[Solution]Failure of the “Marketplace of Ideas”

• Kaufmann (2004): – In the debate over Iraq, the “marketplace of ideas” failed to do its job • “The marketplace of ideas helps to…

• Kaufmann (2004):

– In the debate over Iraq, the
“marketplace of ideas” failed to do its job

• “The marketplace of ideas helps to
weed out unfounded, mendacious, or self-serving FP arguments because their
proponents cannot avoid wide-ranging debate in which their reasoning and
evidence are subject to public scrutiny.”

• Based on the idea that “the median
voters have strong incentives to scrutinize… arguments and reject those that
seem to serve only narrow interests..”

• Kaufmann (2004):

– Bush Administration’s claims:

1. Hussein actively wanted to kill
Americans

2. Hussein had links to AQ and
assisted in 9/11

3. Hussein was close to acquiring
nukes

4. Hussein already possessed other
WMDs

– All turned out to be false.

• Kaufmann (2004): – “Threat
inflation”:

• Claims that go beyond what is
plausible;

• A consistent pattern of worst-case
scenarios and loosely associated facts;

• Use of double standards in
assessing information;

• Claims based on circular logic.

• Kaufmann (2004): – FP debate was
stunted by “non-evaluation” (Van Evera):

“a debate in which little real
evaluation takes place because those in power ignore or suppress assessments
from internal sources that might contradict their preferred policy, and use
their ability to influence political and media agendas to focus public
attention on their own arguments at the expense of attention to external
criticisms” (p. 6)

• Kaufmann (2004): 5 factors
contributing to Bush’s successful threat inflation:

1. Democratic political systems
inherently vulnerable to issue manipulation?

2. Government control of
intelligence

3. Government “authority” in FP
debates

4. Weakness of countervailing
institutions

5. Crisis atmosphere post-9/11

• Obama largely continued and
expanded the war on terror started by Bush and the Iraq War

– Counter-terrorism à exceptional politics

– Logics of the WOT benefit
ISIS/Daesh also. How?

– “Threat inflation”:

• Claims that go beyond what is
plausible;

• A consistent pattern of worst-case
scenarios and loosely associated facts;

• Use of double standards in
assessing information;

• Claims based on circular logic
The post Failure of the “Marketplace of Ideas”

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