Book outline, Baldwin, Economic Statecraft

SAASS Purpose: The political economy of international politics II: Economic Statecraft What are the types and techniques of statecraft?  How is economic statecraft different from other types?  How do Schelling’s ideas of bargaining play here?  What can we learn from studying cases of economic statecraft in history? 

My Summary (after seminar): Economic means are a timeless and fundamental tool of statecraft, however they must be understood and employed within the context of their costs and benefits, capabilities and limitations. Economic statecraft is effective at weakening the enemy prior to war, escalating means of coercion and deterrence, sending signals of resolve, buying time prior to war, or achieving the moral high ground by putting the ball in the enemy’s court and enticing them to fire the first shot. Conversely, economic statecraft is not an effective way to prevent war, overthrow a regime, achieve immediate effects, or achieve solitary or direct effects. In fact, many of the great successes of economic statecraft are indirect, such as on Sparta through Megara, on the USSR through Cuba. 

Stage 1: What is the book about? Economic statecraft

1.     'Classify the book according to kind and subject matter

a.     1985 – Princeton Press

b.     'Author bio and bias

c.     David Baldwin is a Senior Political Scientist at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

2.     'State the unity of the whole book in a single (at most a few) sentences

a.     (pre) The conventional wisdom about economic statecraft is oversimplified and incorrect. Instead, economic statecraft represents an essential option for policy makers. Its complexity and nuances are essential to understanding when and how to utilize economics as a tool of influence.

b.     (Post) Economic statecraft is an indispensable political act whose scope of influence may target any dimension of the enemy’s behavior. 32 It must be employed with full knowledge of it limitations in order to integrate into the whole of grand strategy.

3.     'Enumerate its major parts in order and relation

a.     'Outline the whole

b.     Intro – Purpose, Structure, Limits, and Implications

c.     Techniques of Statecraft – Nature, classification, Foreign Policy, International Pol

d.     Economic Statecraft – Alternatives, Forms, Subtle Forms

e.     Literature and obstacles to thinking about statecraft

f.      Power and Economic Statecraft – Bias, Cost/Benefit, Measures, Explaining

g.     Classic Case Studies

4.     Define the problem(s) the author is trying to solve

a.     Demonstrate that economic sanctions are effective within a given context, this is counter to conventional wisdom.

Stage 2: Rules for interpreting the content

5.     'Find important words and come to “Terms” with the author

a.     Power – is relational; includes all relationships in which someone gets someone else to do something that he or she would not otherwise do; both positive and negative; is multidimensional; is not necessarily zero-sum; requires counterfactuals. 21-22

b.     Power base – economic, military, propaganda, diplomatic 23

c.     Statecraft – Influence achieved at state level 9

                                               i.     Mil uses violence, Dip uses negotiation, Info uses manipulation of verbal symbols, and Economic uses money/resources/wealth

d.     Economic Statecraft – emphasizes means for various possible ends

6.     'Locate/construct the basic argument (by finding them in the connection of sentences)

a.     'Thesis:

                                               i.     The utility of economic techniques of statecraft has been systematically underestimated primarily because of inadequacies in the analytical frameworks used to make such estimates. 58

                                             ii.     The utility of economic statecraft has been systematically underestimated since 1945

                                            iii.     The study of economic instruments of foreign policy has been neglected relative to the study of other policy tools.

                                            iv.     Social power literature developed since 1950 provides a useful framework within which to study economic statecraft. 4

                                             v.     (review) critics of the use of economic statecraft have not studied their case histories thoroughly and have looked at specific uses of economic statecraft, such as sanctions, through a very narrow analytic prism.

b.     'Major Assumptions:

                                               i.     No ONE FORM of POWER is basic to all others. 20

c.     'Major Propositions:

                                               i.     Politics is primary to Economics; Economic statecraft is a political act. 32

                                             ii.     Capabilities are a relational concept, their properties only matter with respect to an adversary

                                            iii.     Influence, power bases, and power resources are relational. They cannot be defined without saying something about a potential relationship.

                                            iv.     Policy advantages are only relative to other options 15

                                             v.     Any influence attempt may involve multiple goals and targets of varying generality and significance 18

                                            vi.     Conclusion -  Set of guidelines to help in avoiding the more common pitfalls in evaluating the utility of economic techniques of statecraft:

1.     targets and goals of economic statecraft are usually multiple;

2.     Success is usually a matter of degree

a.     neither perfect success nor perfect failure is likely;

3.     Alternatives matter

a.     economic statecraft should be evaluated-both as to costs and desired outcomes-against alternative tools of statecraft such as military action;

4.     Some things are more difficult than others

a.     Sanctions will likely be applied in very difficult situations.

5.     Images matter

a.     The perception created by pursuing sanctions can matter

b.     They have important symbolic aspects that can affect a nation's image in the international arena

6.     The bases of power are many and varied

a.     Sanctions are an escalation of force that conveys future intent to possible attack

7.     Comparing our costs with theirs is not very helpful

a.     Costs should be compared against other potential actions

8.     Imposing costs for noncompliance is a measure of success

9.     Costs have their uses

a.     Costliness can enhance the credibility of the measure

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