chapter  6
Threat inflation and the failure of the marketplace of ideas: The selling of the Iraq War
Pages 20

Mature democracies such as the United States are generally believed to be better at making foreign policy than other regime types. Especially, the strong civic institutions and robust marketplaces of ideas in mature democracies are thought to substantially protect them from severe threat inflation and “myths of empire” that could promote excessively risky foreign policy adventures and wars (Snyder 1991; Van Evera 1999; Russett 1993; Reiter and Stam 2002). The marketplace of ideas helps to weed out unfounded, mendacious, or self-serving foreign policy arguments because their proponents cannot avoid wide-ranging debate in which their reasoning and evidence are subject to public scrutiny.