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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Jun 29, 2022

Finalist #7 In The Book Review Contest

[This is one of the finalists in the 2022 book review contest. It’s not by me - it’s by an ACX reader who will remain anonymous until after voting is done, to prevent their identity from influencing your decisions. I’ll be posting about one of these a week for several months. When you’ve read them all, I’ll ask you to vote for a favorite, so remember which ones you liked - SA]

[update 6/26: at least one paragraph of this review appears to be plagiarized; see here for more information. I will be investigating this and possibly disqualifying it from the contest -SA]


[In Public Choice Theory And The Illusion Of Grand Strategy], Richard Hanania details how a public choice model (imported from public choice theory in economics) can explain the United State’s incoherent foreign policy much better than the unitary actor model (imported from rational choice theory in economics) that underlies the illusion of American grand strategy in international relations (IR), in particular the dominant school of realism. As the subtitle How Generals, Weapons Manufacturers, and Foreign Governments Shape American Foreign Policy suggests, American foreign policy is driven by special interest groups, which results in millions of deaths for no good reason.