October 01, 2023

Book review: How interest groups shape US policy toward North Korea

New book explores how foreign governments and military-industrial complex influence US foreign policy

Washington often operates on the assumption that a grand strategy drives U.S. foreign policy. In Asia, for instance, the U.S. State Department adopted the policy of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” under former President Donald Trump, and the Biden administration has continued to frame its foreign policy in the region using this concept.

But in his new book “Public Choice Theory and the Illusion of Grand Strategy,” Richard Hanania of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology lays out the argument for why this is in fact not the case, since politicians acting in ways that are rational and self-interested means governments cannot.