War, Welfare & Democracy: Rethinking America's Quest for the End of History

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Potomac Books, Inc., Jan 31, 2013 - History - 240 pages
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American foreign policy since World War II has actively sought to reshape both domestic and international orders to hasten the coming of the end of history in a peaceful democratic utopia. While the end of the Cold War heightened optimism that this goal was near, policymakers still face dramatic challenges. In War, Welfare & Democracy, Peter J. Munson argues that the foreign policy problems we face today stem from common roots—the modern state system's struggle to cope with the pressures of market development and sociopolitical modernization.

Washington's policies seek to treat challenges as varied as insurgency, organized crime, fiscal crises, immigration pressures, authoritarianism, and violations of human rights with a schizophrenic mix of realpolitik and idealism. The ideologies that inform this outlook were born during the Great Depression and two world wars and honed during the early years of the Cold War. Although the world has long since changed, American policy has failed to adjust. The world's leading welfare states face a crisis of aging populations, shrinking revenues, and spiraling costs in their attempts to provide services and social security for their citizens, compounding this inflexibility.

By addressing the inequality of wealth, security, and stability brought on by dramatic economic change and modernization, Munson describes how the United States can lead in reforming the welfare state paradigm and adjust its antiquated policies to best manage the transformation we all must face.


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1 Human Prosperity Never Remains Constant
The Triumph of the National Welfare State
Logic and Illogic outside of the National Welfare State
The Tragedy of the National Welfare State
The Strategic Challenges of the TwentyFirst Century
Americas Search for Stability
Seeking Gramscis Hegemony
Selected Bibliography
About the Author

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About the author (2013)

PETER J. MUNSON is a Middle East specialist and Marine officer with fifteen years of service around the world. The author of Iraq in Transition: The Legacy of Dictatorship and the Prospects for Democracy (Potomac Books, 2009) and the editor of the Small Wars Journal, Munson earned his master of arts degree in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School. He lives near Tampa, Florida.

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