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After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy (Anglais) Broché – 7 novembre 2007

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Book by Christopher J Coyne

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Amazon.com: 11 commentaires
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The best explanation of how foreign policy works 17 janvier 2008
Par Dan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In "After War," Christopher J. Coyne offers the best explanation of any current writer about how foreign policy works -- and how it doesn't work. Professor Coyne argues that the logic of economics -- critically, that people respond to incentives -- does not cease to apply in the international context, as much as we might try to wish it away. The building of a liberal democratic international order is not a matter of forcing people to bend to a great power's will, but of helping mold incentives in a way that enables endogenous creation in totalitarian, illiberal, and failed states of the institutions and habits of a liberal democratic order.

This is no simple matter of theory or conjecture. Pulling together quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of sources, Coyne examines empirically the US's successes in nation-building over the last century and explains these miserable results in a logical and thoughtful fashion. Coyne also effectively demolishes the argument that post-World War II rebuilding of Japan and Germany is a blueprint for other conflicts.

Too many writers and commentators focus on the problem without identifying a solution; Coyne avoids this trap magnificently. The book concludes with a chapter that explains clearly even to non-economists the power of trade and non-interventionism to help build a freer, more prosperous world.

While a breakthrough work interdisciplinary in social science, "After War" is highly accessible even to non-specialists and laymen. Anyone interested in a serious, thoughtful exploration of what's wrong with America's current foreign policy -- and how to make it right -- should read this book.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An excellent and accessible look at US foreign policy 26 novembre 2007
Par Steven G. Horwitz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Chris Coyne's new book is very clearly written and very accessible to the non-specialist, not to mention that it offers an excellent political economy analysis of post-war reconstruction. Coyne uses tools from across economics and political science to argue why attempts at such reconstruction are normally likely to fail. He makes particularly good use of ideas from Austrian economics (Hayekian knowledge problems and the Misesian dynamic of interventionism), public choice theory, game theory, and the new institutional economics.

His last chapter provides an alternative vision of US foreign policy, where free trade in goods, services, and ideas (unilaterally if necessary) is the path to economic growth and democratization, rather than military intervention, occupation, and/or reconstruction. As Coyne puts it, we need to model our commitment to liberal goals by using liberal means to get there. If we really do value societies of free trade and peace, how credible is that commitment if we continually try to enforce it at the point of a gun? Such attempts are both empirically bound to fail and ethically problematic.

Coyne's last chapter points to a new vision of US foreign policy and should stimulate further work by other scholars in the classical liberal tradition.

A highly readable look at an urgent topic of current concern.
16 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Brilliant--A Must Read 26 novembre 2007
Par Peter T. Leeson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In my opinion, After War is simply the best book on democratic nation building out there. Coyne's economic approach clarifies the essential elements behind a complex and often confusing area of foreign policy. His penetrating analysis provides a much-needed, coherent framework for understanding US military intervention and its consequences.

With rare clarity, After War reveals why American attempts to export democracy have occasionally worked but more often have failed. A must read for anyone who wants to think seriously about US foreign policy in the Middle East or anywhere else. This book is a 10.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Crucible of Constraints 30 mars 2008
Par Brian Pitt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
If one is seeking an answer to the nagging question of why the U.S. led missions to export democracy were successful in West Germany and Japan, yet were anything but, in Somalia, Haiti, Iraq, and Afganistan one needs to read After War.

Chris Coyne marshals historical evidence in order evaluate U.S. led efforts to export liberal democracy through occupation and reconstruction. Coyne's benchmark is based on the "Polity IV Index" that ranks the political institutions of a country on (1) checks to executive power, (2) institutionalized procedures for citizen feedback of government activity, and (3) political participation. A +4 is needed for Coyne to concede that the reconstruction effort was successful. Iraq, Somalia, Afganistan, nor Haiti reach this benchmark. In order to recognize that Coyne gives reconstruction efforts "the benefit of the doubt," one needs to bring to memory that Bush claimed, in 2003, that Iran was a member of the "Axis of Evil." And Iran's "Polity IV Index" score is +4.

However, Coyne does not provide an index score in order to argue that the reconstruction efforts in Somalia and Haiti have not been successful. He gives an historical narrative of these efforts. These narratives bolster the understanding of the reader by having her appraise the reconstruction efforts herself through the analytical windows of public choice economics, game theory, Austrian co-ordination, social capital theory, institutional theory, etc.

Coyne's research reveals that the major aspects of reconstructing weak and failed states comprise two things. Foremost, finding and establishing a set of INCENTIVES that gives rise to the preference of liberal institutions. Secondly, occupiers must recognize, and pay due attention to, the CONSTRAINTS (e.g., time, public opinion, informal and formal rules, culture and history, just to name a few) of pursuing their goals of reconstruction.

What should be taken from this book is not that the economic way of thinking (i.e., the recognition of incentives and constraints) is the only method of appraising reconstruction efforts. Coyne, himself, references a number of scholars from Alexis de Tocqueville to Francis Fukuyama to underscore that diverse empirical and theoretical approaches are necessary. What is significant is that there are two methods that will assist the United States in exporting liberal institutions that may not have to comprise peacekeeping, bold force, nor humanitarian aid: Non-Intervention and Uni-lateral Free-trade. While the book details that markets are no panacea for exporting liberal institutions, Uni-lateral Free Trade and Non-Intervention will obviate accusations of U.S. "isolationism," and "imperialism."
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Washington Are You Listening? 6 mars 2009
Par Michael A. Beitler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Coyne on my internet radio show, "Free Markets With Dr. Mike Beitler." In this book, Dr. Coyne uses the tools of economics to evaluate America's ability to export democracy through military occupation and reconstruction. Coyne concludes, with overwhelming evidence, military occupation and reconstruction typically not only fails but leads to negative unintended consequences as well.

Coyne offers the alternative of a U.S. foreign policy including principled nonintervention and free trade. He believes the role of incentives is critical (drawing from public choices economics). To quote Dr. Coyne, "In short, the historical record indicates that efforts to export liberal democracy at gunpoint are more likely to fail than succeed."

If you are interested in U.S. foreign policy, and believe there must be a better alternative, I highly recommend this book. Seeing the application of libertarian and free-market principles to foreign policy is very refreshing. Great work Chris!

Michael Beitler, Ph.D.
Author of "Rational Individualism" Rational Individualism: A Moral Argument for Limited Government & Capitalism
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