The primary aim in this paper is to explore the contribution that the economic way of thinking can make to this existing literature. Specifically, this paper examines the economic concepts of incentives, constraints, opportunity cost, institutional path dependency, and gains from trade in the context of reconstruction and reconciliation. In order to make this connection, this study extends the “lessons learned” from the economics profession’s experience with transition economies and with the provision of monetary aid to developing countries. Additionally, this paper examines the economic theory of trade as one mechanism for achieving sustainable change. Incorporating the economic way of thinking into the analysis of the reconstruction and reconciliation process will contribute substantially to the ongoing debate regarding the ability of governments to effectively export sustainable liberal democracy via foreign intervention.