The Future of Liberal Internationalism 19
Elizabeth Borgwardt, who traces the intellectual breakthrough back to 1941:
The Atlantic Charter called for self-determination of peoples, freer trade, and several New Deal–style social welfare provisions. It also mentioned establishing “a wider and permanent system of general security,” arms control, and freedom of the seas. But this Anglo- American declaration was soon best known for a resonant phase about establishing a particular kind of postwar order—a peace “which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want.” To link anti- fascist politics and economic well-being was unusual in an interna- tional instrument. But to speak explicitly of individuals rather than state interests—to use the phrase “all the men in all the lands” in place of a more traditional reference to the prerogatives of nations— was positively revolutionary. The phrase hinted that an ordinary citizen might possibly have some kind of direct relationship with international law, unmediated by the layering of a sovereign state. Though oblique, this hint that ideas about dignity of the individual were an appropriate topic of international affairs was soon to catalyze groups around the world committed to ghting colonialism and rac- ism as well as nazism. It marked a dening, inaugural moment for what we now know as the modern doctrine of human rights.30
This postwar evolution in underlying norms of state sovereignty be- came particularly clear after the Cold War—sovereignty was not absolute and the international community had a moral and legal claim on the pro- tection of individuals within states. Indeed, in the 1990s, this “contin- gent” character of sovereignty was pushed further. The international com- munity was seen as having a right—even a moral obligation—to intervene in troubled states to prevent genocide and mass killing. NATO interven- tion in the Balkans and the war against Serbia were dening actions of this sort.
Overall, as Wilsonianism evolved into postwar liberal internationalism, two logics of liberal order emerged. One logic concerned the organization of liberal order within the West. Pacts of restraint and commitment bound the Western democracies together, providing a framework for integrating