such as the UN, and the ICC. These institutions should be more responsible if they want to see broader application of the international law, particularly during armed conflict. However, the shortcomings and inequalities of the law are still not tackled. The specific provisions causing the law to fail are ignored by the institutionalist theory. The fact that specific groups, such as children, women and disappeared persons are left out from the law is not contained in the neoliberal institutionalist assertion. Neoliberal institutionalism cannot truly explain or highlight the reasons behind the ineffectiveness of the international law of armed conflict.
Neoliberal theorists, such as Arthur Stein, believe that international organizations organize state behavior and deliver directions for proper reactions to curtail these costs (Stein, 1983 - 12). The material costs which states may sustain as a result of non-compliance with the laws of war, however, remain unclear. While the events at Abu Ghraib did a major blow to international credibility, some countries could not quantify those costs and weigh them in advance against the benefits of rising intelligence or intimidation

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