Winners without Losers

Why Americans Should Care More About Global Economic Policy

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Foreign policy analyses written by CFR fellows and published by the trade presses, academic presses, or the Council on Foreign Relations Press.

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In the two decades since the United States became the world's only superpower, policymakers in Washington have seemingly abandoned many tools of statecraft and instead now rely on U.S. military strength as the key—and sometimes the sole—element of their global strategy.

Yet economists see a world in which the salience of military power has been shrinking as greater affluence and deepening interdependence transform the global economy.

In Winners without Losers, Edward J. Lincoln, a highly regarded economist, contends that the best chance the United States has of ensuring peace and prosperity—for itself and for the rest of the world—will be found at conference tables rather than on the battlefield. Shining a spotlight on foreign trade policy as an agent for political change, this cogent and well-argued book urges policymakers, the business community, and citizens to find a path to increased stability by forging stronger international economic ties.

Interdependence is founded on cooperation with other nations, and in particular on multilateral institutions. Over the past five years, in particular, American policy has moved strongly away from cooperation and, in a single-minded pursuit of the "war against global terror," has largely ignored economic issues. Extending the scope of his previous work, which started with the economic transformations of postwar Japan and more recently considered the evolution of economic linkages and cooperation in East Asia, Lincoln applies regional lessons to the world stage. More than a critique of current policies, Winners without Losers argues for a transformation of American foreign policy that recognizes the new realities of the globalized world-realities that America's leaders ignore at the nation's peril.

A Council on Foreign Relations Book

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Winners without Losers speaks to a broad audience, and conveys a truth that ought to be self-evident: that sixty years of positive economic change have made our planet a fundamentally different and less dangerous place. Economic growth and interdependence have made war unthinkable among the very advanced industrial nations that were mired in conflict early in the twentieth century. This is very important. It is also, as Edward J. Lincoln notes, a truth neglected or under-recognized by our national leaders and by many scholars of international relations. In telling that story and addressing its implications, Lincoln writes with clarity and purpose.

I. M. Destler, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland