How to Get a Breakthrough in Ukraine
The Case Against Incrementalism
Only yesterday, globalism was dismissed as an overreaching foreign policy style, a dangerous magnification of national interests and ambitions. How surprising that now, in slightly different form, it should come to be regarded as the best means for nation-states to coexist and prosper in an intimately interconnected world.
What seems to have changed is the agenda of foreign affairs. Once dominated by security concerns, that agenda has now expanded to include welfare issues-food, energy, population, ecology, resource depletion and income disparity-issues which apparently do not admit to efficient management at the nation-state level. To handle this more challenging agenda, foreign policy leaders schooled in the old arithmetic of national security will have to learn the formulae of economic interdependence, the advanced calculus of planetary bargains and global welfare.
The corollary to this popular argument is a redefinition of what used to be called "domestic policy." The new global pursuit of welfare seems to imply a constraint upon the traditional authority of domestic policy leaders. New sensitivities across borders ensure that policy activities at home will produce much larger and more immediate consequences abroad. If global welfare is to be managed under these circumstances, large slices of internal policy must be considered to be within the enlarged domain of foreign policy. The jurisdiction of domestic policy must contract, and that of an enlightened foreign policy must expand. Internal policy leaders have done well enough in the past, but they are simply not equipped to manage global welfare functions. Foreign policy leadership must take the lead, meeting global problems with global solutions, pushing the imperfect nation-state system of today toward a more rational world order system of tomorrow.
As its title would indicate, this essay puts forward an opposing argument. Improved domestic policy leadership is the true precondition for effective welfare management abroad. The old distinction between internal and external policy is indeed breaking down, but in this situation it is precisely the domestic arena, with its comparative advantage in the effective command and control of economic and political forces, which must assume a larger portion of the global welfare burden. Inadequate domestic policies currently pose the greater threat to global well-being, and without remedial policy actions at home, attractive welfare "bargains" are unlikely to be reached or maintained abroad.
To begin with, consider that foreign policy leaders are unlikely to accept new responsibility for an agenda of global welfare management. Even during the recent period of intensified welfare crisis, old agenda issues remained uppermost in the minds of most foreign policy makers. Certainly in the United States, most foreign policy attention has remained riveted upon concerns abroad which have little to do with a new welfare agenda. Attention to the global energy crisis has been strong enough at times, but consistently overshadowed by more traditional security concerns, for example within the oil-rich Middle East. Issues of food, ecology or population have received sparse leadership attention even on the occasion of those world conferences called to certify the growing need for such attention. At the highest levels of the foreign policy community, ecology and population are orphan issues; and food issues tend to draw leadership attention not as a welfare concern but in the traditional context of alliance politics or East-West détente. Not even the larger issue of North-South income disparity, so highly politicized today by Third World claims against the rich, has been able to hold Washington's attention. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger does deserve mention for his lengthy message to the United Nations in September 1975, hailed by one observer as "the meatiest speech on development since the Marshall Plan." But even this message had to be read to the General Assembly in absentia, as the Secretary was in the Middle East at the time, preoccupied with an old agenda item, military disengagement in the Sinai Desert. Secretary Marshall at least found time to make history by delivering his own speech; Secretary Kissinger failed to make even a single appearance at the fifteen-day Special Session.
It is not enough to cite "episodes" of attention to global welfare, to note participation in this or that economic summit, or to observe American acquiescence in a new North-South dialogue on energy, finance, commodities and development. The old issues of sovereignty and security continue to receive far more attention than any new agenda of global welfare management. Over the past year, U.S. foreign policy makers have spent the bulk of their time on security policy in the Middle East, negotiations over Cyprus, alliance politics in the Mediterranean, the composition of allied governments in Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal, the collapse of Indochina, the rescue of itinerant transport vessels in the Gulf of Siam, the credibility of nuclear deterrence in the Far East, European security at Helsinki, dealings with the Soviet Union and China after Helsinki, a second SALT agreement, proposed force reductions in Europe, the reorganization of the intelligence community, foreign military sales, the status of the Panama Canal, normalization of relations with Cuba, civil warfare in Lebanon, and a dubious confrontation with the Soviet Union in Angola. In the time remaining, very little thought could be given to the new agenda of global welfare.
While the United States is an extreme case, a fair degree of distraction from the new agenda of global welfare can also be noted in foreign capitals, including some that are seriously threatened by welfare issues. The foreign policy leaders of sub-Saharan Africa, for example, still devote a major portion of their time and energy to white minority rule in the southern portion of their continent, to rivalries for continental leadership, and to symbolic defeats inflicted upon the formal imperial powers. Foreign policy leaders in South Asia remain preoccupied with regional security concerns, arms acquisitions, and their current alignment or nonalignment with outside powers. And two of of the most important capitals of the world-Moscow and Peking-continue to focus their energies upon ideological rivalry with each other, and upon traditional matters of European or Pacific security. Only where security issues have been muted by hegemony or by superpower guarantee, as in Europe, Japan and Latin America, does one find foreign economic policy claiming a much larger share of leadership attention.
Not that foreign policy leaders should discard traditional issues and shift their full attention to the new agenda of global welfare: they have not done so for good reasons, or at least for strong reasons which will not soon disappear. One of these, obvious in the case of the United States, is a low immediate vulnerability to global welfare crisis. But another is the incapacity of foreign policy leaders as a group to do very much about global welfare, without an equal effort on the part of domestic leaders. If foreign policy leaders have been reluctant to focus their scarce attention on issues of global welfare, it is in part because such issues do not yield readily to interstate management.
First, on the matter of low vulnerability, it should be no great surprise that global welfare issues have attained only low priority on the foreign policy agenda of the United States. With regard to energy, for example, the high cost of foreign oil now threatens those poor nations without petroleum, while the insecurity of supply threatens rich nations which are heavily dependent upon imports. But the United States presently falls into neither category. Even as its domestic production may decline, the United States will be favored by abundant coal reserves, by a superior capacity for technical innovation, and ironically, by its own past history of inefficient energy use, which is to say a high potential for energy savings through modest efforts at conservation. U.S. foreign policy makers might even welcome a mild uncertainty over access to low-cost foreign oil, since this uncertainty reinforces American "leadership" within the community of more vulnerable allied industrial nations.
More obviously, in the area of food supply a sense of vulnerability again is not felt by the United States. The State Department gains untold diplomatic leverage, and American agriculture turns a nifty profit, with every upturn in world food demand. American agricultural abundance apparently looms as a trump card in direct dealings with the Soviet Union, and overseas food sales have been a large contributing factor to the favorable U.S. trade balance of the past year, offsetting even the purchase of high-priced foreign oil. American foreign policy leaders must feel anything but "threatened" by shortages or insecurities in global food supply. One even hesitates to consider the deepening interest which they may feel in promoting North American "agri-power" as a "food weapon."
Turning to the growth of world population, foreign policy leaders in the United States are again distracted from this issue for reasons of relative invulnerability. Population, by its own perverse logic, grows most rapidly in those areas of the world least equipped to accept new numbers. And a convincing link has yet to be made between this growth within the poor nations and the physical security or the foreign policy interests of the rich. To imagine such a link, to believe that demographic distress cannot be localized and ignored, is to resist a distressing lesson of current history. American foreign policy makers do not pay much attention to the growth of world population because that growth does not yet threaten their own security, comfort or well-being.
Raw material depletion and international access to low-cost raw material supply are more likely to emerge as foreign policy concerns in the United States. But here again Washington is well able to endure whatever the short run may bring. If high raw material prices should reappear, following a general economic recovery within the industrial world, the United States has a clear opportunity for conservation and a superior technical capacity for substitution. Moreover, the United States is a significant raw material producer in its own right, so that it stands to gain as well as to lose in times of shortage or increased demand. Despite the high visibility of some Third World supplier states, the developed rather than the developing nations still dominate most raw material markets today.1
Finally, with regard to global income disparity, a strong incentive for concern is again missing within the United States. Poverty in foreign lands has seldom been a cause for great alarm among the rich. And now Washington's few tangible interests in the non-OPEC Third World may also be in decline. In an age of ocean-going strategic weapons and overhead reconnaissance, Third World military base rights are no longer a vital security interest. The poor nations of the world participate in a declining share of U.S. commerce and investment abroad. An earlier cold-war incentive to win friends within the "uncommitted" regions of the Third World no longer governs even the language of American diplomacy. And now the new wealth of the OPEC nations, earned at such expense to the very poor, encourages some within the United States to push aid burdens onto others with a clear conscience. Far from depending upon the poor, foreign policy makers in the United States have found new reasons to ignore them.
All this is to challenge a more comfortable view, one which overstates the likelihood that United States foreign policy leaders will devote time and energy to projects of global welfare management, or to a new global war on poverty. If the world were indeed held together by common discomforts, the United States might be more inclined to undertake such efforts.
This first argument helps to explain the distraction of U.S. foreign policy leaders from the new task of global welfare management, but it fails to account for the distracted posture of world leaders elsewhere, including some of those in areas of the world more vulnerable to welfare crisis. The explanation for this more general pattern of distraction is not so much selective vulnerability as it is a form of incapacity. Consider the rude fact that most foreign policy leaders are not by themselves capable of exerting decisive control over today's most pressing global welfare issues. What they cannot easily control, they prefer not to handle. Today's most compelling global welfare issues-population, food, poverty, resource depletion, energy and ecology-are matters of weak foreign policy concern precisely because they do not admit to any individual or collective foreign policy solution.
Having long held foreign policy leaders responsible for the state of the world, contemporary critics may resist any suggestion that a primary responsibility belongs elsewhere, particularly within the often discredited domain of domestic policy. Global problems, they will insist, require nothing less than a global solution. Today's global actors, however, are ill-equipped to do more than imagine such a solution, and they spend little of their time doing even that much. For the moment, an important managerial advantage resides at home, within the domestic policy arena, where so much of the world's distress currently originates. No matter how severe the global consequences of a crisis, interstate crisis management may not be possible without a prior exercise of enlightened domestic policy control.
Surely this is the case with the world population crisis, which has not arisen through interstate channels, and which is unlikely to be controlled or even moderated through those channels. Fertility rates are not adjustable by agreement between states. They are singularly unresponsive to the terms of any imagined planetary bargain. Demographic crisis management requires health, literacy, employment and social emancipation, most notably the emancipation of women, within nation-states. These fundamental social conditions cannot be the direct product of any one nation's foreign policy, or any combination of foreign policies. Indeed, determined demographic management sponsored from abroad is more likely to be resisted than modest managerial efforts inspired at home. Economic and technical assistance from abroad must be available to those domestic leaders who are determined to moderate rates of population growth, and who lack the resources to begin. But as yet, domestic leaders in many demographic crisis areas have lacked either the interest or the will.
Insecurities in global food supply are likewise ill-suited to foreign policy management. More than anything else, they reflect production below potential in high food-demand areas. Unanticipated shortfalls in food production can create interstate dilemmas, or even interstate tensions, but a shortfall itself cannot be recovered through simple interstate coordination or interstate agreement. Foreign policy leaders have a demonstrated capacity to sell food, to trade food, to give away food, and even to destroy food, but they cannot by themselves grow food. Interstate food programs, such as the joint management of a global food reserve system, aid for agricultural development, or emergency food transfers to those nations which cannot afford to pay an incentive price, can be no substitute for internal policy efforts to grow and to conserve more food.
In the continued absence of such efforts within a number of food deficit nations, including now the Soviet Union, interstate transfer and food stockpile agreements can even discourage the necessary increase in local production. The preconditions for a secure global food regime remain distinctly non-diplomatic. In the short run, one can only hope for good weather. In the long run, the only hope is a broad-based effort at rural development within most of the world's highly populated food-deficit nations. Such an effort might plausibly be financed from abroad, but it must be managed and inspired from within. To date, among those landed or urban elites who hold power in many food deficit nations, the inspiration has been lacking.
But what of the world's energy crisis? Here at least seems one global welfare crisis which may admit to foreign policy control. If the current crisis is a product of an explicit agreement among oil-exporting states to raise prices and limit supply, then perhaps it can be managed or moderated by a new and larger agreement among those who buy as well as sell petroleum.
Yet the insecurity of today's global energy market may again be traced to non-diplomatic forces. The world market for oil was converted from one which favored buyers to one which now favors sellers through the sudden entry of the United States into that market, after U.S. domestic production peaked in 1970. Unable to satisfy its growth in domestic consumption through an increase in the domestic supply, and unwilling to constrain habits of inefficient domestic use (the average American uses twice as much energy as the average German), the United States turned to the world market after 1970, importing a small amount in proportion to its own total needs, but nonetheless doubling growth in world demand for oil from developing-country producers.2 Until these energy needs of the United States can be disciplined or satisfied from other sources at home, a seller's market will most likely prevail, and a better "global bargain" on access to low-cost supply from abroad may not be struck.
So the current world energy crisis also requires a prior managerial effort within national borders, and specifically an effort to curtail inefficient use and to stimulate transition to alternative sources of supply within the United States. The absence of such a policy at home has virtually crippled the foreign energy policies of the United States abroad. Very soon after the final disruption of the world petroleum market in 1973, American foreign policy leaders did move with surprising speed and agility to propose a sweeping new program for interstate energy management. An innovative oil-sharing plan was worked out, first under the auspices of a new Energy Coordinating Group, and later within the fledgling International Energy Agency (IEA). A financial "safety net" was offered to protect vulnerable importing nations within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. A "floor price" agreement was proposed to safeguard new energy investments. And then an offer was made to negotiate oil issues directly with the exporting states, an offer later expanded at the insistence of those states to include other North-South issues on the negotiating agenda. Here was the framework of a remarkably comprehensive foreign policy effort.
But this overseas effort was undercut by a failure at home, either to broaden the base of the energy supply or to moderate demand. When warm weather and a general economic contraction softened demand temporarily, energy policy took a back seat to other economic concerns. Legislation finally emerged from the Congress late in 1975 which actually lowered domestic oil prices for the duration of the upcoming election year, and eliminated an import fee which had been designed to discourage excessive reliance on foreign supply. Only a superficial attempt was made to deal with automobile fuel economy. Either cold weather or an economic recovery would now force a renewed increase in petroleum imports, and as a consequence a perpetuation of the seller's market abroad.
This pattern of domestic policy default was dramatized in a September 1975 IEA report, which ranked the United States fifteenth among eighteen member-nations in effective efforts at energy conservation. This is not a strong domestic performance, two years into the crisis, from the nation which had originally sponsored creation of the IEA. By an appropriate coincidence, it was also in September 1975 that the OPEC nations, aware of weak energy discipline within the United States, agreed upon yet another increase in the price of foreign oil. Even a small effort at energy conservation within the United States might have prevented this outcome. At any rate, the time spent without a disciplined domestic energy policy, time spent by foreign policy leaders bluffing, bribing and negotiating their way across the world stage, had been time wasted.
As with population, food and energy, so with ecological disruption and the depletion of low-cost natural resources. The unmodified growth of world population and of global industrial activity will continue as sufficient cause for both ecological peril and resource depletion, whatever the activity of the world's foreign policy leaders. So long as discipline in resource use and ecological preservation is missing within states, a useful ecological bargain is unlikely to be struck between states. Indeed, resource management and environmental conservation within the industrial world cannot afford to be predicated upon worldwide agreement. The strong interest which many developing countries now feel in policies of unrestricted commercial and industrial expansion remains incompatible with the new ecological interest of those which are already rich. At any rate, both the causes and the consequences of most ecological abuse are still contained within the borders of separate nation-states.
So it is that global welfare cannot be properly managed abroad until it has been tolerably managed at home. Without a prior exercise of domestic policy authority, the global welfare crisis will not admit to efficient interstate control. And so it is that many foreign policy leaders prefer to deal with their traditional agenda, an agenda of security, rivalry, alliance and ideology. Such issues at least admit to the possibility of effective interstate control. Nor should foreign policy leaders be faulted too heavily for this choice. The pursuit of peace and security among sovereign states is still an awesome task, one which if left unattended can intrude at any time upon today's more elevating welfare pursuits. To label "global welfare" a high priority concern in world politics is something of a recent luxury, after all. It presumes that the larger threat of global warfare has somehow been contained.
Some of today's interstate welfare strategies may prove to be worse than inadequate. If welfare issues untreated at home continue to be exported abroad, then even those modest options for management at the interstate level may actually go into decline. Given the general absence of interstate control instruments, and a recent history of domestic policy default, to entrust the interstate community with global welfare management is to invite at least four kinds of difficulty.
The first of these is drift. Still preoccupied with issues of arms, influence and ideology, foreign policy makers may never quite focus their energies on the new and demanding welfare task. The lure of the old agenda is strong-one more SALT agreement, one more Middle East crisis, one more covert operation, one more dramatic journey to Moscow or Peking. Perhaps the present generation of leaders must pass before global welfare comes to be recognized as a legitimate essential of high politics.
At another extreme, there is a danger that some foreign policy leaders may take this new managerial task too much to heart, seeking welfare bargains which can neither be struck abroad nor enforced at home. To avoid failure or frustration, they may be inclined to widen their options through inappropriate or unsavory means. At home, foreign policy leaders would have to seek much greater freedom of action, whatever the consequences for constitutional or representative government. And abroad, if convinced of their task, some great-power statesmen may wish to take too many managerial reins into their own hands by means of aggrandizement, bluff or force. Global welfare strategies predicated on the enlarged authority of a small directorate of foreign policy leaders are strategies which invite corruption and abuse. To create powerful international welfare instruments is to invite their eventual abuse. For this reason alone, one might prefer a strategy of welfare management that diffused responsibility among separate nation-states.
As a third danger, to push welfare issues toward the top of today's interstate agenda is to entangle those issues in the old agenda of rivalry, ideology, security and alliance. Food, population, ecology, energy or income disparity may then become subsumed under the old politics of challenge and confrontation. As welfare issues become politicized, generalists will replace specialists at the bargaining table, links to old issues will be formed, and opportunities for quiet technical adjustments will be lost. Already it is impossible for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to consider world agriculture without prior debate on the Palestine Liberation Organization or the Panama Canal. And already some in the United States are describing agricultural abundance as "one of the most powerful tools in our diplomatic kit."3 Lacking greater agreement at the outset on optimal rates of worldwide industrial growth, on standards of free or "fair" trade, on acceptable methods of resource transfer, on sustainable rates of population growth, or on manageable levels of pollution, welfare bargaining may only become a new vehicle for interstate competition. Foreign policy leaders will turn from the unwelcome task of managing interdependence to the more familiar task of manipulating interdependence.
But there is one final danger in trusting global welfare to foreign policy leaders, one which leads to the concluding judgment of this argument. This is the clear and present danger that interstate welfare strategies will be pursued ahead of domestic welfare measures which are preconditions to management abroad. Strategies of interstate action may serve as a means to excuse domestic inaction. For example, those in the United States who have been most eager to strike a better "global bargain" with oil producers overseas are also those least willing to control wasteful patterns of internal energy use. Public officials call for guaranteed access to low-cost foreign energy supplies as one means to justify their reluctance to face hard choices at home, choices which must be made if a stable global energy regime is ever to be restored. And for those officials in some food-deficit nations who may hesitate to undertake determined efforts at agricultural reform, for fear of displeasing vocal landed or urban elites, what better escape than a new dogma of "global" responsibility for food supply? Those facing difficult tasks at home will have a clear interest in shifting their burden onto anonymous structures of "global interdependence."
But if the entire world community is held responsible for planetary welfare, then nobody in particular will feel responsible. An important bond of accountability which presently functions within nation-states can be weakened, and replaced by an inferior pattern of accountability between states, one which is unlikely to be maintained. As a substitute for an internal pattern of accountability, the call to global welfare management is an idea whose time has not yet come.
Despite shortcomings in dealing with each other, nation-states have at least demonstrated a potential for dealing with themselves. Policy instruments of great strength are available within states, instruments of central taxation, subsidy, and regulation, instruments which far outshine the collective power of foreign policy leaders acting abroad. To take advantage of such instruments, the current global welfare crisis might better be understood as a collection of unmanaged or poorly managed national welfare crises.
But can poor nations without internal economies of scale be expected to deal with their own internal welfare crises? Clearly, they must have access to markets, to external sources of credit, technology and emergency relief, in greater abundance and on better terms than private channels will allow. But a great variation in the past performance of such states suggests that access to external help cannot substitute for internal measures, in some cases revolutionary measures, which will permit self-help. Moreover, the international community can organize itself to improve access for those states without developing heavy-handed structures of external management.
The first step might be to dismantle some existing policy structures (in the United States, escalating tariff schemes) which deny access to products from developing nations. To begin with anything more elaborate-a complete global managerial bargain-may only delay completion of such steps as can be taken unilaterally and at relatively low cost by separate nation-states. Of course, to go even this far will still require a prior exercise of domestic policy leadership, in the form of internal adjustment and full employment policies within the developed countries, which cushion both labor and business from the initial impact of freer trade abroad.
To "domesticate" the pursuit of global welfare in this fashion is not to lose sight of externalities. Nor is it to discourage efforts at interstate contact or cooperation. A choice need not be made between internal and external strategies of global crisis management. Appropriate domestic policies, sensitive to external effects, are merely described here as the precondition for mutually profitable foreign policies. The fruit of welfare management at home is precisely greater mutual success in global bargaining abroad.
Nor is the domestic arena being offered here as a remedy for every dislocation within the world's economy. The interstate arena remains critical in world monetary affairs, and in most trade areas as well. Here, external reciprocity can be as important as internal efficiency or productivity. This is certainly the case in world monetary affairs, and in most trade areas as well. International monetary stability does require a judicious control of money supplies at home, but even more, it calls for a scheme of mutual expectation and adjustment abroad. And an open global trade system can only be maintained through self-conscious acts of external reciprocity. These requirements are widely recognized, in past experience and in the current literature.
