The Political Economy of Foreign Intervention

eds. Boettke, Peter J. and Christopher J. Coyne, Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming.

GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 15-21

33 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2015 Last revised: 18 Mar 2015

See all articles by Thomas K. Duncan

Thomas K. Duncan

Radford University - Department of Economics

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 10, 2015

Abstract

This chapter highlights the insights that the Austrian tradition brings to the analysis of foreign intervention. Foreign intervention is the use of the discretionary power of a government in one society to address the perceived problems in foreign societies. As such, the attempt to exercise top-down government authority, even with the most noble of intentions, will ultimately face problems similar to those faced in all types of central planning. The limits of human reason and the planner’s ability to engage in rational constructivism apply as strongly abroad as they do domestically. This chapter lays out those limitations and encourages a note of caution in attempts to intervene abroad.

Keywords: central planning, foreign intervention, human reason, rational constructivism, top-down authority

JEL Classification: B53, H56, O2, P50

Suggested Citation

Duncan, Thomas and Coyne, Christopher J., The Political Economy of Foreign Intervention (January 10, 2015). eds. Boettke, Peter J. and Christopher J. Coyne, Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming.; GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 15-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2548007

Thomas Duncan (Contact Author)

Radford University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6952
Radford, VA 24142
United States

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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