Interviews | May 17, 2021
Read more about `Liberal Internationalism for Hard Times: An Interview with G. John Ikenberry`
"There is a categorization of IR theories that came out of the post-World-War-Two rise of the professional IR field that said that the great debate was between realism (looking at power and capabilities of states) and idealism, which is how liberalism was understood…My book is an emphatic rejection of that framing: liberal internationalism is about managing material reality, modernity, manifest as economics, security and environmental interdependence. In fact, realism is more of a utopian project based on an exaggerated focus on anarchy and power politics. And that misses the material reality that has mattered most in the last two-hundred years, which is this industrial modernizing world of interdependence that has put liberal democracies in a position where they can both take advantage of it and protect themselves from its most dangerous implications." We spoke with G. John Ikenberry in December 2020, a time of disorientation and anxiety in the United States and much of the world. Kansas-born and of German-heritage, Ikenberry is calling for the re-evaluation and the renewal of the liberal tradition one hundred years after the figure of Woodrow Wilson, whose words (“a world safe for democracy”) our Princeton professor still finds inspirational for the big challenges ahead.