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How to Make Love to a Despot

An Alternative Foreign Policy for the Twenty-First Century

Stephen D. Krasner



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03 June 2020
Biography: historical, political & military; History; History of the Americas; 21st century history: from c 2000 -; Diplomacy
In the past fifty years, the United States has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the idea that state-building can make the world safe for democracy, but the return on that investment has been woeful. Witnessing the failure of this utopian vision of a world full of market-oriented democracies, many observers turn to the dystopian view that all investment in undemocratic countries should halt. Yet ignoring these troubled countries risks our safety as nuclear proliferation, environmental devastation, and pandemics threaten all. Drawing on his formidable foreign policy experience, Krasner explains that eliminating corruption or holding free and fair elections is often not possible today in many parts of the world, but negotiated compromises and halting large-scale theft is. Better security and some economic growth are possible everywhere. How to Make Love to a Despot defines a new and pragmatic American foreign policy vision that quells terrorism and leads to good governance around the globe.
By:   Stephen D. Krasner
Imprint:   Liveright
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 165mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   552g
ISBN:   9781631496592
ISBN 10:   163149659X
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   03 June 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Stephen D. Krasner is the Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations at Stanford University, a prominent scholar with deep policy experience, including a stint as Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State. He lives in Stanford, California.

Reviews for How to Make Love to a Despot: An Alternative Foreign Policy for the Twenty-First Century

The most intellectually rigorous, insightful, and policy prescriptive writing on American foreign policy to appear in the first two decades of the 21st century. Stephen Krasner has brilliantly drawn from political science theory, history, and personal experience to produce a seminal work equally valuable to academics and students, government and military practitioners, and the general public. His persuasive argument that Americans must deal with the world as it is, rather than as they hope it might be, is underpinned by his clear-eyed assessment of U.S. security interests and deep appreciation of the role liberal values must play in policy formulation. Krasner's book will be an enduring classic.--Karl Eikenberry, Ambassador and Lieutenant General, US Army, Retired, Stanford University 2011-2019 One doesn't have to agree with Krasner's conclusions to see the value in this book. It is tightly argued and thought-provoking and a must read--even for those who believe that support for democracy should remain a cornerstone of American foreign policy.--Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Shall we sup with the devil or go for regime change in hell? America's mission to make the world safe for--and through--democracy has succeeded only in the rarest of cases, as in Germany and Japan. In this most original contribution to the literature on democracy promotion, Krasner argues compellingly that U.S. policy must be modest and realistic. Outsiders cannot implant liberal democracy in alien soil. Instead, the lodestar should be good enough governance, which might eventually bring about the real thing.--Josef Joffe, Stanford University In this Goldilock story 'good enough governance' is the guide for a just-right foreign policy -- preferable to utopian democratic dreams and dystopian global nightmares. This realist's counsel of modesty invites debate by proponents of America's many other foreign policy traditions. And it is debate not tweets that America needs to find its way in a complex world painted not in black or white, but hues of grey.--Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies, Cornell University How to Make Love to a Despot is a thoughtful reflection on the limits of American foreign policy to remake the politics of difficult societies, written by one of the foremost scholars of international relations.--Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History and the Last Man

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