Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 May 2009
A rediscovery of the long-forgotten republican version of liberal political theory has arresting implications for the theory and practice of international relations. Republican liberalism has a theory of security that is superior to realism, because it addresses not only threats of war from other states but also the threat of despotism at home. In this view, a Hobson's choice between anarchy and hierarchy is not necessary because an intermediary structure, here dubbed “negarchy,” is also available. The American Union from 1787 until 1861 is a historical example. This Philadelphian system was not a real state since, for example, the union did not enjoy a monopoly of legitimate violence. Yet neither was it a state system, since the American states lacked sufficient autonomy. While it shared some features with the Westphalian system such as balance of power, it differed fundamentally. Its origins owed something to particular conditions of time and place, and the American Civil War ended this system. Yet close analysis indicates that it may have surprising relevance for the future of contemporary issues such as the European Union and nuclear governance.
1. The term “realism” is not capitalized here, although I agree with Keohane that a distinction is necessary between the school of thought termed realism by international relations scholars and the term as generally used: “Capitalization is used to indicate that Realism is a specific school, and that it would be possible to be a realist—-in the sense of examining reality as it really is-without subscribing to Realist assumptions.” See Keohane, Robert O., International Institutions and State Power (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1989), p. 68 n. 17Google Scholar.
2. This composite picture glosses over many secondary differences. Key texts include: Waltz, Kenneth, Theory of International Politics (Lexington, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1979)Google Scholar; and Jervis, Robert, “Security Regimes,” in Krasner, Stephen, ed., International Regimes (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1983), pp. 173–94Google Scholar.
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4. This argument is now backed by extensive empirical evidence. See Doyle, Michael W., “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs,” part 1, Philosophy and Public Affairs 12 (Summer 1983), pp. 205–35Google Scholar, and part 2, Philosophy and Public Affairs 12 (Fall 1983), pp. 323–353Google Scholar; and Russett, Bruce, Grasping the Democratic Peace (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993)Google Scholar.
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35. Hobbes makes this error when he argues, “There cannot be a mixed state.” See Hobbes, Thomas, De Cive, ed. Gert, Bernard (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1972), p. 191Google Scholar.
36. Leading theorists of the real-state, most notably Jean Bodin and Hobbes, insist that sovereignty should reside within the state apparatus or in the head of state. They view the location of sovereignty in a body made up of many individuals rather than one or a few as inimical to maintaining practical political order. The division of sovereignty is a conceptual impossibility; its location in the people is possible in principle but is undesirable in practice. See Bodin, Jean, The Six Books of the Commonwealth, trans. Tooley, M.J. (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1967)Google Scholar.
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