IO Special Symposium on International Diffusion of Liberalism
Simmons, Beth, Frank Dobbin, Geoffrey Garrett, and Editors. "Symposium on Global Diffusion of Public Policies". Special issue of International Organization 60 (Fall) 2006.
36 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2013
Date Written: 2006
The worldwide spread of economic and political liberalism was the defining feature of the late twentieth century. Free-market-oriented economic reforms -- macroeconomic stabilization, liberalization of foreign economic policies, privatization, and deregulation -- took root in many parts of the world. At more or less the same time, a "third wave" of democratization and liberal constitutionalism washed over much of the globe. Most economists believe the gains to developing countries from the liberalization of economic policies to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. But they also acknowledge the instability and human insecurity sometimes left in liberalization’s wake. Political scientists argue that the rise of democracy has contributed to the betterment of both human rights and international security. While the precise effects of these twin waves of liberalization are still debated, it is hard to deny that they have had a tremendous impact on the contemporary world. But we are interested in a prior question: why has much of the world come to accept markets and democracy?
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation