How to Make Love to a Despot
An Alternative Foreign Policy for the Twenty-First Century
by Steve D. Krasner
Pub Date 07 Apr 2020
Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #HowtoMakeLovetoaDespot #NetGalley
After generations of foreign policy failures, America can now make the world safer by abandoning utopian goals and working with difficult characters.
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.
About the Author: 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.
“In How to Make Love to a Despot, Stephen Krasner exposes the false choice between nation-building in America’s image and disengagement from challenges overseas that have important implications for U.S. security and prosperity. He makes a compelling case for promoting good enough governance as the basis for a realistic and consistent long-term foreign policy. And he does so in a way that is not only accessible, but also entertaining.” - H.R. McMaster, author of Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam
“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