On this episode, we’ll hear a book panel discussion on Christopher J. Coyne’s book,In Search of Monsters to Destroy: The Folly of American Empire and the Paths to Peace (Independent Institute, 2023). In his comments, Coyne challenges the notion that the US military is necessary for global order, explaining that without the US as the global police force chaos will not overtake the world, and questions the efficacy and morality of a militaristic, top-down approach to global conflict. Coyne breaks down the history of the American empires into three phases: continental expansion, overseas imperialism, and global hegemony, and describes the features of the present-day American empire and the interventionist mindset. He argues that foreign intervention and the effort to export democracy to other nations by illiberal means can only lead to illiberal ends. A liberal empire is ultimately illiberal. He calls for reimagining our understanding of peace as a community-driven process, emphasizing the role of human imagination in peacemaking. The panel is moderated by Stefanie Haeffele, and they are joined on the panel by:
- William Easterly, Professor of Economics at New York University, Co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute, and author of three books including The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (2006)
- Ginny Choi, Senior Program Director of Academic & Student Programs, Senior Fellow with the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and co-author of Do Markets Corrupt Our Morals? (2019)
- Alexandre Christoyannopoulos, PGT Programme Leader and a Reader in Politics and International Relations at Loughborough University, and author or co-editor of five books including Tolstoy's Political Thought: Christian Anarcho-Pacifist Iconoclasm Then and Now (2021)
Christopher Coyne is associate director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and F. A. Harper Professor of Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He is also a Professor of Economics at George Mason University.