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Liberalism is one of the main schools of international relations theory. Its roots lie in the broader liberal thought originating in the Enlightenment. The central issues that it seeks to address are the problems of achieving lasting peace and cooperation in international relations, and the various methods that could contribute to their achievement.
Broad areas of study within liberal international relations theory include:
Institutional peace theory, which attempts to demonstrate how cooperation can be sustained in anarchy, how long-term interests can be pursued over short-term interests, and how actors may realize absolute gains instead of seeking relative gains;
Related, the effect of international organizations on international politics, both in their role as forums for states to pursue their interests, and in their role as actors in their own right;