October, 2015

The Political Economy of Foreign Intervention

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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.

The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics is available through Oxford University Press.