Public Choice Theory and the Illusion of Grand Strategy : How Generals, Weapons Manufacturers, and Foreign Governments Shape American Foreign Policy book cover
1st Edition

Public Choice Theory and the Illusion of Grand Strategy
How Generals, Weapons Manufacturers, and Foreign Governments Shape American Foreign Policy




  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 29, 2021
ISBN 9781032121796
December 29, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
230 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book argues that while the US president makes foreign policy decisions based largely on political pressures, it is concentrated interests that shape the incentive structures in which he and other top officials operate.

The author identifies three groups most likely to be influential: government contractors, the national security bureaucracy, and foreign governments. This book shows that the public choice perspective is superior to a theory of grand strategy in explaining the most important aspects of American foreign policy, including the war on terror, policy toward China, and the distribution of US forces abroad. Arguing that American leaders are selected to respond to public opinion, not necessarily according to their ability to formulate and execute long-terms plans, the author shows how mass attitudes are easily malleable in the domain of foreign affairs due to ignorance with regard to the topic, the secrecy that surrounds national security issues, the inherent complexity of the issues involved, and most importantly, clear cases of concentrated interests.

The book will be of interest to students and scholars of American Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis and Global Governance.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 – American Grand Strategy and the Unitary Actor Model

Chapter 2 – The Public Choice Model of Foreign Policy

Chapter 3 – The Rogue Superpower

Chapter 4 – Build, then Balance: The United States and Its Rivals

Chapter 5 – American Sanctions: Ineffective, Immoral, and Politically Convenient

Chapter 6 – The War on Terror from the Public Choice Perspective

Conclusion: Understanding and Changing American Foreign Policy

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Author(s)

Biography

Richard Hanania is the President of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology and a Research Fellow at Defense Priorities. He was formerly a Research Fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, received his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. Richard has published academic works that contribute to the studies of American foreign policy, international law, political psychology, the role of nuclear weapons in international politics, and civil war.