The Fatal Conceit of Foreign Intervention
AbstractThe fatal conceit is the assumption that the world can be shaped according to human desires. This paper argues that the logic of the fatal conceit can be applied to foreign interventions which go beyond the limits of what can be rationally constructed by reason alone. In suffering from the fatal conceit, these interventions are characterized by: (1) the realization that intentions do not equal results, (2) a reliance on top-down planning, (3) the view of development as a technological issue, (4) a reliance on bureaucracy over markets, and (5) the primacy of collectivism over individualism. These characteristics explain why interventions extending beyond the limits of what can be rationally constructed tend to fail.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 09-06.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
fatal conceit; foreign aid; foreign intervention; rational constructivism;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B53 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Austrian
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
- P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-12-19 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- William Easterly & Tobias Pfutze, 2008. "Where Does the Money Go? Best and Worst Practices in Foreign Aid," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 29-52, Spring.
- Randall G. Holcombe, 2004. "National Income Accounting and Public Policy," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 387-405, December.
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