Handbook on the Geopolitics of Business
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Handbook on the Geopolitics of Business

Edited by Joseph Mark S. Munoz

In recent years, rapid globalization, novel technologies and business models, as well as economic and political changes have transformed the international business landscape. This pioneering volume offers a comprehensive discussion of the new global terrain and makes a strong case for the consideration of geopolitics in both the study and practice of modern-day business.
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Chapter 8: Expeditionary economics: stimulating entrepreneurship under geopolitical risk

Robert E. Looney


The concept of Expeditionary Economics (ExpECON) was introduced in 2010 in a path-breaking article in the May/June 2010 issue of Foreign Affairs, “Expeditionary Economics: Spurring Growth After Conflicts and Disasters”, by then Kauffman Institute President and CEO Carl Schramm. In that article, Schramm put forth the proposition that economic growth is vital for stabilizing post-conflict/disaster settings, and the U.S. military, as often the dominant player in these environments, must sharpen its ability to encourage indigenous entrepreneurship. It was Schramm’s contention that the conventional U.S. approach in recent post-conflict recoveries (Dobbins et al., 2007) has failed largely because it has abandoned the approach that was so successful in building the U.S. economy – the encouragement and support of indigenous entrepreneurial initiative and creativity (Schramm, 2010, 2010a). In Schramm’s original formulation, ExpECON represented a sharp rejection of large bodies of received economic and military doctrine. His main contention was that “a central element in the failure to establish robust economies in war-torn or disaster-stricken countries is the prevailing doctrine of international development, according to which strong economies cannot emerge in poor countries” (Schramm 2010, 89). Schramm’s work shares many of the frustrations put forth in Dambisi Moyo’s (2010) withering critique of foreign aid programs, and De Soto’s (2000) impassioned questioning many of development economics’ conventional wisdoms. While other authors (del Castillo, 2008; Sweetman, 2009) wrote extensively on the contribution of private sector activity to stabilization and growth in post-conflict settings, their works have not had nearly the impact of Schramm’s contribution.

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