chapter  10
Liberal Theory and Linear History
Pages 25

International liberalism is both a theory of international relations and a political ideology. But since proponents of the theory are most often also believers in the ideology, it is sometimes difficult to separate articles of fact from professions of faith. As a result, liberal theory in international relations usually combines scientific findings and fond hopes, and liberal theorists, suspended between objectivity and subjectivity, alternate between reporting and exhorting. Liberals are predispositionally optimistic. They have “an ameliorative view of progress in human affairs,” and they believe that a freer, more ordered, and less violent world is not only desirable but also possible.1