Chip Taylor Communications

Subject: History

Europe and America in the Modern Age Series

Stanford University Professors James Sheehan and David Kennedy present in-depth lectures on the concept of liberalism as a theoretical framework for examining the interrelationships between the histories of Europe and America. Produced by the Stanford University Channel. Programs available on 20 individual Click for more

11. The Sources of International Politics

11. The Sources of International Politics

In the early to mid 20th century, liberal notions about the healthy effects of nationalism were severely tested in the international arena. World Wars I and II were examples of nationalism gone rampant, with severe social and geopolitical consequences for certain over-zealous nation states. In this program Professor James Sheehan uses the competing perspectives of Realism and Liberalism to provide a theoretical framework for understanding this dramatic change in international relations. Sheehan explains that Realists believe that war is a natural process and that international conflict is inevitable, while Liberals hope for world harmony based on their belief that nations will avoid war at all costs because it is economically suicidal. Sheehan shows how both perspectives were pertinent to 20th century Western Europe, where conflict - "senseless slaughter and destruction" - gave way to liberal order and to a new sense of regionalism characterized by economic cooperation, cultural connection, and political coexistence. Sheehan concludes this program by asking whether this new harmony is itself illusionary, whether this "liberal island of Western Europe can sustain itself," particularly as it attempts to deal with external pressures such as immigration and the geopolitical disruptions in neighboring regions. 99/10DE SCA 50 min.

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