Getting Restraint Right: Liberal Internationalism and American Foreign Policy

Daniel Deudney, G. John Ikenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Liberalism and its republican precursors provide the largest and best-developed body of restraint theory and practice. Realist, libertarian and other criticisms of liberalism and liberal internationalism fall short on both historical and theoretical grounds. Liberal internationalism has had a profoundly progressive–even revolutionary–impact on the modern world order, advancing the grand transition from a world of empire to a world of nation-states, building an infrastructure of rules and institutions to foster and protect liberal democracy, and generating international coalitions and projects for tackling the gravest threats to world order and humanity. Unlike the schools of thought that make up the Quincy coalition, liberal internationalism places at the centre of its vision the cooperative organisation of international order–led by the United States and other liberal democracies, allies and partners–to defend shared liberal values and manage global problems of interdependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-100
Number of pages38
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Iraq War
  • Liberalism
  • Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Quincy coalition
  • imperialism
  • liberal internationalism
  • libertarianism
  • realism
  • restraint


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