How can things so old be so new? : A critical analysis of the current debate on the crisis of the liberal international order

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Försvarshögskolan

Sammanfattning: How can things so old be so new? The revival of debates on the fate of the liberal international order has reproduced discussions about what arguably are philosophical and theoretical tensions that have existed for a very long time. Taking a point of departure in Reinhart Koselleck’s Critique and Crisis: Enlightenment and the Pathogenesis of Modern Society, this thesis aims to contribute with an understanding of how the contemporary crisis can be understood in the context of deep historical tensions, and the implications for the current debate. To fulfil this aim, I ask the question of how Koselleck’s analysis of the structures emerging from modernity can cast light on the tension between modernity and the current crisis of the liberal international order. These structures are used, with an emphasis on the need for historical context and a critical stance towards the attempt to establish universal truths, to analyse selected material from oft cited and prominent scholars of the debate. By analysing their ideas in the light of these structures, I have found that some suggested solutions to these tensions reinforce what creates the tension from the start. Another finding is that the debate, in some ways, is constrained by dichotomies and underlying universal metaphysical principles, which potentially can limit the possibility for potential change. My conclusion is that a continued renewed interest in these historical tensions hopefully can be a pathway to move beyond some of the constraints the current debate revolves around.

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