How to Promote Peaceful Solutions – with Abigail Blanco

Finding the best method for a peaceful resolution requires analyzing a myriad of social and economic outcomes. Dr. Abigail Blanco, assistant professor of economics at the University of Tampa, discusses interventionism and how to apply it for peaceful solutions. Dr. Blanco’s video is one in a series with IHS and Big Think on the core concepts of classical liberalism.

When we think of interventionism, we are often primed to imagine military involvement, but Dr. Blanco highlights that there are a variety of different types of interventions, including short-term disaster relief or humanitarian aid. Regardless of the type, they all generally have one thing in common: governmental support.

Abigail Blanco, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Tampa

They typically fall under the umbrella of what we could refer to as state-sponsored intervention. The idea of governments intervening in some way to try to shape a variety of outcomes in a different population.

-Dr. Abigail Blanco

In an effort to promote or ensure a peaceful solution is at the heart of the intervention, Dr. Blanco recommends shifting the focus towards a clear understanding of the goals. “The impetus is really on the individuals pushing for the intervention,” says Dr. Blanco. “To make the case that they not only should intervene, but are actually able to achieve the goals that they have set out to achieve.”

There are frequent unintended consequences when a solution is implemented. and therefore it underscores the importance of advance, thoughtful consideration before action is taken.

Often times the stated goals of intervention are not achievable, particularly in the case of economics we see there are very serious problems when discussing the feasibility of foreign intervention.

-Dr. Abigail Blanco

She advises asking a series of questions related to knowledge and incentive alignment, including:

  • Do the individuals engaged in the intervention possess the knowledge necessary in order to craft and implement the intervention?
  • What are the potential unintended consequences of these interventions?
  • What are the potential outcomes for the individuals receiving the intervention and for the individuals providing the funds for the intervention?
  • What is the potential impact of these outcomes on everyday citizens?

This video is one in a series about the core concepts of classical liberalism. Additional articles, videos, and content on this topic and others can be found on the Institute for Humane Studies blog.

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