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5 of 425 are essays by John Robson

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Robson, John  
A Free-Marketeer Looks at Foreign Policy

Economists are often criticized for assuming that people come into the world in possession of a full-blown "schedule of preferences." But, while admittedly fanciful, itís an assumption that works. Foreign policy specialists would do well - as Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and Theodore Roosevelt did - to adopt the same assumption about nations. We really canít change other countriesí preferences and attitudes, and even if we could, itís not clear we should. But that doesnít mean we canít, by showing them either sticks or carrots, change their behaviour toward us. Originally published in Policy Options Magazine
Madly Off in One Direction

An unwary observer might suppose vast philosophical issues divide Canada's political parties. But where's the beef? Originally published in the National Post.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings: A Meditation on Conservatism and Neo-Conservatism

A Meditation on Conservatism and Neo-Conservatism
The Social Union - A Debate (with Janet Ajzenstat, Brian Lee Crowley, William D. Gairdner, Lorne Gunter, Ken Holland, Rory Leishman, Michael Lusztig, Judy Rebick, Paul Romney)

Dr. William Gairdner sparked a debate in late 1998 on conservativeforum.org about government plans for a "social union", a federal government promise of largesse to provinces and various groups in return for constitutional and political peace. Dr. Gairdner and eight other distinguished commentators, not all conservatives, contributed their perspectives to the debate. The liberal government implemented its social union agreement with the provinces in 1999. The debate remains interesting for its discussion of the founders' intentions, and of the degree to which an elected government should set its promises in legal concrete, unassailable by subsequently-elected governments which may have different priorities.
Why the African Renaissance is Failing

Successful democracy is as much about individual entrepreneurship and enterprise as it is about the freedom to vote. Poor nations need democracy. But they also need the cultural habits that sustain both democracy and entrepreneurship. Originally published in The Fraser Forum.