The relatively modest postwar liberal multilateralism shifted to the more ambitious post-1989 ‘postnational liberalism’, the pursuit of a liberal social purpose with authority beyond the nation state. The ‘embedded liberalism’ of the earlier era became a less social democratic neoliberalism accompanied by a more assertive emphasis on human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the free movement of people. 


The liberal international order became radicalised in at least five ways: the Hegelian, associated with the discourse of the ‘end of history’; the Kantian, with the extreme emphasis on human rights; the Hobbesian, with numerous ill-judged military interventions intended, among other things, to advance democracy in the world; the Hayekian, which represented the triumph of neo-liberal thinking and the disembedding of market from social relations; and the Marcusean cultural victory of…

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