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Title: J.A. Hobson's approach to international relations : an exposition and critique
Author: Long, David
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1991
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This thesis argues that Hobson's approach to international relations coheres around his use of the biological analogy of society to an organism. An aspect of this 'organic analogy' - the theory of surplus value - is central to Hobson's modification of liberal thinking on international relations and his reformulated 'new liberal internationalism'. The first part outlines a theoretical framework for Hobson's discussion of international relations. His theory of surplus value posits cooperation as a factor in the production of value understood as human welfare. The organic analogy links this theory of surplus value to Hobson's holistic 'sociology'. Hobson's new liberal internationalism is an extension of his organic theory of surplus value. This approach is contrasted to the domestic analogy and economism as bases of liberal internationalist thought. The second part examines Hobson's 'sociology' of international relations. Hobson's theory of imperialism is placed in the context of his theory of surplus value. Imperialism is sectionalism in the international system. For Hobson, internationalism advances from the isolation of the pre-industrial era, through the noninterventionism of Cobden, to positive internationalism, including some international economic management. Hobson's proposals for international government rely on the domestic analogy. A broader vision of world society, however, emerges from the extension of the organic analogy to international relations. The third part locates Hobson in international relations scholarship. Hobson's work is not straightforwardly idealist. His new liberal internationalism modifies liberal thought towards institutional solutions to international problems. It is concluded that some aspects of his analysis remain of interest to the contemporary international relations theorist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available