Empire State of Mind: The Illiberal Foundations of Liberal Hegemony

24 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2015 Last revised: 19 Feb 2016

See all articles by Christopher J. Coyne

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Abigail Hall

Bellarmine University - W. Fielding Rubel School for Business

Date Written: December 23, 2015

Abstract

This paper explores the interventionist mindset required for success under the U.S. government’s foreign policy strategy of liberal hegemony. This approach to foreign policy contains an inherent tension. Its adherents claim a commitment to liberal values but successfully implementing the strategy requires, attracts, and reinforces a mentality fundamentally at odds with those values. We discuss the defining characteristics of the interventionist mindset and how the adoption of this mentality is incentivized by government bureaus which reward those who successfully implement the government’s foreign policy strategy. Those who rise to the top will tend to be those who are most comfortable and willing to engage in illiberal behaviors toward foreign populations.

Keywords: Empire, Foreign intervention, Foreign policy, Grand strategy, Liberal hegemon

JEL Classification: F50, H10, H56

Suggested Citation

Coyne, Christopher J. and Hall, Abigail, Empire State of Mind: The Illiberal Foundations of Liberal Hegemony (December 23, 2015). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 16-06, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2707697 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2707697

Christopher J. Coyne (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.ccoyne.com/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://ppe.mercatus.org/scholars/christopher-coyne

Abigail Hall

Bellarmine University - W. Fielding Rubel School for Business ( email )

United States

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