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Towards a New Liberal Internationalism

This is a comprehensive analysis of J. A. Hobson's writings on international relations. Hobson is most famous for developing the neo-Marxist theory of imperialism, but in this book David Long argues that Hobson was also a key figure in the history of liberalism. He shifted liberal international theory away from its laissez-faire origins towards a focus on international organization, making him a forerunner of the functional approach in international relations. The book outlines the philosophical outlook and political economy which informed Hobson's theory, and challenges the narrow interpretation of imperialism which has dominated international relations. Setting out the sources of and contradictions within Hobson's proposals for international government, this book is a contribution not only to the study of international relations, but also to the history of political thought and British liberalism.
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Rationality, welfare and the organic analogy; 3. Co-operation, the surplus and the theory of underconsumption; 4. An evolutionary framework for international relations; 5. The domestic determinants of an imperialistic foreign policy; 6. The international relations of imperialism; 7. Economic internationalism, free trade and international government; 8. International government and the maintenance of peace; 9. J. A. Hobson and liberal internationalism.

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