But the important literature on interstate rulemaking cannot be applied too far beyond its place of origin, i.e., money and trade within the industrialized world. Today's global welfare crisis is too often a pre-industrial phenomenon, or in some places a post-industrial phenomenon, and it extends too far beyond the old North Atlantic community. Rules of external reciprocity do not ensure either increased food production in South Asia or more efficient use of energy in North America. Poverty, ecology and population are even more distant from the realm of plausible interstate rulemaking. Continued domestic default may well produce external distress in these areas, but the external policy community cannot be expected to bear the burden of remedial action. External measures cannot be taken in these areas without improved policy discipline within nation-states. The instruments of domestic policy have a proven capacity for moving diverse patterns of private and corporate behavior in the direction of a common social preference. They are far more powerful than simple guarantees of external reciprocity. And they are not currently available at the higher level of interstate affairs.
One serious problem remains. If domestic default has been a major source of global welfare distress, then how can one trust remedial action to the domestic arena? Domestic policy leaders may have superior tools available to perform the task, but they may forever lack the inclination, as they tend to be in practice less sensitive to externalities than their foreign policy colleagues. Powerful internal groups in the United States-Detroit, big oil companies, labor, consumer groups-these often represent the strongest point of opposition to policies which might contribute to welfare overseas. And should one trust the "domestic" agencies of the government-the Agriculture Department, the President's budget office, or certain committee chairmen in the Congress-with greater responsibility for food, energy or environmental policies which will directly affect the welfare of nations overseas? To do so seems an open invitation to global mismanagement, through internal policies of self-service and insulation.
Emphatically, the argument here is not for enhancing the authority of domestic actors or domestic agencies. What needs to be enhanced is leadership attention to those actors and agencies, in order to push them in the direction of a more constructive policy role. Today, with leadership attention focused on the interstate arena, critical internal policy measures are either neglected or defeated.
To move the global managerial effort into the domestic arena is not to give domestic actors or interests any authority which they do not now have. As it is, domestic interests are capable of blocking any interstate welfare scheme from which they feel that they have been excluded. The foreign policy leadership in the United States has attempted to finesse this blocking power by a fait accompli, by rushing into external agreement in the hope that domestic agency cooperation or congressional approval will somehow follow. But support and approval have not followed; such tactics have only raised domestic suspicion that foreign policy makers are not to be trusted with the nation's vital economic interests. Far better would be for the leadership to argue the merits of its global welfare policy at home, attacking the problem at its point of greatest resistance.
In the United States, this must be a job for the President himself, in his long neglected role as domestic policy leader. A president is sensitive to externalities, he has necessary information at his command, and yet he is supported and constrained by an internal mandate. If the President fails to promote internal policies which are sensitive to external welfare concerns, no other agency of the government can compensate for that failure. For their part, foreign policy leaders beneath the President can best contribute to this process by showing greater regard for the congressional or interagency consensus which must ultimately support any global welfare bargain overseas.
There is nothing facile about this approach, nothing which will guarantee an immediate outpouring of global generosity from domestic policy actors within the United States. Nor can one offer "presidential leadership" as a key to anything these days without some misgivings. But such leadership within the domestic policy arena is precisely what has been lacking. Presidents have too much enjoyed the sensation of making policy in Moscow, Cairo, Manila or Peking. They must also learn to enjoy the sensation of leadership in Washington, if the global reach of the American economy is ever to become an effective instrument of welfare policy abroad.
Nations overseas must find their own means for making domestic policy arenas more responsive to global welfare concerns. Their resistance to disciplined domestic welfare policy is likely to be just as strong as in the United States. Agricultural reforms, or social programs to promote demographic control, will have to be accepted by elites which now have a natural preference for urban or aggregate-growth modes of development. The urge will be strong to leave this internal welfare burden, once again, at the feet of the international system.
But the international system has not and almost certainly will not accept such a burden without an equal assumption of responsibility by domestic policy leaders within separate nation-states. The largest part of today's global welfare crisis originates within states, remains within states, and the most powerful tools for corrective action are internal instruments of nation-state policy. Until those instruments have been properly used, an attractive welfare bargain among states is beyond reach. Global welfare management turns out to be just like every other act of charity. It must begin at home.
1 Thierry de Montbrial, "For a New World Economic Order," Foreign Affairs, October 1975.
2 James P. Grant, "The OPEC Nations: Partners or Competitors," in The U.S. and World Development, ed. James W. Howe, New York: Praeger, 1975, p. 136.
3 See Emma Rothschild, "Food Politics," Foreign Affairs, January 1976.