Less is More: The Moral Virtue of Policy Minimalism

Democracy versus Modernization: A Dilemma for Russia and for the World (2012) Basees/Routledge Series on Russian and east European Studies

20 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2013

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: July 1, 2012

Abstract

For the US and its allies to engage in long distance social engineering, by seeking to turn nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan (and the Middle East) into Western democracies, is not only technically impossible but also morally defective. Our leverage is limited. Hence if is squandered on projects that cannot be advanced, we lose scarce resources that could do good for other people and sever our interests and values, if applied where they can make a significant contribution. We can help build security without first engaging in nation-building, the record shows. Nation-building then should be supported through non-lethal means.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, Less is More: The Moral Virtue of Policy Minimalism (July 1, 2012). Democracy versus Modernization: A Dilemma for Russia and for the World (2012) Basees/Routledge Series on Russian and east European Studies. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2274320

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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