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Explaining Liberal Aggression: The International Community and Threat Perception

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image of International Community Law Review

In this article I intend to uncover the ideological factors that sustain the international community’s campaign for liberal development. I argue that this is because the international community perceives non-liberal states to be a threat to their liberal peace. I submit that the international community perceives non-liberal states to be a threat because non-liberal governments are considered to be in a state of aggression with their own people. This is based upon the belief by the international community that liberal democracy represents a universally desired system of governance. To this end, the population agitate against the non-liberal regime, campaigning for liberal reform, seeking to realise their liberal desires, which thus creates a state of aggression between the ruler and the ruled. Considering that liberal states regard domestic conduct to be the primary indicator of likely international conduct, the international community perceives non-liberal states to be likely aggressive international actors. Thus, for the international community the only way that they can avert the threat posed by non-liberal states is by subjecting them to liberal reform. In the final section of this article I will reveal how the international community determines which non-liberal states should be prioritised for liberal reformation.

Affiliations: 1: University of Sheffield UK


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