IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

American Thinking About Violence in the Middle East


  • Richards, Alan


A Nation of Puritan Engineers, a.k.a. the USA, is singularly ill-equipped to understand something as complicated, as paradoxical, and as deeply historically rooted as Middle Eastern violence. As the heirs of the Puritans, we tend to be self-righteous in our certainty that we have the truth. Further, we believe that the truth is singular, and we are confident that vengeful violence in defending that truth is divinely sanctioned. As engineers, we believe that all problems have solutions, and that the past (and history) don’t matter, and that our new technology, and our organizational prowess, will always find a solution. None of these perspectives is useful if one wants to reduce the suffering spawned by violence, whether in the Middle East or elsewhere. Our mind-set repeatedly leads us astray, and we become lost in a wilderness of complexity our minds cannot comprehend.

Suggested Citation

  • Richards, Alan, 2004. "American Thinking About Violence in the Middle East," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt9vb7891v, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt9vb7891v

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Portes & Hélène Rey, 1998. "The emergence of the euro as an international currency," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 305-343, April.
    2. Detken, Carsten & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "The Euro and International Capital Markets," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 53-94, April.
    3. Hélène Rey, 2001. "International Trade and Currency Exchange," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 443-464.
    4. Black, Stanley W., 1991. "Transactions costs and vehicle currencies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 512-526, December.
    5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "Is Japan Creating a Yen Bloc in East Asia and the Pacific?," NBER Chapters,in: Regionalism and Rivalry: Japan and the United States in Pacific Asia, pages 53-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Carsten Detken & Philipp Hartmann, 2002. "Features of the euro's role in international financial markets," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 553-569, October.
    7. Ron Alquist & Menzie D. Chinn, 2002. "Productivity and the Euro-Dollar Exchange Rate Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Paul R. Krugman, 1984. "The International Role of the Dollar: Theory and Prospect," NBER Chapters,in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 261-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    10. John F. O. Bilson & Richard C. Marston, 1984. "Exchange Rate Theory and Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bils84-1, January.
    11. Yusuru Ozeki & George S Tavlas, 1992. "The Internationalization of Currencies; An Appraisal of the Japanese Yen," IMF Occasional Papers 90, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1994. "Yen Bloc or Dollar Bloc? Exchange Rate Policies of the East Asian Economies," NBER Chapters,in: Macroeconomic Linkage: Savings, Exchange Rates, and Capital Flows, NBER-EASE Volume 3, pages 295-333 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Michael B. Devereux & Shouyong Shi, 2013. "Vehicle Currency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(1), pages 97-133, February.
    14. Michael P. Dooley & J. Saul Lizondo & Donald J. Mathieson, 1989. "The Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(2), pages 385-434, June.
    15. Barry Eichengreen and Jeffrey A. Frankel., 1996. "On the SDR: Reserve Currencies and the Future of the International Monetary System," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-068, University of California at Berkeley.
    16. Rudiger W. Dornbusch, 1989. "The dollar in the 1990s: competitiveness and the challenges of new economic blocs," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 245-290.
    17. Black, Stanley W., 1985. "International money and international monetary arrangements," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1153-1193 Elsevier.
    18. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2004," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 60 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou.
    19. George S Tavlas & Yusuru Ozeki, 1991. "The Japanese Yen as an International Currency," IMF Working Papers 91/2, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Hartmann, Philipp, 1998. "The Currency Denomination of World Trade after European Monetary Union," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 424-454, December.
    21. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "The U.S. Current Account and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 11137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Martin Feldstein, 2003. "Economic and Financial Crises in Emerging Market Economies," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld03-1, January.
    23. Barry Eichengreen, 2005. "Sterling's Past, Dollar's Future: Historical Perspectives on Reserve Currency Competition," NBER Working Papers 11336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Jeffrey Frankel, 1991. "On the dollar and the yen," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 91-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt9vb7891v. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.