Inverted revisionism and the subversion of the liberal international order
in Cosmopolitan dystopia
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This chapter considers various accounts offered for the challenges confronting liberal international order today, and finds them wanting. It is argued that the most militarily aggressive and revisionist states over the thirty years since the end of the Cold War have been the status quo states of the West, not ‘emerging powers’ such as Russia or China. It is Western states that have repeatedly used force to reshape the international order as well as adapting international organisation to suit their new humanitarian outlook. This cuts against the expectations of International Relations theory regarding the origin of revisionist challenges to international order, and requires explanation. As this new form of liberal revisionism arises from the status quo states rather than outside them, this type of behaviour is called ‘inverted revisionism’.

Cosmopolitan dystopia

International intervention and the failure of the West

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