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The Handbook on the Political Economy of War

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ISBN-13: 978-1848442481
ISBN-10: 1848442483
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Editorial Reviews


From why wars begin and how they are waged to alternatives to conflict ,civil war, arms issues, and nation building, this offers a detailed, in-depth and comprehensive reference perfect for any military or political issues holding. --The Midwest Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Edited by Christopher J. Coyne, Mercatus Center and Department of Economics, George Mason University, US and Rachel L. Mathers, Department of Accounting, Economics, and Finance, Delaware State University, US

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 634 pages
  • Publisher: Edward Elgar Pub (April 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848442483
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848442481
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,397,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher Coyne is the F.A. Harper Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the Associate Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center. He is also the Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Review of Austrian Economics and the Book Review Editor of Public Choice. In 2008, Chris was named the Hayek Fellow at the London School of Economics, and in 2010 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center at Bowling Green State University.

Chris is the author of Doing Bad by Doing Good: Why Humanitarian Action Fails (2013, Stanford University Press), After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy (2007, Stanford University Press), Media, Development and Institutional Change (co-authored with Peter Leeson, 2009, Edward Elgar Publishing), and the editor (with Rachel Mathers) of The Handbook on the Political Economy of War (2011, Edward Elgar Publishing). In addition, he has authored numerous academic articles, book chapters, and policy studies.

Chris's personal web pages are and where he maintains the Doing Bad by Doing Good blog (

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Format: Paperback
Edward Elgar publishes a series of "Handbooks," in which volumes explore in detail areas of interest. The focus here is on "the political economy of war." The political economy approach is defined as (page 1): ". . .an interdisciplinary approach that draws on concepts from economics, law, political science and sociology to understand how economic, legal, political and social systems influence each other and outcomes." In this volume, the subject being explored is war.

The book features seven sections, each with two or more chapters. Part 1 looks at why wars are waged. The second Part explores "Ways of Waging War." Included are essays on the political economy of torture, terrorism, and conscription. Part 3? Civil war and revolution. In each case, economics are examined as factors in each phenomenon.

Part 4 focuses on the political economy of arms trading. Part 5 is intriguing. 2 chapters examine the extent to which capitalist and democratic countries do NOT engage in war with one another--with some interesting wrinkles in the analyses. Part 6 is directed at post-conflict reconstruction and nation-building (not an easy task).

Finally, alternatives to war. This segment considers trade flows, sanctions, negotiations, and peacekeeping as options. I am not necessarily convinced, but the chapters do raise important options.
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