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How to Make Love to a Despot: An Alternative Foreign Policy for the Twenty-First Century Hardcover – April 7, 2020

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“[Krasner] debuts with a rigorous, historically informed argument that ‘good enough governance, not good government’ should be the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy. . . Readers interested in foreign policy will find much food for thought in this sober, articulate account.”
- Publishers Weekly

“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

“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

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

“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

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.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.22 pounds
  • Hardcover : 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 163149659X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1631496592
  • Product Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Publisher : Liveright; 1st Edition (April 7, 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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