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  • The Azimuth Team

The Making of Bad Foreign Policy Ideas

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Azimuth Advisor Charli Carpenter writes in Foreign Policy magazine that in "U.S. foreign policy, it isn’t always easy to suss out good ideas from bad. Some bad ideas masquerade as neutral fact, only to be exposed later on. Others worm their way into strategic doctrines, guiding a wide range of policies that long outlast the original thought."

The trick, to distinguishing the good from the bad, she believes, is to plumb the process through which "bad"policy ideas enter into mainstream policy discourse. They "can arrive through many routes: faulty logic or facts, bad intentions, good intentions that turn out bad, cynicism, and more. If it fails on any one of these grounds, even an apparently worthy idea can fall short of its promise or worse."

To read the full Foreign Policy article from January 15, 2021, click here. Charli Carpenter, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, is Azimuth Advisor for Gender, International Organizations, Peace and Security and Research Methods.

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